It isn’t true when people say that setbacks make you stronger. It depends how many you have in a given time period. If you are constantly taking one step forward, and two steps back, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that you are going backwards. I felt like I was going backwards for a long time. It is always difficult to talk about this sort of thing, even on here, because it always comes across as self-indulgent. The truth is that this is my own form of therapy – the talki-I mean the writing cure. So it is slightly self-indulgent.
People don’t like to talk about the things that stop them from getting out of bed in the morning. It isn’t the natural conversation that you have over the dinner table. We prefer to talk about how our families are doing, or how our communities are changing, or what we are up to right now. We like to talk about politics, but not the drama that is going on in our lives. No one wants to know, we tell ourselves. They have their own problems to deal with and they won’t care about this insignificant speck of dust on the windshield of my existence. So I’ll keep it to myself, and we’ll talk about how muggy the weather has been recently instead.
But do you know the problem with dust? It builds. Soon, if we forget or choose to ignore the dust then it collects so much on this windshield that we can no longer see through it. And that is when an arrogant kid comes along and writes out “Clean Me!” on the front of it to make matters worse. I let the dust settle for too long.
I have never really been good at analysing the things that I do wrong. I’ve always got too many questions, and I’m searching for the wrong answers. So when I am about to take another step back, I can’t seem to stop myself and it’s the most infuriating thing in the world. When you know you are falling, but you have no idea how to catch yourself. And then it hit me. It is impossible to catch yourself. For we must all be caught.
It has taken me 19 years to realise that I need help. That I can’t do it alone. I always thought that speaking to those that are close to me and asking for advice was a sign of weakness, and so I never did. I learnt to deal with things myself and I learned to fend for myself, which has made me the person I am today. But it also meant that I fell faster and harder because I didn’t have all the answers. Well, no one does. But some have a better idea than others, you just have to find out. It is better to say something, than to lose your voice completely.
For the first time in a long while, I finally feel caught. And it feels amazing because when I get out of bed in the morning, I don’t want to look back at it. If you feel like you are falling, then reach out to someone or something. Reach out to the only person you trust, to a complete stranger or even a diary. It will be difficult. Just please, for the love of God, please promise me that you won’t let the dust settle.