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The Long Game

TW: this post makes reference to suicide. Please take care of yourself and only read ahead if it is safe for your to do so.

Do you believe in fate? Or that things happen for a reason? Or that people get what they deserve?……..I used to.

I used to believe that the reason I met my (now ex-) husband was because I re-sat a year of my A-levels (because I hated the college I was at, so changed) and that I didn’t get the A-level grades I needed to go to my first choice university and ended up in clearing. That I met him the day after I got engaged to my former fiancé as though fate was telling me it would have been an unhappy marriage. That the fact we were born in neighbouring towns in Wales was because it was fate we should meet at some point in our lives. I wanted to believe it was meant to be. 

I used to believe that the reason I got my last job-my dream job- was because i had a breakdown. To cut a long story short, if I hadn’t reduced my hours in a previous job due to my mental health, I wouldn’t have applied for a paid role for the charity I was volunteering with, (as the role would have meant too large a pay cut from the full time wage, but seemed more manageable from my part time wage). And that when my manager went AWOL shortly after starting, meaning I had to learn on my feet, and quickly, that I wouldn’t have gained the relevant experience to apply for promotion into my dream role a year later. That I deserved it. I wanted to believe it was like a pay back for the shit I dealt with through my life. That perhaps it was karma and I was finally getting what I deserved for going through my suffering.

But both those things have gone. Lost in the last two years-the two most difficult years of my life.

Is that fate too? Is that what I deserve? 

7 months ago when I took an overdose I thought it was. I believed I wasn’t good enough for anybody. Not good enough at anything. That I didn’t deserve happiness. That I didn’t deserve life. That my life would always be shit so what was the point of carrying on. I believed that my friends and family were sick of me. That my daughter deserved better. 

Then at the last minute I realised that perhaps if I killed myself my daughter would end up with childhood trauma like me….not the same kind of trauma…but still trauma. That then I was likely to cause a lifetime of mental health issues for her too. So I called an ambulance. 

But I still didn’t want to live. I felt guilty. I didn’t feel I deserved life as I tried to throw it away.

Today I see things differently.

Today I don’t believe in fate, or that things are meant to be, or that people get what they deserve.

Shit happens to good people. Luck happens to shit people.

I still may not feel I deserve good things, but y’know what, I don’t deserve the bad things either.

But what I have learnt, is that the things that have happened in my life, good and bad, have made me what I am. I’ve lost people, gained people, changed my ambitions, got jobs, lost jobs, achieved things I never thought I would, and not achieved things I imagined. All these things have shaped me. 

Right now, while I’m still picking up the pieces of my life, it’s hard not to feel I don’t (or do) deserve what has happened. But what I do know is that for the first time in a long time, I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I can see a future. I don’t know what that future holds, and for the first time in my life I’m not even sure what I want it to hold (which, by the way, scares the crap out of me), but I believe that my experiences will have changed me. I just need to use those experiences positively. To build from them, to re-focus my priorities and to shape my future little-by-little, one step at a time.

The last 2 years have changed me. Have made me what I am, but will also make me what I become.

I can’t look at a seemingly shattered life and give up, I have to believe I’m in it for the long game. And I have hope that the long game includes happiness. 

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