I’ve scoured the internet trying to find ‘self-help’ guides for when you feel like absolutely everything is going wrong. I’ve tried to relate to those awful horoscopes you read, nodding in fake agreement when it tells me everything will be ok. I even sat there trying to find a song that truly related to how I felt, but Adele is only good for heartbreaks, not lifebreaks.
I’ll break it down. This year I thought I had it sorted, I graduated, had a top job in fashion PR, had those really nice black ankle boots from Topshop (you know the ones). Yup, for me, that was everything sorted. Until, in the space of a month, in the following happened: family dog died, my entire family home was ruined in a horrible house fire, my nanny collapsed, my dad had a minor stroke, and my uncle unfortunately took his own life. My life became more complicated than an episode of Eastenders at Christmas, and I quite frankly, couldn’t handle it.
On top of all of this total confusion, I realised that my job I had been so jammy about wasn’t what I expected. I felt underused and underpaid, and I was frustrated, as I had so much to give, I was a fresh graduate wanting to learn. I felt stupid having to come into work and update my managers on the next dramatic episode in my life, answering the same questions over and over again…No, I don’t know how the fire started…yes, at least we are all OK… yes, at least I was there… yes, at least he is at peace…
I felt like screaming, actually, it’s not OK. There are no ‘at least’s’ that can soothe a situation like that. Of course I’m pleased that none of us died, that the dog is at peace, that my uncle is at peace, that my dad is ok and that my nanny is ok… but when you’re living it, it doesn’t seem like things will ever be OK. I lost my dog, my house, my possessions, I had to start again. And on top of this unknown situation, I also had to cope with my dad being ill, and the other issues. There is no guide book for this. As if being 21 wasn’t hard enough without having the rug beneath your feet swept from underneath you.
So how have I dealt with this situation? And what can I say to people who may also feel like their lives are falling apart? It’s simple, it’s cliché, and LORD KNOWS I HATE CLICHES, but it’s just carrying on. You try and smile about things, laugh about things with your parents and friends; accept that some things are just out of your control. If you feel like things are really bad, talk to a third party. The Samaritans are there 24 hours a day to help you, and they will just listen, they won’t try and console or give advice, they just let you rant until you literally have nothing else to say.
The one thing that I think helped me stay completely sane was just reacting however I wanted to. I never tried to keep anything in, and I never tried to pretend everything was fine. If I wanted to cry, I did. If I felt like being horrible (which I did, quite a lot, sorry) I was horrible and dismissive and quiet. When I wanted to laugh, I did. I never tried to pretend I was OK, but I let people know, and I truly believe being honest allowed me to kind of move on. Whilst it will always be a period of my life I won’t forget, I think I’m ok with it all now. Weirdly, my epiphany of ‘hey I’m ok with the fire’ came when I saw Ed Sheeran and he sung ‘I See Fire’. What a loser, but it’s true.
I don’t really know why I’m writing this. But I think it’s a good way to say SEE YOU LATER to all this rubbish, as I am actually very very close to moving into my house after 6 months. It will be a building site, but I don’t care.
This is a post for those of you who have had relatively normal lives, and then things change. For those of you who hate drama, but have it thrust upon you when you want it to go away. For those of you who feel like things just continually go wrong, and why is it always you? It’s a post to say it’s going to be absolutely fine, cry if you want to, see a doctor, speak to your friends, go out, don’t feel bad, buy that new mac make up, buy that expensive bag – it will always be OK in the end.
And if it’s not, it’s not the end.