I disappeared three and a half years ago. Disappeared under a cloud so black and so heavy that I couldn’t see any way out of it. I don’t struggle with mental health issues or have periods of depression … by nature I am a ridiculously happy person (some would say annoyingly so). No. Something happened on 24th February 2014 which broke me, then continued to chip away at the pieces that were left until there was nothing of who I used to be.
You would never have known it if you’d seen me at the markets, still smiling and chatting to customers, but the smile that Phil the Olive Guy used to say lit up the whole market, was gone. You would never have known it if you’d seen me on Oshika, where I consider my job there to be making people happy. But Onodera-san saw right through me.
After three and a half years I was exhausted. I’d tried everything to pull myself up and nothing seemed to work. I gave up. So when I found a lump, I did not care one bit. Within an hour I’d already decided not to tell anyone, to refuse treatment, and quietly take myself off to Switzerland at some point. I wasn’t afraid. Part of me was relieved. At least there would be an end to feeling like this. The lump turned out to be nothing. And it shocked me.
It shocked me that what happened to me had brought me, a fundamentally happy person who loved life and bloody well lived it to the full, truly believing that I never would again. It shocked me into deciding that I HAD to do something. If only I could get rid of all the negative chatter and replaying what happened that was constantly going on in my head.
Things like the banging of doors, police officers in my home, bottles of wine being drunk one after the other, the insults, the shouting, the vicious text messages, the urine soaked bedding, my hand shaking with so much fear I couldn’t get the key in the door, finding knives hidden away, bolting from my home in the middle of the night, sleeping in secret in a caravan for a month, sitting terrified in a court room, and being handed that piece of paper that would make me safe. It didn’t make me safe from my own thoughts though. I wanted them all to just fuck off.
So that’s what I told them to do. And this is why I’m sharing this. Because after 24 hours of telling EVERY SINGLE NEGATIVE THOUGHT in my head to fuck off, they did. And once they did, I could finally BREATHE again, and throw myself back into life. I was ME again.
And in the two and a half weeks since that happened, I’ve found myself playing music while I pickle, singing and dancing in my kitchen, laughing again and I mean REALLY laughing, taking that weekend off that I’m always saying I’m going to do to hang out with a dear friend in London, having that beer with my delivery guy and friend that he’s always suggesting, reaching out to the people who’ve seen me at my worst during the past three and a half years and letting them know how much I appreciate them never giving up on me, booking that hair appointment to go back to the crazy colours I used to have, and finally asking that guy out that I’ve fancied for like a year.
So I share all this in case just one person might be stuck with their negative thoughts going round and round in their head and feeling that there is no way out. Tell those thoughts to fuck off. And they just might do that.