For the majority of my life I have been running scared. The decisions I have made in my life have been directly affected by how I felt, how scared I felt. When I was 15 I was sexually assaulted. At 16 I unsuccessfully went to therapy, and was diagnosed with “situational depression.”
Whenever I have felt unsafe, unhappy, depressed, anxious, anything other than happy. I looked to change my situation. Or I thought I was only changing my situation. In reality. I have been running scared. Running from anything that made me uncomfortable. Anything I didn’t like, anyone who didn’t get along with me.
It got me pretty far in life.
I graduated University with a Bachelor with honours in English Literature. A degree I have wanted my whole life, that many teachers said I would never get. I got a job above minimum wage, I’ve saved money, I have my own car and a license, I rent (with roommates) but I am out of my parents place. For 25, things aren’t looking too shabby.
I started to feel unhappy
My job began to become stressful. Taking more time off meant not making as much money, even above minimum wage. My apartment was no longer safe with some new renters down the hall. Things began to become tough when it came to exercising Bear (my chocolate lab) and feeling comfortable in my own “home.”
So I started to look at my next steps. Where I wanted to go next. What my next goals were to get where I wanted. I was looking for a way out. I had saved up enough for a small down payment, and knew the next step I wanted was a house with a yard. Somewhere I could have a garden as a healthy hobby. A way to grow my own food, cut down grocery bills and be more self sufficient. I wanted to start spending less on rent, flushing money away I’d never see a return on.
I wanted something that was my own. That I could be proud of. Somewhere Safe.
Things didn’t turn out as planned.
Almost two years ago now, my boyfriend (K) moved in with me. We’re still new, we’re still figuring things out. Buying a home together in every ones eyes is “irrational and irresponsible” “too soon.” Even K has had his reservations.
So I slowed down.
I could no longer run scared. I had to walk, I had to wait. It was time to consider someone else in my life.
Learning to cope
Learning to cope with my past, my problems. My anxiety, depression and fears. With having someone in my life and letting them in. Has been the hardest thing I have had to do to date. I was no longer running scared, I was letting someone in. I was doing things their way. The right way, the “smarter way.”
It makes sense to be patient. It makes sense to wait until you are better prepared right?
Now you’re spiraling down a pit of despair, loneliness, depression, anxiety, you name it.
It’s now causing them stress. It’s pushing you farther away, it’s making things worse.
Now nothing is getting done. Nothing is changing. Things are crashing. You’re failing and you’re “lazy.”
When it’s finally time to go. When everyone else is finally ready it’s too late. You no longer have the drive. The energy. The motivation or the want to. You’ve stagnated and settled.
The chores are left undone. Your relationships have fallen through the cracks. Your body has become unhealthy, your mind is no longer working.
You were ready. You had what you needed. It wasn’t perfect, but it would’ve worked.
You waited, you did it right. You didn’t run when you had the chance.
Do It Your Way
Sometimes it is necessary to do things your way. I am back on the war path, making my own decisions. Facing the consequences. I know what it is going to take to help myself get better mentally and physically. It means feelings safe. Finding a safe space.
I tried to believe everyone when I was told I just have to look on the positive side. To see how good I had it. It wasn’t that bad or it was all in my head.
It is not all in my head when work is stressful. It’s not in my head when I live in a dangerous neighbourhood. I can not get better and feel safe and secure in my own body when I am terrified of where I live. Not just for irrational reasons either. There are legitimate, real life happening reasons to feel unsafe in my building. How is that in my head? When security had to be hired where I live? Not to just sit at a desk and let people in and out. But to check stairwells and hallways. To monitor residents and keep their eyes on those of us who would be in danger when we do things like take our dogs out before bed. This is not in my head.
However, I am no longer running scared.
I have spent this time learning about myself. Why I am doing what I am doing and what I really want. I still want a house, I have the means. I want a home, I want safety. Somewhere to continue to heal.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Don’t let others know when you are ready. If you can face the consequences, you’re ready. Make your decisions.