It’s a quote I see on Instagram all the time, and usually cringe at, because I cringe at most things, but when you’re going through a shit time, you tend to not cringe as much. When I saw this quote the other day, I started thinking about the shit times in my life; the properly shit times, not just when I’m due on and cry at Britain’s Got Talent auditions whilst snorting a 12 bag of Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings (cooked, obviously – I’m not a complete animal) through the sobs. All of those experiences, at the time, I thought would quite literally kill me, and yet here I still am, slightly changed from them, but here all the same.
When my relationship broke down a couple of months ago, I genuinely thought my world was over. I could not see a time ahead when I wouldn’t feel like that. It was a bit like going through a pitch-black tunnel where you can’t see the end. Your friends and family are outside the tunnel, and they’re shouting through telling you that you’re nearly out of it and to keep going, alongside ‘He was a fucking twat anyway!’, but it doesn’t help at all, because you’re still stuck in that bloody tunnel and try as you might, you can’t see even a glimmer of light.
A few weeks ago, I read back some old messages between me and the boyfriend from when we started talking and from when we broke up, and it was the strangest experience because I was laughing out loud at texts that once upon a time had seemingly broken my heart. Maybe I’ve grown as a person since then, or maybe I’d just grown a better sense of humour; maybe I’d just grown better eyesight at identifying when someone really was a fucking twat. The best feeling in the world with that relationship, and the previous ones, was realising I didn’t feel angry or upset…I felt indifferent. Indifference really was the most content of emotions
However, there are messages in my WhatsApp archive I’ll never be able to look at without feeling like someone’s drop kicked me in the spleen, but that’s life. You won’t be able to look back and laugh at everything, but you will be able to look back one day and feel glad it happened, and sad it’s over.
I think back to all the shit, sad, heartbreaking moments in my life. Illnesses, deaths, relationships ending, friendships dwindling; every single one shaped me in some way, but also taught me.
Illness taught me that no one is exempt from anything, even when you’re in your own little bubble; it also taught me to make sure you’re nice to your parents so that when you are in hospital with a life threatening illness, they don’t leave you to eat hospital slop (everything seems identifiable as shepherd’s pie, even when it’s not), and bring you Nando’s instead. Death showed me life is short and precious and no one bloody gets out alive anyway, so you may as well do what the fuck you want because what else is there to do? Relationships ending showed me that A) He’s not the one when he asks you to transfer him 50p for the packet of crisps he bought you and B) Time is the biggest healer, even though it’s a pain in the arse waiting around to stop feeling sub-human. They also showed me that there’s life after someone, even if it doesn’t feel like it, and you’ve spent the past week on a diet of wine and Cheese Strings. Friendships dwindling showed me that you will have different friends throughout your life, some come and go, some come and stay, and you should hang on to those that have your back, don’t judge you, and happily sit and listen to the same old shit you’ve been going on about for the last 8 months and don’t tell you to shut the fuck up, even if they’re thinking it.
You really do grow through what you grow through, although sadly in my case, it’s not in the boob area.