I’ve been awake since 4am, and my mind is in overdrive. When I wrote this it was 8.04am on December 31st, 2019. Tomorrow is a new decade.
Up until this year, I’d have said my 20s were fantastic. I left school, something I’d been wanting to do since I started school. I went to university, I got a degree, I got a job in my chosen field. I went to New York with a show, I went to Dublin with a show, I went to London with a show. I had a few relationships, I made so many friends. I went to parties, I drank too much, I dressed ridiculously. I stopped throwing up after every meal. I listened to a lot of music. I met Matt. We travelled a lot. We got engaged. We bought a house. I went on my first Hen – Do. I still had my job.
Of course, things weren’t perfect. I hurt my back playing rugby and had to leave that behind. I lost people. My Dad got sicker and sicker, and we found out he had cancer. I nearly died. But things were good. I was loving life. I was loving every second, I can say that with confidence. Even the shit had a silver lining.
And then in 2019, everything went wrong. There was an incident in work, so I stepped down because I disagreed with the way it had been handled. I lost £200 a week because of that, but it also lost me some friends. I think some people lost their respect for me. I lost respect for me.
Other friends left for better things, in more challenging places, and I’m so pleased for them. One set up her own business making flares, and she’s killing it. One took a more stable job in another city. Three packed their bags and went to London, and they’ve owned that decision, it’s worked out perfectly for them. And I’m happy for all of them, of course! But selfishly, I wish they were still here. WhatsApp is not the same as a pint in the bar next door at the end of a show.
I lost my rag in work a few times, and fell back into old bad habits. I become quite reactive and angry and flew into rages for no reason. Bit by bit, I wasn’t wanted as much anymore. Shows didn’t have a need for me.
Then Dad died. I won’t go into that. But it was not expected, even with the situation he was in. Life became surreal. In each tiny, individual second, I don’t miss him. I wouldn’t have seen him every second of my life, this second is no different to the many other seconds I didn’t see him. But knowing there will never be a time to see him again? That’s when it hurts. I can’t remember the last conversation I had with him before he went into hospital. I don’t know what the last thing I said to him was that he would have understood while he was in hospital. I think I told him I was going to eat his jelly pot the hospital had given him, because he couldn’t have it because he was a vegetarian. He seemed a bit confused by this. The next day, my brother told me it was vegetarian jelly. No wonder Dad was confused.
I turned down work I’d taken in another theatre, not knowing if a mental breakdown would come, and two months later, went back to my ‘home’ theatre. I wanted to be with friends at Christmas, seeing as Matt was away.
Then on my first day back, I fell down a hole and hurt my leg. That was my job over. And that is my job over, for good. And I have spent the last month and a half in a sort of self – inflicted depression. I gave up on my marine biology course, I stopped playing games, I stopped making props. I just sat in my cold kitchen, with the puppy, waiting for him to go outside to go the toilet. I cancelled my counselling because I couldn’t leave the puppy alone. I felt very alone though. I have all these friends, near and far, and I felt horrible reaching out to any of them, to tell them how I felt. To ask them for help would be burdening them, and I complain so much anyway, they don’t want to hear my complain again. A few friends did reach out, and I’m grateful, but even when people offered me help, I felt guilty taking it. So I kept it all in, and I spiralled and I spiralled and I spiralled.
There’s no real reason why tomorrow will be any different to today, really, when you get literal. But I’ve had a decade of constants that have been taken away in the past six months. So this new year, this new decade, really does feel like a new beginning. It’s not a good thing. I’d have rather things been the way they were this time last year, but it is what it is.
It’s now 22.57 am. Here’s to 2020, a chance to pick up the pieces of 2019. I don’t what I’ll do, but I’ll do something.