I have a fear of change, I imagine a lot of people do. My fear of change comes from a deep root in my being that whenever something changes in my life – it’s going to get worse. When I move house, whenever I stay overnight somewhere new, I have this thing which I’ve coined ‘new house insomnia’. I am incapable of sleeping, or sleeping well, in any new environment or situation. So when I was at uni, moving every year for three years meant I didn’t sleep well for at least 3-4 months of my time in each new place. This is due to having moved so many times in the past, my brain was telling me that each move was bad. That is was going to f*ck up my life like all the moves before me. I knew, and still know, that when I move or stay somewhere new – it’s my choice but that doesn’t stop the fear from creeping it’s way down my throat.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that some change is for the better. Like letting going of toxic friends, leaving a job for a better one, graduating university but change scares the shit out of me. The littlest things like changing a password or sleeping with a different teddy bear. My fear of change affects my ability to travel; if things don’t go the way I’ve planned with my journey – I freak out. Big time. My sisters can tell you about that. When I had the privilege of witnessing two of my best friends get married, they threw me into the deep end. They told me as I arrived into Oxford that I was going to have to get the bus to the place all by myself. I wasn’t prepared for this, I hadn’t planned for this to happen. That sudden change ruined my day.
I am a terribly insecure person; insecure about my looks, my job, my family, my faith, my past. I live my life walking on egg shells. Never wanting to insult or cause harm, never wanting people to feel uncomfortable. When I was at uni, I was really very insecure about my past – about the fact I grew up in the care system and that my mum died when I was 14. in my second year of uni, I became good friends with a lad called Doug. Unfortunately, due to situations beyond my control, Doug and I are no longer friends. We’re Facebook friends but that doesn’t quite count. Anyhow, when Doug and I became friends I knew that I wanted to tell him about my family, about mum, about why I have things called ‘Hug Louise Days’.
When I first told Doug about who the real me is, he didn’t know how to respond. In fact, I think he didn’t talk to me for a while. He got uncomfortable, he couldn’t handle it – I didn’t get it. It’s my life, why was someone else getting uncomfortable with my life story? My insecurities about my past, about what made me me grew; I couldn’t tell anyone anything about me for a while. But then Doug came back. On the next Hug Louise Day, he was there giving me big Doug Hugs. He climbed over pews in church, he stole my hat, he became my friend again because he had been able to process my life. Doug was there for me when I needed him most that year and it pains me that we’re no longer friends; however, thanks to Doug (and his musketeer friends) I became less insecure about certain aspects of my life. I also found what love is…between friends of course.
Everyone experiences loneliness at some point in their life. I experience loneliness everyday, 24/7. I can be in a room of people, talking away, yet at the core of my being – I am lonely. When I wake up in the morning, I’m lonely. I know some of these feelings are due to my depression but it doesn’t make the situation any easier. I live in a town where there are very few twenty-somethings. All of my social activities involve people from the church whom are 20-30 years older than me. Don’t get me wrong, I love these people, I’m grateful that they are in my life, however, with them – I am lonely.
A dark cloud comes over me, I can’t concentrate, sometimes my eyes actually glaze over because I don’t fit in. I’ve got a drama degree. How the hell am I supposed to use a drama degree? I’m 22. How are my views going to have any standing against theirs? My theology certainly isn’t as good, my church and Bible history is little to none… I feel unworthy of being in their presence which I know is a lot of crap. I wake up in the morning, look at my phone and I am no longer surprised that I have no notifications. I go to bed at night and I am not surprised in the slightest that the only person who text me today was my sister. It’s the norm that I feel alone.