It’s almost a new year. Time for us all to make resolutions about how we will be better people, get fitter, be more charitable, become a traveller or try something new.
Whilst others are making resolutions, I’m fixating on the part of still being here. I’ve tried and made roads into getting better, feeling more “normal” and moving my life forward but I feel that 2016 has been a slog.
I’ve cried over Brexit, cried over Trump, cried over celebrities dying and buried my head in the sand and doing everything and anything to avoid being an adult. Countless opportunities have passed me by and I’ve been angry at myself but secretly deep down I’ve been highfiving myself from not moving forward. Wallowing in a pit of shit, ignoring the ropes dangling over the side and mostly taking in the warmth that letting yourself drown brings you. I’ve succeeded in failing like people have been expecting. Never one to disappoint I’ve done that for you all.
I’ve pushed people away, broken ties and silently slipped into the shadows out of view, occasionally speaking when necessary but ultimately I’ve hidden myself for a year. I’ve given people what they wanted – happy, smiling me, all whilst masking the fact I’m slowly tearing myself to pieces.
Hiding that I’m laying awake a night multiplying one into one hundred, throat burning from anxiety heartburn and crying when stood on the tube platform. I’ve allowed my career to come to a screaming halt all whilst helping others climb above me and out of my reach. Wishing them well as they go up the ladder, learning more, earning more and generally doing the things I wanted to do.
This year was the first time I’ve made plans to end it all. Counted up pills in my house, researched effective suicide methods and written down a will of sorts about who gets the cats. This stack of paper still resides in my house along with other mementos of when I’ve been unwell. It’s like a shitty “This is your life” portfolio – something to read when I need to kick myself down even more.
I tell myself I needed this year. I needed the opportunity to be unhappy and not try. I felt such a pressure to “perform” for others over the last few years to prove that I was okay. “Look at me! I don’t care 12 years were wasted with someone who hated me! I don’t care I’m fucked in the head” (insert manic laughter here). Getting up everyday and putting on a show is hard. It’s utterly exhausting to be cheerful and positive when all you want to do is close the door and have a goonie cry. All I’ve wanted to do tell everyone to fuck off – my friends, family, work colleagues, the rude checkout girl in Waitrose, the man on the internet who told me if I made an effort I’d be considered pretty…
So 2017 as you come creeping slowly in, whilst everyone else on Facebook and Twitter write dreary statements about how much they love their friends and family and how amazing 2017 is going to be for them, I’m sat here on my own writing this.
I don’t wish for next year to be amazing. I don’t even wish for anything like an engagement, house or new job. I just want to be properly happy for once. So I don’t make a resolution this year, I make a promise. The time you see me smile will be genuine and not a poor special effect to hide the grimace I currently sport.
I’m traveling to Nepal next year for work, and if my little fat legs will make it I’ll be going to Everest Base Camp. Two weeks or so, of trekking and shitting in dodgy toilets await me, along with (hopefully some great memories and clearing of my head). I want this to be a positive experience, so I’ve decided I want to raise some money to give others a positive experience and give them a reason to form a genuine smile. Therefore, I’m aiming to raise £250 for CALM to help fund their help line. CALM is dedicated to preventing male suicide. In 2015 75% of all suicides were men.
So if you have a spare 10p to chuck my way, then I’d be delighted to accept it. You can make a donation here on my Sarah Does Nepal page and I promise I’ll keep you all updated with stupid photos, stories of my shitting and general fuckwittery as I try to make it up to Base Camp.