Laced with poison
Written by Yasmin Alexandria
30/12/2021

I’m not sure if everyone’s friends with their internal voice, the inner you that acts as your guide and conscience. That little voice in your head makes you question everything and at times seems louder than ever. If so, maybe mine is faulty and I need to return it, as mine doesn’t feel like an extension of me. There are no mini Me’s dressed as an angel or devil sitting on my shoulders. There is just her, and everything she says is meant to hurt. It was always a razor cut of a statement, one made with malice and laced with poison. I don’t have a Kiera Knightly moment from Love Actually. This voice, this supposed side of me, is unpleasant. Perhaps it’s karma from a previous life. Karma has a habit of catching up with you. It’s a superstition that brings you face to face with the consequences of your actions whether you meant them or not. If karma works like death wearing a familiar face and all that, I must have really annoyed someone in some version of this life or the previous one.

Transparency is good, however, there’s a fine line between being brave and sharing your hardships and small negativities with the world online and… well oversharing to be completely honest. I’m not quite sure where this fine line appears from, or what mystical council has the overall authority to brandish you with the ‘Brave’ or ‘Over-sharer’ title. I’m never quite sure if I’ve overstepped the mark, or if I just look like some random girl complaining with the most recent teenage angst haunting my very being at the time. I’ve written about the death of childhood relationships, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and, of course, how the ‘New Year, New Me’ thing is utter rubbish. But I’m not sure if I write for you, as a reassurance that if you’ve ever felt those things that you’re not alone, or if I selfishly write to make myself feel better and offload these things taking up space in my somewhat vulnerable mind.

I’ve never been a fan of countdowns unless something good comes out of them. The idea of seconds vanishing into the void gives me anxiety. Like sand running through the hourglass, the feeling of it being unavoidable and unstoppable is not something that entices me or amazes me. I fully admit it panics me, the idea of time marching on whether you’re on board with it or not. And yet as the finish line for 2021 come’s closer, a countdown has practically become my best friend. For the past 22 days, I’ve been counting down the days, even at times the hours, until Midnight and we welcome 2022.

For some reason I’ve had the insane thought ‘if I get all of my negativity and self-hatred out now’, my New Year won’t have any ‘bad mojo’ associated with it. I never thought my internal monologue would be so negative, but I have paragraphs and paragraphs of calling myself horrendous names and pointing out all of my flaws with a microscope. Comparing myself to people I’ve never met. Lifestyles I’ve never lived. Rereading a passage I wrote mere hours ago terrify me. How can my brain think all of these things about myself? And people say, “Oh but it’s just what happens at that age”, but is it? If I saw anyone else think like this, write such vile things about themselves, I’d worry about them, and yet I can’t bring myself to worry about myself. Instead, forcing myself to get it all out now, in the hope that next year these poisonous thoughts won’t resurface. But it’s just teenage angst, isn’t it?!

Teenage angst? What is it? What does it mean? Teenage angst is essentially a long-winded and complex way to say worry or dread with lashings of insecurities and anxieties on the side. So, at what point do we grow out of this? Is there just a day we wake up and no longer feel the overwhelming sense of doom if we don’t act right, or don’t look right? Teenage angst as a term is still somewhat new. In fact, it’s only made it into the urban dictionary (meaning older generations or whatever organisation decides the importance of words only see’s the term as slang), but I would hazard a guess that this feeling, this growth period has been around for years, decades even if we didn’t talk about it. There is a fine line between being brave and sharing your hardships online and well… oversharing. Half the time I’m completely blind to said line until after the fact. I think I’ve resigned myself to the fact that nobody is going to come to save me from this negative theme in the extremely depressing show called “my life”. There is no knight in shining armour on a white horse coming to save me. I have to do it myself, as lonely as it sounds. I’m the only person who can hear my inner thoughts, and, so, it’s up to me. I need to have faith in myself, believe in myself, and remember that, just because the voice says something pessimistic about my appearance or my mental health doesn’t make it true.

Lavinia Dowling the founder and Nurse Consultant of The M Word

Livinia Dowling

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