I’m in a much better place now, somewhere safer. In my mind at least. Before I stabilized I was throwing myself between thoughts faster than a jet, never settling for a single project, and on the off chance I actually completed it, I never thought it was anywhere near good enough. Reading those words aloud to myself makes by previous situation sound rather trivial and mundane, but at the time it was like a thick, suffocating fog. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see anyone else; didn’t know they might be feeling the same way as I was, couldn’t see any refuge. I was waiting for someone to rescue me, I now realize. I think that was the true problem.

I was waiting for someone to clear the fog around my head. Show my skin the light, and in turn, I would tell them everything.

I realize now, what a mistake that would’ve been. You can’t trust a single person with everything. I’ve said this before. I’ll inevitably up saying it again. It’s simply too much for one person to handle. Think about it this way. If you were struggling to carry 45kg and saw someone carrying 10kg next to you, even though you know they’ve got more weights to pick up you wouldn’t give them your entire 45kg load. No, if they offered (and only if they do) are you to give them some of your weight. You don’t want to crush them. Give them something small that they can handle.

To remedy my situation, I had to build my own lighthouse to cut through the fog. Something permeant that could always offer safety. To me, this was re-decorating my room. Again, I know it sounds trivial. But to me, at least, it helped a lot. I got rid of the bustling, bright colors and replaced them with something neutral. I made sure to do all the work myself, so this would truly be a safe place of my own making. I would own and embrace the mistakes I made. I would make it my own, with no interference from the outside world. I made sure to do my research, sus out what plants, paints and wooden cabinets to buy. Of course, to fund this project I had to get a job.

I got a job as a waitress in a quaint, red coffee shop. The workers there are lovely, and served as the keepers of this lighthouse, as you might say. They kept it in mint condition, always visiting and bringing light into my life. With their help, I made my safe space the best it could possibly be.

With the money I saved from my job I was able to finally purchase my plants, (aloe, mint, peace lilies, just to name a few.) buy some new records. Buy myself some well-deserved quilt covers. Now, when I inevitably come home form a horrible day at uni, I’ll have a place to crash and just vent. Be myself. Only invite in those I trust.

I think it’s the most I’ve ever don’t for myself, at least in the terms of self-care.

Have you ever felt like this? If so, what do you use as your lighthouse? Where’s your safe place?