A few years ago I wrote this post about how I couldn’t wait to turn 30. I longed for a time of stability, a sense of self, a sense of home. But between 27 and today I lost two more jobs and one more relationship. And what I’ve found on the other side, isn’t solid ground.
Note: This piece was written on 30 December, 2014. But I feel like maybe it’s time to let it out into the wild. I don’t handle stuff quite the same anymore (less sitting under my desk, more sitting on the kitchen floor, but samesame).
I think the first piece I ever read that really explained how depression affects me was this one by Hyperbole and a Half. I’m writing this post because I just started another one about anxiety and ended up sitting under my desk and crying for an hour. I can’t explain why, but small, enclosed spaces make me feel safe when I’m overwhelmed by sadness. Well, that and sitting on the floor. Maybe it’s because it makes me feel more melodramatic and helpless. Maybe because it’s easier to hide. Maybe because it’s easier to curl into myself. Maybe it’s because I can be really grounded.
Anyway. This is (some of) the story of my depression and maybe someone out there will read it and relate and feel less alone and instead of crying on the floor will leave a comment or message me (Twitter handle and gmail addie are in my about page – message me. I’ll listen.).
If you’re single and you’re lonely clap your hands!
Or, in my case. Ask Siri to divine your dating future.
When asked to describe myself in a few words, feminist always makes it into the mix. Shock, horror, white girl in her late 20s likes to call herself a feminist. I believe, essentially, that women and men are equal but centuries of patriarchy has warped that balance to the detriment of both men and women, and very often, it’s so subtle we don’t even realise it. I don’t believe that women are better than men or that #allmen are dicks.
But I can’t be bothered with which ‘wave’ of feminism I fall into. I can’t be bothered to join every Twitter and Facebook war (anymore). I can’t be bothered to yell every time a magazine uses a skinny model or calls a normal sized girl ‘plus sized’. But this isn’t what makes me a bad feminist (at least to me).
What makes me a bad feminist is, fuck it, I want to be taken care of in a relationship.
While watching South African Idols with my mom this past Sunday (yes, at 27, I still go for Sunday takeout and reality TV sessions with my parents), I was flicking through Facebook and came across this piece by Rosie Waterland the references the epic scene in Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl where Amy describes ‘the Cool Girl’, the ‘male fantasy’ of ‘the perfect girlfriend’ if you will.
Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a cool girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot.
I never used to like being touched. Growing up, I was very selective in who could touch me – I’d shy away from the hugs of strangers and family members alike. I didn’t like my space invaded and I only liked touch if I initiated it – I wasn’t ok with people just touching me because they could.
I’ve always been a TV-holic. Growing up, my parents let me watch an hour a day and it was all about Pumpkin Patch and My Little Ponies. But as I got older I wrangled more hours of them and by the time I was a teen, man, TV and I had a solid thing going. TV made me believe that my 20s were going to be glorious. My first job? Glorious. My apartment? Massive. My social life? Buzzing.
It was all a lie.