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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Picture Perfect

If I want to make myself depressed, I’ll scroll through my Facebook feed. Namely, scroll through girl’s profiles where they have pictures of them looking beautiful in tight dresses with wine bottles on a night out. On Instagram it’s even better (or worse) considering all it is are pictures.

A picture may mark an event, or a time and a place, but it doesn’t mark an emotion. Nowadays in the age of the internet we’re bombarded with images of sexier, slimmer, happier looking people having a better time than us. Ever seen that meme: ‘Everyone’s out on a Friday night and I’m just sitting here watching Netflix.’ 
HAHA used to be my life
The other day I was looking through a friend’s Facebook feed and feeling depressed at all the happy pictures of her and her mates having a blast. However, she said that on those nights out she may have appeared happy, but inside was miserable. I think that goes for a lot of us. In pictures we smile because we ‘have’ to; the camera is on us, we’re taught to ‘SAY CHEESE!’ from a young age. (I used to hate smiling as a kid, which is ironic because I’m generally quite cheerful. I think it was more ‘forced’ smiling that I hated).

But just because someone has a massive smile on their face in pictures, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy.

The main reason I feel sad when I see pictures of girls on nights out is because I feel like they have what I missed. In sixth form (aged 16-18) I was hardly invited out much and threw myself into my A levels to the point where it was negatively affecting my physical and emotional health. Even the ‘group’ I attached myself to would go out without me. York University is the only time in my life where I’ve engaged in heavy social drinking over an extended period of time (and I wasn’t even there two terms). But that was ‘ruined’ because my flatmates knew I had a problem and ended up just worrying about me and looking after me and feeling relieved if I didn’t get wasted. Can you imagine living with someone you’ve known a few months and being scared they’ll run off and try to kill themselves?
At ACM my housemates have often invited me out, but because I don't drink anymore it's no longer the same. If I drink something stupid will happen; if I don't drink I may have a sort of good time but it doesn't feel right. Hence why I prefer going to gigs; no one needs to be smashed at gigs and you can just enjoy the music. (When I go out it's almost always been and is to get with guys, but that's a different topic).

Part of my AA program is making amends to people, which I have done where necessary. I see no reason in beating myself up over all the emotional strain I put people through when I was drinking. All those times my cousin would go ‘don’t get too drunk, that will spoil the night.’ That would make ME resentful because I hated having to be taken care of and wanted to have fun like ‘everyone else’ but ‘everyone else’ never got as erratic as me. ‘Everyone else’ wasn’t hooked on alcohol and polished off three beers in the afternoon for no reason. And my brain went ‘fuck it, I’ll drink alone cos anyone I drink alcohol with judges me.’ Now I view it as similar to when I have panic attacks; other people being concerned over my attacks is almost the same as when other people were concerned over my drinking. My sister told me recently that when she saw me drunk I became super zoned out and unhappy, and my behaviour was erratic.

So here’s me feeling sorry for myself because of what 'people my age' do. PEOPLE MY AGE ARE DYING IN SYRIA. But people my age have also been to festivals like Leeds, Reading and Latitude. People my age laugh with their mates about how fucked they were last Saturday and how they can’t remember anything. No one there was talking about how miserable they were and that they had a drinking problem and puked so much they had to be taken home in a taxi or walked back to their room or left in the house because they were too drunk to LEAVE the house.

People my age can do things that I can’t do without the consequences I’ll have. What’s sitting here being petty going to do? Fuck all. I’ve let go of a lot of resentment this year, and it’s no use resenting people for being happy. I still usually feel better when people are sad because it means I’m not the only one and/or I can help them and offer emotional support (and try to rescue them).

Maybe I haven’t had the young person experience of going out clubbing for years with mates and laughing about it and taking MDMA. But do I want to do that? I’ve seen what heavy social drinking does to me and those around me, and it’s not fun for anyone involved. The world does not revolve around me, although I often think it does. Alcohol doesn’t make me happy. If there’s any truth in the universe it’s that RICKS DON’T CARE ABOUT MORTYS! But seriously...

If there’s any point to all this, at least try and make yourself happy. Life is short, and there’s no use doing things that make you miserable. I can’t make other people love me or invite me out or stay friends with me forever. But I CAN make myself happy by masturbating – I mean, writing songs and playing drums and reading Stephen King. Going to the movies and the park and out for coffee and having good long chats with pals. That kind of stuff. Stuff that enables me to get drunk off life, not alcohol.


  1. as someone who struggled with severe self confidence issues for years i can see where you're coming from, i try not to let all the fake happy pictures and bad shit in the world get me down, what depresses me more now days is thinking that no matter what my brain will keep me from ever being happy in the long term

    1. Happiness is a journey, not a destination. (Such a cliche thing to say I know). Doing things that make you feel good, getting enough sleep, meditating, exercising, and telling yourself good things about yourself each day really help. I have a 'gratitude jar' which is part of what we do in AA (though some people do 'gratitude lists.') I basically write down something that made me happy in the day, or the week, write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. Then every now and again when I'm feeling down or whatever I flick through what I've written and it makes me smile. Really does make a difference.


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