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Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Lost Child

Once upon a time, a nineteen year old girl was sitting in an AA meeting after four months of sobriety. She had relapsed days ago by getting drunk on a cheap and disgusting bottle of Cava, and smoked a ton of weed at her brother’s party resulting in her lolling around on the floor with an inane grin on her face and a slowed down perception of time. She said to one of the women at the meeting, ‘I feel like a lost child’, to which the woman responded ‘shall I go get you one then?’

Do you ever wonder who you are? Like, who you really are? You stand in front of the mirror and think ‘who the hell am I? What do I like? What do I want? What do I believe? What kind of character do I possess? Am I good or bad? Does everyone secretly hate me? Are all my friends going to turn against me? Will I end up alone in a crack house surrounded by alcohol and coke and a broken guitar?’

I’m a pretty smart person. It’s one thing most people don’t dispute about me. But so many times I think to myself ‘am I stupid? Like, am I actually an idiot?’ I have a memory of myself at seventeen crying to my sister and saying I was stupid (this was when I was on the cusp of being sure I was an alcoholic). My sister is beautiful, inside and out, and said of course I’m not stupid, I’m a lot smarter than most and I know it (it’s gotten me into trouble over the years; not smartness, but cockiness).

In my lowest moments, I find myself staring into space, unsure of what I’m even doing here. Those are the times I romanticise being dead, thinking ‘would non-existence be easier? It could be so much more pleasant than having to coast around this cold and confusing world. I could take a bunch of pills, drown myself, throw myself off a cliff, or try and get someone to shoot me...’ (But that is my illness - depression - talking).

Those moments have been reducing since the last time my body absorbed alcohol and weed. (Which was the end of February). Now the lowness is being replaced by confusion. Despite feeling more content than I’ve been throughout most of my life, I find myself feeling more lost than ever. I look at my blog and think ‘is everything I write rubbish? Am I revealing too much of myself? Why do I have to be so open? Am I that desperate for attention? What is the point? Why am I doing this? People are going to hate me for writing that.’
I’m twenty, and my whole life I’ve been told that I’m ‘young’ and accepted the general lack of knowledge that comes with being young. Two lines from fiction come to mind:

‘You’re twenty years old, you barely have a life’ – Tony Soprano talking to his son

‘What are you; twenty-two, twenty three? What do you know about life, let alone literature?’ – Excerpt from Stephen King’s ‘Finders Keepers’

There is a saying that ‘youth is wasted on the young’. Perhaps it’s wasted on me. Being young to me is nothing but frustration. It means accepting that I hardly know anything. Because I’m responsible for no one but myself, what difference does it make if I kill myself or not? I have no children who are counting on me to stay alive.

Most of my life all I’ve wanted is to grow up. I’ve always felt restrained in some way, by the restraints that are placed on those aged under eighteen. When I turned eighteen, I thought ‘finally.’ It’s over. I can now do whatever I like. I can go anywhere and no one is legally responsible for me anymore. I am the master of my own destiny. And I am miserable and all I want to do is drink.

I’m no longer as miserable as I was then, but I’m seeking. If life is about finding yourself, then I’m on that journey. I don’t really know who I am or where I’m going or what I really want. Some things I know for sure; I love writing and I love music and that will never change. I know the literal stuff, like my name and gender and age and ethnicity. I know who I’m related to; family, unlike friendship, never changes. I know I’m an alcoholic; that fact will never cease to be. But beyond these basic snippets of self, all I know is that I know nothing.


  1. i have moments of not knowing who i really am and freaking out over it too alongside other existential criseses, i found some things that help me in the short term

    1. music (usually more depressing songs or bo burnhams comedy song) writing, making dark jokes, talking to people, and video games

    2. Music and writing always help me, two of my greatest loves :) anything humorous to watch (Family Guy, Rick and Morty, American Dad) are good too. (I love Rick and Morty because it takes existential crises and laughs at them or mocks the sadness of it all). Talking to others is always great in sustaining human connections. Also other people can give you a wider perspective and get you out of your own head.

    3. rick and morty is one of my favorites too


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