Like-Liking Someone

You know what I mean by like-liking someone. More than liking but definitely not ready to start casting the other L word about. Quite frankly, this is new territory for me. I’ve had crushes before. Lower school crushes on fellow sticky children, crushes on a charismatic teacher or two, silly crushes from afar, brief crushes on men I’ve met for mere minutes and shared clumsy drunken kisses with, if they can even be considered as such. Super deep, intense crushes however, not quite that common. Crushes that have made me, a generally emotionally inept human being, feel almost every emotion under the sun and have, to put it sickeningly, changed me to some extent, I can count on one hand. In fact, half a hand. Two, there have been two. The first was requited to some extent, the second remains to be seen and at present is playing havoc with my well-being

I’ve liked this person for a good few months. About two months ago it reached the stage where I suddenly realised that were this person to not like me back, I would probably be pretty upset. Now I’m essentially a bubbling cauldron ready to overflow if nothing happens soon and yet I can’t do anything about it because I’m too awkward and panicky

My self-worth is non-existent. It has been for a long time, long enough for me to try to believe that I should simply accept my fate as the viewer not the doer. I should just grace the earth with the hand I’ve been dealt. Here she is world, a somewhat funny if cumbersome adult-child with minimal personal drama because her low self-esteem renders her incapable of living life properly. She also possesses the emotional scale of a teaspoon, but hey she’s a good listener

I don’t know how to believe that someone might not think that about me. Sometimes someone will hand me a compliment and it makes me quietly happy, but then I feel awkward about it because my mind forces me to convince myself that it’s untrue. My mum will say “your hair looks lovely today,” and I’ll say “you have to say that. You’re my mum.” The upshot is, I don’t like myself, so how on earth can I expect someone to like me?

One friend who has been strenuously attempting to coax me into making some sort of move has said “the risk of rejection is worth it, even if it’s a bit awkward after, it’s just better than not knowing.” But I don’t think I can agree with that. I am a constantly awkward anxiety-riddled human being whose exhausting daily life is controlled by trying to relieve potential awkward situations, not create them willingly

I have been close to telling him. A few nights ago, I fell into a bit of a rabbit hole thoughts-wise and abruptly convinced myself that I had to tell him or I never would. The whole endeavour was short-lived because I panicked so considerably that I ended up literally running away from him

Like-liking someone when battling mental health problems is essentially the pits. It’s yet another thing to over-think and stress about, another something to add to the list of ever-expanding somethings to panic about. Only, it’s not just another something, it’s something deemed pretty momentous. I never pegged romantic situations and like-liking someone as momentous, but then again it’s not often I feel this intensely about a person. Suddenly, I find myself understanding songs I didn’t understand before, and actually wanting to watch rom-coms. The shame. It can only get better, or worse. I don’t seem to be as good at judging outcomes as I thought I was. A crystal ball would be handy right about now to be honest

Thanks for reading, Hils



It’s true what they say, you spend all your time wishing you could be a bit older and then when you get there you wish you could be younger again

I don’t think I’d mind being in my twenties so much if it had panned out as I had imagined. When I was a teenager, I had this view of my twenties-self. Slim, pretty, put-together, knew what I was about and where I wanted to be. A real hot-shot. But my real twenties-self is just a worse version of my teenage-self. I’d like to say I’m a bit less awkward, I don’t use the word “awesome” anymore at least. But actually as a teenager I had an excuse for being awkward, now as a young adult there isn’t one. Except for mental health I suppose. That old chestnut

Mental health is one of those condemning subjects I try to avoid talking about. Again, what started out as “just teenage things” has slowly developed into uncontrollable mental health issues, which were definitely not predicted as attributes of my twenties-self. Essentially, it’s just shite

I don’t like to talk about my mental health, or in fact myself. I have virtually never talked mental health with my mum, and I rarely talk to friends about it. I’ve always struggled to open up, primarily because I have no idea how to word things, but secondly because I feel so guilty if I talk about myself too much. I’ve never understood people who can brazenly talk about themselves for long periods of time, apparently not worrying about being tedious

Regardless, I can’t do that. I feel like once I open up, that’s it, I can’t take it back. So I keep it to myself and it builds up until I blow my top like a volcano. Clearly not the right way of dealing with something but that’s how it is

Recently however, a friend said something to me that’s sort of been playing on my mind since she said it. She asked me if I’d seen the new Stephen Fry documentary about manic depression. I said I hadn’t, but I had. She told me that she’d noticed that sometimes I displayed milder versions of some of the behaviours that were shown. Part of me felt upset that she’d been able to recognise something that I thought I was hiding very well, but part of me felt pleased that finally someone had been able to notice that I wasn’t quite right

I’m not self-diagnosing myself with manic depression, I truly have no idea what’s going on in my brain, be it that or not. But it’s something and that’s no mistake

I’m twenty-two, nearly twenty-three. I’m perfectly aware that the longer I go without finding out what’s going on, and finding out how to get help, the worse it’s going to be. I have a small but good support system around me, and I have people willing to help, I just need to muster the courage to help myself

Thanks for reading, Hils