Monday, 13 March 2017

I want to be a better person but ….but how?


I long for the day I can post an article that will deemed worthy of retweeting and sharing amongst the blogging community, because it’s inspiring or powerful, or radiates heartwarming positivity and light. But I’m afraid today I deliver another rambling spill from my brain, which will once again leave you thinking that Sophie has a lot of work to do on herself.

And that would be true. They always say recognising the problem is the first and important step, so here I am telling you that I don’t think I’m the ‘good’ person I once was, but I don’t know what to do about it.

I’ve never felt like I’m the bee’s knees… or the cool modern equivalent to that phrase. However I was always knew that I lived my life kindly, and considered the thoughts and feelings of others - something I think I learned from the behaviour of my parents. I’ve never been the prettiest, the coolest, or most talented, but I think I tended to give off ‘good vibes’, and tried to ensure I was a positive addition to people’s lives. I was the care-giver (mum and I have always collected the strays or troubled of the world), the listener, the comforter, or the person who’d quietly stick up for the weak or misfit-ed. I was never the most outgoing of people, but always had a lot of friends (almost to a level it was stressful to time manage), so I always presumed it was down to the fact they knew I’d be there for them, treat them well, and never judge.

Note the past tense nature of this paragraph.

Of course it’s impossible to be the friend I once was. As you get older you get pulled into so many directions. You have time-hogging responsibilities that leave you less time to do those cute extra things that cement your role as a great mate. If you’ve worked in as many jobs and industries as I have you will have accumulated a number of friends, and become a fixture of many friendships groups, which you also have to divide you time and effort between. Throw in a chronic illness and your ability to be a good friend is hindered further. With everyone spread across the world, your position being absent of money or energy to travel to meet them, the relationships dwindle . I can’t even find the energy to keep up with all the WhatsApp group chats these days, so always end up missing the information about the next meet up.

But, I don’t beat myself up about this anymore, not that it doesn’t make me sad that I often feel out of the loop and isolated, but I know it’s not my fault.

But sadly there’s been a definite deterioration in my way of thinking, and the way I react to other people, and the individual way they think or behave. On a daily basis I am letting tweets on my feed make me angry or frustrated. I see people being so ungrateful, prioritising the wrong things, or just being cruel, and it makes me resentful of the industries I work in, and the way we live today. Due to the change in what is considered important in today’s society’s I keep seeing the wrong people elevated or rewarded, and the deserving and hardworking shunned, and I can’t help but let it affect me. I guess I take it very personally because I know all too well that you can work your butt off, do the right thing, even go the extra mile, and still not achieve what you have rightfully earned. Things just don’t work out how you feel they should.

And here’s a really ugly part. I’m finding it really hard to be happy for people when they get the things that have eluded me for so long. It’s a horrible truth but I can’t ignore that it’s there. This isn’t the case for everyone. I’m ecstatic for those that truly deserve it, who are kind genuine souls, those who have faced a lot of hardship, or worked very hard. I’ll always champion those people...and they give me hope that it can work out. But I can’t pretend to be happy for everyone…even if a tweet showcasing support to them would make me appear like a better human to those observing.

I don’t spend my time communicating these negi thoughts as and when they come. I still try to be fun and lighthearted Soph when spending time with other people, but there are a few slip ups when they filter out through gaps in my happy mask. In fact I rarely ever say harsh words out loud, but the fact remains that my thoughts have definitely become less forgiving, more cynical, self pitying, and envious. So that makes me a horrible person right? And the problem with these thought’s is that each one fuels more of the same. Then you end up feeling worse, because if you still have the essence of the old you within you, you feel guilty for allowing yourself down that path.

I’m sure It doesn’t help that I don’t have positive voices and presences around me for the majority of the time, because the people you surround yourself with really do help to shape your mood and general attitude to situations. The majority of the time I’m in bed on my own, so I only have my thoughts and opinions to focus on..thoughts and opinions that generally include berating myself, or the world we live in today. These days I also have serial killer Dexter for company, which can’t be helping matters. I can see a difference on the days I spend with some of my certain friends though - this I hope proves I’m not a lost cause and perhaps one day I’ll be back to the sunnier version of Soph.

With my friend Holly we laugh about gross stuff, personal matters that most people would put under the ‘oversharing bracket’. We also get each other excited talking about creative endeavours and travel plans. After a chat with Amanda, during one of our photo sessions, I feel like I can actually achieve something, and I start believing that maybe I really can make some dreams come true. When my darling Kelly drives over, we express our love for each other very freely, laugh over some good food and catch up about our fails and successes since our last catch up. The fact that she is always willing to travel to me gives me faith in humans,  because she recognises just how much that helps me. Then there’s my oldest girls who know my essence and have been around long enough to have seen all the events of my life that have lead to the sad person I am today. They are able to bring out the old Soph because when we’re together it’s like we’re silly school girls again, recounting all the embarrassing moments we had in front of the fit guys at school.

But if these moments are too infrequent, my voice is obviously going to be the overriding message, and that is a message is hopelessness and one that tells me I don’t fit in this world, and will never get along with all that existing within it involves…all communicated on the loudest of tannoys of course.

When life has been repeatedly unkind some people find comfort or escape by turning to excess amounts of food, or by numbing out on drugs or alcohol. Others may find themselves turning to unsuitable partners and toxic relationships because they are so down on life, and themselves, that they don’t think they deserve better. My coping mechanism, and the reaction to the life I’ve lived, is to become this harder, toughened version of myself.

There are benefits to this perhaps. People always took advantage of Sophie (Lite version) because they knew they could. She’d be ok with it, she’d forgive, she’ll still be here etc. These days I speak up a bit more, and put my foot down where necessary and I am happy to put unpopular opinion online.

As I continue to write an I wonder if maybe I’m not as hard or un-good as I think. Maybe people just don’t talk about their less than nice thoughts as much as they do their happy, encouraging, inspiring ones? Hmmm

After - all Si still gets a bit cross with me saying ‘ You’re too nice’ and ‘People are taking the piss out of you,” ‘You should tell him/her that it’s not ok.’ He’s either telling me to ‘lay the smackdown’ or  completely agrees with the things I point out that I feel are unjust. Maybe I’m not being completely  irrational with these thought. Maybe I’m not this bad person, but I’ve just found the level of ‘nice’ you need to have to protect yourself from harm.

As I  just said, it has been suggested I was probably just ‘too nice’ for the majority of my life, and that that was probably what got me in most of the situations that lead to the downfall of my overall  positivity level. People see nice-ness as weakness…more accurately they see it as a sign that this is a person is someone they can manipulate or who will offer forgiveness beyond the usual level.

So I wonder if it is possible to have positive thoughts, be happy for others, and not let history, and the lessons you’ve learned from it, dictate your mind and the way it functions….while protecting yourself from future harm that your old positive self fell prey to. Sounds tricky.

Annoyingly this lack of positivity offers another part of my being that makes me feel ostracised from the blogger community. Currently there’s so much focus is about being someone that radiates positivity, being that posi role model. I know a mindset can help to get you on that happy track, but it’s still an incredibly hard vibe to manufacture if life is constantly reminding you how cruel and unfair it can be. I did work out that the community was making it harder for me to be positive because so much of how it functions feels unjust to me so I stopped watching videos and distanced myself from lots of people and events. I know for a fact I’d be a more positive person without social media too, so in time I hope I can remove that from my life too.

Due to horrendous past relationship that taught just how cruel humans can be, and how proficient some people can be at lying, I definitely have more of a guard up that I once did. I’m now at a point where I presume people have a motive or agenda when they doing something nice, whether that’s the case or not. This is a sad attitude to have particularly because it could mean deflecting genuinely lovely people away. But I get those thoughts due to life experience. Surely no ones just nice, like I once used to be…back in the dark ages before social media andwhen emphasis wasn't on cool points and numbers. In the past I’ve had people be nice to me because of who I know, and who they can access via me. And there’s still some that slip through the net. In the last few months there’s bee a few people I’ve befriended that I thought were good eggs, but who numerous sources have informed me are the opposite. But then how do I know that the people telling you they’re not nice aren’t the issue….See these confusions are another reason why I sometimes find it easier to just completely step away from social situations.

Blogs are meant to be honest, and people say that ‘realnness’ is one of the major things they seek from the bloggers they follow. But I feel a lot of the time people want to read about vulnerability, or posts that talk about strength, growth, overcoming. I’m not sure they want to hear about the ugly sides of us, the things that still exist within us and bring out the unpleasant sides to our personalities.

What can be gained from hearing those terrible truths?

I guess it’s that whole ‘she’s ruining my vibe’ type thing. People don’t want to take on other peoples negativity because they’re probably using their energy to batt their own bad thoughts and tendencies away. So do I need to find a way of being honest and real without being bringing other people down?

This post had no real structure. It was just a spur of the moment brain fart (more like full on IBS attack) which will probably make me an even less desirable blogger.. and human. Sorry about that.

One day I hope I’ll be able to write an honest post talking about things I’m proud of. I truly hope they’ll be a day when I can brag about the stuff I’ve achieved and feel comfortable in doing so because I'll feel worthy of the public pat on the back.

I hope you’ll bear with me in the hope I’ll get there someday. In the meantime, feel free to offer tips on how I can become the better woman I want to be.



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