It sometimes seems as though the art of listening, or at least really listening, is a dying art.

I know what they’re all thinking. People are worried and concerned with how I’ve been living life. But here’s the thing…they all want to sit there and lecture me about what’s right and wrong, what I should and shouldn’t be doing.

Listen. Just listen.

That’s all a person really needs is someone to listen to them from time to time. But in today’s world, everyone is so quick to tell someone what to do and how to do it. No one wants to listen anymore…they just want to hear their own voice over yours.

I missed work on Sunday. I missed one day of work and because my manager couldn’t reach me (thanks dad for suspending my phone) she had to call my emergency contact… My dad. Of course my dad calls his best friends to make sure that I’m okay. To make sure that they’ve talked to me recently and made sure that I’m eating….blah blah blah. Fake concern…I know it’s fake coming from him.

But do any of them know why I missed work though? No. They don’t because no one bothered to ask me if I was okay or even why I missed work. I missed work because I was sleeping. That’s it. Sounds innocent at first. Two days I spent sleeping almost straight. My body was dead to the world for about forty-eight hours. Not because I’ve been going out on the weekends and being ‘crazy’. No…I slept because my mind and body are physically and emotionally drained. Stress will do that to you. Stress did that to me…it’s still currently doing it to me. It’s written all over my face and yet no one cares to notice.

I think that when I do tell people I’m beyond stressed, they don’t believe me. They don’t believe that a twenty-one year old could possibly be that stressed. Stress doesn’t discriminate on age or any other factor. In all honesty, I’m pretty sure that I’ve been continuously stressed since I was in high school. I could list all of the reasons why I’m stressed and It’d be a pretty lengthy list.

It’s as if the world just keeps dumping more and more things on my shoulders. Right when I think that I’ve got everything under control, the universe laughs and says “just kidding” and throws more things at me to handle…somehow. To be honest, it’s gotten to the point where I just don’t know what to do anymore. So what have I been doing lately to deal with it? I get all dressed up and go out with my friends. Though I hardly spend my own money because I need to save money…gotta be smart still. Instead I rely on the thirsty men to purchase my drinks. And for those few hours everything seems to be okay. In those carefree hours of the night/early morning I can truly let loose and do whatever I want…be whoever I want to be. I’m not strapped down by stress or anything and anyone else.

It’s not healthy…I’m aware of that. I wake up in the morning and beat myself up about it most times. I fight with myself in my head.

Why the hell did you take seven shots of tequila that night?

And I’ll simply defend my actions by telling myself that I just need to own it. Who cares if you took too many shots the other night? Who’s business is it that you slept with that guy the other night? No one’s but mine. Yet people still see this behavior and want to shame me for it. No one cares to know what’s going on inside my mind…people simply don’t care enough.

My family thinks that I’m some crazy alcoholic or something. I’m not. Truly I’m not. I don’t rely on alcohol to get up in the morning or to go to bed at night. I don’t use it to deal with my problems…or really ignore my problems. I drink when I’m out with friends and just for a little bit to not have to worry about certain things. When I’m not drinking, which is often might I add, I’m continuously trying to solve my problems for the day. I’m trying to resolve all of these stressful issues little by little.

No one wants to see this behavior though. They don’t want to see me actively trying to better my various situations. They don’t see me donating plasma every two days just to come up with extra money to help pay $500 a month that my dad is demanding from me. Instead they just see the ‘bad’…that’s all they truly want to see.

I’ve accepted that this is my life for now…but it doesn’t mean that I’ve accepted that this is how my life is going to be forever. Deep down I know that I’m a strong person and that I’ll get through this….it’s just a matter of time and keeping positive.

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