Cherry Wine

I keep trying to write about this one thing, this one aspect of life, and every time I run out of words or feel as though the post is too angry, or pointless, or just a moan. But I keep, keep coming back to it. So apologies if this is poor quality, but it’s going to have to happen at some point.

It’s about growing up, and realising just how much pain there is in the world. I don’t mean third world countries, or conflict countries, or even poverty on the streets around us. I mean pain that we all feel. The pain that doesn’t come with statistics, or charitable support, or Christmas singles.

And whilst I don’t mean to be patronising, I really don’t think that the majority of us understand or even experience that pain and suffering until we’re at an age old enough where it can happen to us. I think that’s because – and this is totally OK – when we’re young, we’re very preoccupied with things which we think are the be all and end all of life on Earth, but which we actually lose sight of over time. There will come a moment when we get to hear all the ins and outs of the bombshell that has just hit, not the watered-down version that the kids get. Where we don’t only know about it, but we have to act on it; we do the crisis talks, we do the driving to hospital, we help sort out the legal papers.

It’s so hard. So, so hard. There is lots of being angry and frustrated, lots of feeling alone, lots of being sick of lots of clichés. I fucking hate clichés. When somebody comes to me with a problem, I always strive to give it to them straight. If it’s a shit situation, I’m telling them it’s a shit situation and that there is going to be a lot of hurt. And to let it hurt. If you don’t, it’ll come back around and you’ll go out your fucking mind.

But whatever advice you give or receive, nobody ever knows really how to deal with these situations. There is no guidebook that you can refer to: page 25, divorce of my parents after 30 years of what we all thought was a happy marriage. Page 13, my sister’s gone off the rails. Page 7, my mum is dying. There are no prescribed solutions, because none of these problems or the people going through them are ever exactly the same.

I think the best way, though, is to just accept them for what they are. To never be alone. To talk – but don’t seek attention. That’s counterproductive. Because whilst a lot of the time it will feel like nobody has ever gone through what you’re going through, that’s not true. Just because people don’t publicise their problems all of the time, that does not mean that they don’t exist. That doesn’t mean they won’t offer a shoulder to cry on, or a cup of tea, or a completely random conversation to get your mind off the subject.

And what is ever more evident to me is the sheer strength of the human race, becoming obvious as people confide in me, as I read real-life stories (most of the time on the Humans of New York Facebook page – give it a read if you haven’t already. Kleenex at the ready), as I go through testing situations myself. We all have this weird shock mechanism that allows us to remain focussed on a million important things – studies, work, our family, bills, our health, anything – whilst providing support to those around us that are suffering, and whose suffering directly affects us.

Like I said, it is so tough. And it’s OK to accept that. To have the breakdown days that I know you’ve all had – the duvet days, the fuck the world days, the this is SO not fair days. I know. Ditto.

But keep pushing through, because you have somebody that needs you to do that. You have somebody that wants you to achieve everything that you can achieve, and that is on the edge of their seat, waiting for you to get there so that they can scream from the rooftops about how proud they are of you. Just keep going. Keep supporting. Keep being the voice of reason, keep refusing to dish out the clichés. Keep having the shit days, keep being thankful for the good days. Keep working. Keep revising. Keep going.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”
– A. A. Milne

  • Naomi

    I am currently having one of these type of days. In fact I feel like I’ve been having a shit month. Firstly I feel shit for calling it shit – my life is good. I have health, I live in the UK, I’m doing a masters, I have family and friends, I’m not ugly – I feel so guilty for not being grateful when my life is blessed already and there are so many people who go through real suffering. So why aren’t I stronger and more grateful? That’s what I keep saying to myself and I think that’s what keeps me feeling in this low place that I seem to find myself in every single morning. It’s a struggle to remain positive but reading your post reminded me everyone goes through problems, hence why I feel able to share this with you.

    I just wanted to ask you a question – how do you unlearn everything you’ve learnt in the past? A lot of my demons come from past situations. For example I’ve had numerous shit situationships with guys. in currently seeing a guy who is nothing like any of the guys I’ve been with. I can’t stop being paranoid though, taking little signs such as him not messaging me often as a sign he’s not interested when deep down I know it’s his job. How do you stop that past affecting you in your opinion/ experience?

    Sorry for the long comment! Bon week-end!

    • Charlotte Morris

      Hi my love,

      Thank you for reading, and for trusting me with this. I’m humbled. I can’t promise I’ll give you the strength you need but I will try…

      Firstly, you’re right. Everybody has problems. Just because some of them are more urgent, or come with a bigger stigma than others, it doesn’t mean any of us deserve any less empathy or room to breathe (and/or scream, cry and refuse to eat anything other than ice cream for a week) than anybody else. I hope that’s what you’ve gathered from the above post. Without knowing (and please don’t feel obliged to share) what your issues are it’s hard to put a finger on how to deal with them, but deal with them you shall. If the past week or so has taught me anything it’s the sheer strength of us humans. We all have it inside. It’s just a case of perspective. I can’t reiterate that enough. The problem is always going to be there – it’s just how you look at it. Take a simple analogy of a maths problem; remember at school when you had a seemingly unsolvable algebra question that nobody understood, and then the teacher gave you the solution and it all became clear? And you learnt to apply that formula to every problem that followed? You need to do that with your current situation. It’s easier than it sounds.

      Which brings me on to your question – how do I unlearn things? I don’t. Never. People that say “never have regrets” are lying to themselves. We all do. We all feel guilty of something, we all wish we had taken a chance somewhere, so on and so forth… The important thing is that you face those regrets – in your case, your demons – head on. Time to stop brushing them under the carpet. Time to be a big girl.

      And then stop. Look at yourself. Look at where you are in spite of these demons, in spite of these past regrets (and it sounds like you are one hell of a woman). Doesn’t that put them into perspective? Doesn’t it make them seem so insignificant? Doesn’t it make you feel STRONG?

      Relationships are all different and again, without knowing all the ins and outs I can’t give you proper advice on how to essentially stop being a paranoid weirdo. But perspective is key. So is reciprocity. Every time you can’t message him back straight away, would it be fair for him to assume you’re out with a guy, or falling out of love? Hell no. Putting the shoe on the other foot always helps me.

      Again it’s difficult to really help knowing so little but I promise you, you are strong. You are brave.

      J Cole once said, “Take the time to look behind and say look where I came… Look how far I done came…”

      Perspective baby girl.