Therapy kicked my ass this evening and has lead me to write this post, and I have been wanting to say something since Birdfair in August but I have had no ideas as to what to say.
I was a bit of a mess at Birdfair to be honest, quite insecure, paranoid, afraid of interactions and feeling isolated from the conservation and wildlife community. I also learnt a few things that made me feel a little let down and quite sad, especially as I have always tried to do the right thing.
I suppose I am also kind of writing an apology, an kind of apology if I have ever been a little too harsh, a tad heartless, not quite in tune with my emotions, or with the emotions of a situation, or just a bit critical (sometimes I come across the wrong way when my heart is in the right place).
I learnt tonight that emotionally I struggle, I really struggle. I am able to describe and explain how I feel but not actually feel what I feel. It is just a defence mechanism I have built over so many years after being used to pain and hurt and I now treat this as the norm. I genuinely believe I am worthless deep down and this also means I dismiss any acknowledgement that people may actually have time for me or actually care about me. Acknowledging that I am worth something is bloody tough.
Also, I have high demands, and I mean ridiculously high demands of myself, which I then unknowingly portray onto other people. I do this as I am looking for some kind of perfection to find comfort, comfort from the loneliness and failure I feel, and then I unknowlingly criticise others for not aiming for this perfection. This can be really amplified towards other conservation professionals because I care so damn much, but I think I am also possibly burning bridges, which I have never wanted to do.
I suppose I am writing this as this is my own recovery, well the starting process. I started to write about my mental health about 5 years ago now and I now feel a kind of duty to document this to the end.
So to my family, friends, mates, colleagues and everyone else I have had the pleasure of meeting, please know that this is me and that if one day I am little off, a little distant, a little out there, it is because my mind is giving me hell and deep inside all I want is a hug and to be told that everything will be okay, because I really hope that it will be.