Category: Uncategorized

Why I went from pro-life to pro-choice

Why I went from pro-life to pro-choice

As odd as it is to think about this now, I used to be consider myself pro-life. For those of you who’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, this label I’d given myself meant that I was against abortion. My naïve reasoning for this was because in my eyes, it was wrong and I’d never have one because of this. Sixteen year old me was obviously extremely uneducated on the matter because the fact is, you never know when you might have to access an abortion. People need them for a lot of different reasons and you never know what situations you might, but hopefully will never, face in the future. The 8th amendment effects anyone who can get pregnant. Even if you still feel like there’d never be a reason you’d access abortion, that’s fine too, because that’s your own personal choice. You will never be forced to have one. But there are people forced abroad every day to access abortion, because they don’t have that choice to seek healthcare at home.

When I was pro-life I had debates with friends from school about abortion. I didn’t understand the complexity of what I was talking about and I have the social media receipts to prove it. It’s not that I wasn’t listening to anyone, but nobody was telling me the cold hard facts about it back then. It was just a bunch of teenagers who’d finished up their Junior Cert chatting amongst themselves. That was 2012, the same year that Savita Halappanavar died. That’s when my opinion started to change.repeal 2

The more people spoke about it, the more I started to educate myself and my mind changed completely. I won’t lie, what really altered my stance was seeing the devastating effects that the 8th amendment had on people that I’m close with. People I love that have been forced to travel abroad with their rapist because it was the only way they could afford and access abortion. Forced to have sex with him again the night before the abortion, because he was paying for it and that was that. He should never have been there. She should never have been put in that situation and every time I think about it I get so angry that I shake. People I love that have been forced to give fake names as their next of kin, when they end up hospitalised in England after complications with their abortion. The fear of God put into them because what they were doing was and still is illegal, terrified that their parents would find out if anything were to happen to them. Its grim, and its heavy stuff, but that’s the reality of the 8th amendment for people who have to access abortion.repeal 3

The 8th amendment does not stop abortion. People order abortion pills online every day. People travel abroad for medical and surgical abortions every day. If people can’t afford this, they do it at home the dangerous way using medication, alcohol and whatever they can get their hands on. Yes, it still happens. The 8th amendment does not stop abortion, if somebody needs one they will do whatever it takes to have one. The 8th amendment just makes it that bit more difficult for those in need.

People are forced to travel every day if their unborn baby is diagnosed with a fatal foetal abnormality. What these people have to go through is cruel and heart breaking, and exporting them abroad to access an early induction is not the answer for these cases. Some people may choose to continue on with a pregnancy after doctors have confirmed will not be viable outside of the womb, but the option needs to be there for e

arly induction too. Nobody should have to return back to Ireland without their baby, and receive their ashes by courier. Yes, this actually happens. You can read Tracey’s story about what happened when her daughter Grace was diagnosed with thanatophoric dysplasia here. 

We all know somebody who’s had cancer. But did you know that if you’re receiving cancer treatment and find yourself pregnant, that your treatment could be stopped? This because under the 8th amendment, the life of the foetus or embryo is seen as equal to the pregnant persons. So although the person who’s pregnant might have a young family at home that they need to look after, their life is still seen as equal to the embryos.

 

And sometimes, people just don’t want to be pregnant. It’s simple. A baby should not be used as a punishment for having sex. If somebody is not ready to be a parent for whatever reason, it shouldn’t be forced on them. People don’t want to be pregnant for a lot of complex reasons, and frankly it’s not our place to judge.

I’ve heard the words “But what if they regret it?” about people who need an abortion countless times. But sure, what if we regret anything we do in life? Should we not be trusted with making our own decisions? People who can get pregnant have a long history of not being trusted with their own decisions regarding reproductive healthcare in Ireland. This needs to stop, now. Vote Yes on May 25th.

If you’re interested in learning more about how the 8th amendment affects pregnant people in Ireland, head over to the In Her Shoes page on Facebook where hundreds of people have shared their anonymous story of accessing abortion.

This post was inspired by a post by Emily Donnelly, who wrote a post recently on why she went from pro-life to pro-choice. You can read it here. 

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Biphobia, bi-erasure and bisexual mental health in Ireland

Biphobia, bi-erasure and bisexual mental health in Ireland

Bisexual people have the highest risk of developing a mental illness, self-harming and considering suicide in comparison to lesbians, gay men and heterosexual people.

The LGBTIreland Report 2016, which is considered to be the largest study of LGBTI people in Ireland to date, found that 34% of participants had self-harmed, with 60% of these people saying that their self-harm was related to their LGBTI identity. Bisexual people were more likely to have self-harmed than lesbian/gay females and gay males, with 54.5% of bisexual people interviewed stating they had self-harmed at a point in their lives.

The report also found that 60% of LGBTI people had seriously thought of ending their lives, with almost half of these people considering it in the past year. 60% said that their suicidal thoughts were related to their LGBTI identity. Again, bisexual people were more likely to consider ending their own lives than lesbian/gay females and gay males, with 65.3% of bisexual people interviewed mentioning they had considered ending their life at one point. This is compared to 19.5% of gay men, and 37.4% of lesbians/gay women.

With figures so high, you’d think that this would be a difficult problem to ignore. Unfortunately in Ireland, bisexuality in general is still very much swept under the carpet. The stigma surrounding mental health issues is slowly but surely being broken down, but bisexuality is something that people still fail to understand. To tackle the problem of poor mental health in bisexual people, we need to look into why it’s happening in the first place. Why are bisexual people so much more prone to developing a mental illness, self-harming or attempting suicide? Sharon Nolan, Galway based Bi+ Ireland co-ordinator, says that there are many different factors contributing to this,

“The lack of acceptance within both gay and straight spaces for bi+ people [causes poor mental health]. Questioning the validity of their identity, slut-shaming, questioning their commitment abilities, and questioning the sheer existence of us. This leads to rejection from social spaces and internalised biphobia. The pressures of feeling that you always need to educate or defend your identity is also damaging for your mental health.”

I carried out a survey on 100 people who identified as bisexual, to see what their experiences were with biphobia, bi-erasure and mental health difficulties. The findings were as follows:

93% said they had experienced difficulties with their mental health

50% had been diagnosed with a mental illness

79% said they had experienced biphobia or bi-erasure

54% said that biphobia or bi-erasure had contributed to their mental health issues

67% had self-harmed

28% had attempted suicide

As Sharon mentioned, biphobia and bi-erasure are contributing factors to the poor mental health of bisexual people, adding to the shocking statistics above. Biphobia is the dislike or prejudice against bisexual people, and Matthew Palliser-Kehoe, a 20-year-old bisexual man from Cork says that his experience of biphobia seems to stem people being unwilling to understand what bisexuality is. The BESS (Business Economics and Social Studies) student says that there is a significant difference between homophobia and biphobia,

“There seems to be a large proportion of members of the LGBT community, along with the wider population, that are unwilling to even recognize bisexuality as a thing that exists. While homophobia is undoubtedly alive and well, there is an underlying acceptance that homosexuality exists. This contrasts with biphobia, where the most painful and most common encounter of biphobia is the denial or refusal to accept the existence of bisexuality in the first place.”

Ellen Reid-Buckley, a 23-year-old queer woman from Limerick, says that biphobia has a lot to do with erasure, “I think marriage equality hit home in assimilation culture for cis gay men especially, but cis lesbian women also gained from that representation. Bi+ and trans voices didn’t get a word in edgeways.”

Ellen, who recently graduated from UCC with a Masters in English (Irish Writing and Film) has experienced biphobia both from inside of the LGBT community and from heterosexual people. One of the more recent incidents was being called “blasphemous” by a lesbian at Dublin Pride for having a boyfriend. She has found that some members of the lesbian community have been “very sceptical or almost enraged” by the thought of a bisexual woman. However she says she most commonly experiences biphobia from cisgender straight men,

“I have been asked by many cis men how many women I’ve slept with, solicited for threesomes by strangers on Tinder because I had a bio that stated I was queer, and even filmed in nightclubs kissing women.”

Nicole* is one of many bisexual people who has suffered badly with mental health issues; she has struggled with eating disorders, self-harm and suicide attempts in the past. In 2011 when Nicole* was still in secondary school, a girl named “Layla” added her and other people in her year on Facebook. She was a blonde haired, blue eyed American girl, and instantly she zoned in on Nicole*. What Nicole* did not realise was that it was a fake account,

“After about three weeks of a joke that everyone except me was in on, Layla told me that she liked me. And I melted, I felt excited and attracted to her too. So I told her I had always felt this way toward girls, and she said that it was okay to like girls and try it out, and that we could try it together. The next day, Layla fell off the face of the earth.”

The next few days in school were hell for Nicole*, who was called a “dyke” by classmates who refused to get changed in the same room as her for PE. The next year she met her first boyfriend, and everyone forgot about her and Layla. But Nicole* never forgot,

“I didn’t ‘look or act gay’ anymore so I sailed through school relatively unscathed. The flip side of straight passing is that I lost all sense of self and identity, and fell quickly into drugs and alcohol after school.”

Nicole* also found it difficult to come out to her family, who do not believe in bisexuality, “They think its greed or confusion, but they all voted yes to marriage equality. They’re not homophobic, they love gay people but the bisexuality thing doesn’t make sense to them.”

If we aren’t going to acknowledge that bisexual people exist, it makes tackling the bigger problems like poor bisexual mental health even more difficult. We have to take it right back to the basics and examine the way we think and talk about bisexual people. Ireland can be a very one-track mind type of nation, where there is a tendency to think in binaries because that’s all we know. But with statistics as high as these, something has got to change. Sexuality is a spectrum, and there is so much more to it than simply being straight or gay.

Nicole’s* name has been changed to protect her identity

bi-erasure

Body Positivity: A Big Fat Rant

There’s this preconceived notion that women should feel bad about their bodies. It’s almost as if, no matter what you look like, you’re programmed and conditioned to hate yourself. In a room full of women, if you were to pick one who had your ideal body type, chances are she has at least three different things that she dislikes about herself, and you didn’t even notice them.system.gif

Body trends change, all the time. Remember when thin was in, and there was this huge obsession over being a size zero? Now everyone wants a tiny top half, teamed with a massive arse and toned, thick, cellulite-free legs. Then there was the big boob trend of the noughties. I remember this vividly because it was shortly after that I became a teenager and all of my friends were blessed with giant tits while I remained a solid A cup until I turned 18.

Anyways, the point is that body trends change and so do our bodies. When I moved away to college I gained two and a half stone in three months, and suddenly I had these huge boobs that I’d wished so much for. But, was I happy with my body? No I was not. Now that I was blessed in the boob department, I had other things to worry about. Is that back fat? Jesus my calves are gone awful chunky. Why are my arms so flabby? No matter what weight you are, you’re going to find problem areas.

You can’t and you won’t stay the same weight forever, it’s pretty much impossible not to fluctuate throughout different stages of your life. Comparing yourself to the way you looked when you were 17 is not realistic for anyone. Almost a year and a half ago, I lost a good chunk of weight when I started on antidepressants. When this stopped, I went through a rough patch while studying abroad so my eating got worse, and I lost more weight. At this stage, I was a teeny tiny size 8. But while I was fairly confident with my figure, I was just thin and miserable. More often than not we equate thinness to happiness, but I definitely was not happy.

And now? I have no idea what I weigh. I know that if I stepped on a weighing scale, I’d probably get really upset. I have this bracket of what an “acceptable weight” is for myself, and I just know I’m way over it at the moment. But the difference is that I’m the happiest I ever have been with my body at the moment, mainly because I’ve worked hard to change my thought process and the way I look at, talk about, and think about myself. Because I’ve spent so many years trying to change my body, and I’m tired of it.

It started with changing the way I looked at myself in the mirror. More often than not, when we look at our bodies we focus on the perceived “bad stuff” for so long that we forget there are parts that we like as well. What do you like about yourself? I like my lips, my eyes, and my tattooed legs. I like my boobs and my bum and my jawline. It’s weird to see somebody saying positive things about their body, isn’t it? We have it instilled in us from such a young age that we should hate our bodies, that listening to somebody talk about liking parts of themselves almost feels foreign to us.

 

 

 

You are not defined by your body parts. When I looked in the mirror, for a long time all I could see was my hips that were “too wide”, my stomach that was “too big” and my boobs that were “too small”. I would obsess over these things and completely overlook the fact that, hips and stomach and boobs aside, I was an actual human being and not just a body. That there was more to me than my flaws; I realised then that people see you as a whole. They’re too caught up their own insecurities to notice yours.

Other people do not notice the things you think are wrong with your body, I can guarantee you that. That girl who’s slim, toned legs you admire and compare to your own? She probably doesn’t even pay attention to her legs because she’s so fixated on the size of her nose. People are too busy obsessing over their own problem areas that they rarely notice anyone else’s. When I take a full-length photo, I often find myself staring at it for a couple of minutes. As time goes by, I notice more and more things that are wrong with myself and by the end of it I think, “Jesus, I can’t show anybody this”. But nobody else looks at you like that. Nobody scrutinises you the way that you scrutinise yourself. They don’t stare at you intently, on the lookout for your flaws and things that are wrong with you. They’re looking for the best parts of you, and more often than not it expands to more than just your body parts. Start looking for the best parts of you too.

On to clothes, sizing and the fashion industry in general. I used to get so upset if I had to go up a dress size. To the point where if I needed a new pair of jeans and the size 8 didn’t fit me, I’d leave the shop empty handed and spend my day anxiety ridden and feeling bad about myself. That or I’d buy the jeans anyways, squeeze myself into them and feel bad about myself every time I put them on. They were a reminder that I was uncomfortable with my body (mentally and physically) and that my body was not “good enough”. Even after I’d stopped torturing myself by wearing them, I’d leave them in my wardrobe in the hope that one day I’d be good enough to wear them. Every so often I’d take them out and try them on, and continue the cycle of feeling bad about my body.

I realise how fucking problematic that was now. I realised that, who the fuck cares about the size of your clothes as long as you feel comfortable in them? Now when I shop in places that are notorious for bad sizing (Penneys and H&M, I’m talking about you) I bring a range of sizes in with me when possible. In I go to the changing rooms with a size 8, 10 and 12 in hand and I buy the one that I feel the most comfortable in. Fuck squeezing myself into clothes that are too small for me.

I was making myself physically uncomfortable with my clothing choice. But why are you uncomfortable? Is it because you’re physically uncomfortable wearing something, or because society says that you can’t wear it because of your body shape? We have it instilled in us that if your problem area is your belly, you shouldn’t wear tight skirts or crop tops. But who ACTUALLY says that? Who makes these stupid rules? Are people with this body type supposed to go around in loose bin bag type attire, slim arms and legs hanging out at each side? Fuck that. Challenge these views. Know that you look great, and feel great in your crop top whether you’re a size 10 or a size 18.

If you really don’t feel comfortable wearing clothes that are “not suited to” your body shape, that’s cool too. It’s only recently that I’ve started to feel okay wearing certain styles of clothes. I used to have a wardrobe full of clothes that made me feel bad about myself, not just the jeans I was squeezing myself into. Then one day I decided I was sick of it.

I took everything I owned out of my wardrobe and made a decision. I was getting rid of EVERYTHING that made me feel bad about myself when I put it on. Didn’t matter how nice it was, how expensive it was, or the potential I had to look good in it someday. If I didn’t feel confident wearing it now, it was gone. I also got rid of anything that was too small for me, or that I hadn’t worn in the past two months. No excuses, if I wasn’t wearing it now I was never going to wear it. I got rid of well over half my wardrobe that day, it was scary.

But with all this extra wardrobe space, I was forced to rethink the type of clothes that I actually wanted to wear. My fashion sense and style changed completely after that, because I stopped dressing the way that I felt society expected me to dress and started to wear whatever the fuck I wanted to. Getting changed out of my pyjamas used to feel like such a task for me; I hated my body and on top of that I just didn’t feel confident in my clothes. Once I’d bought a couple of new things that felt more like “me”, that task started getting a lot easier. And updating your wardrobe doesn’t have to be expensive either, I did it gradually and found bits and pieces in charity shops. That said, it’s also nice to save a bit of your wages every week and treat yourself.

If your attitude to clothing is, “I can’t pull this off” I can tell you now that you’re wrong. Realistically, you can pull anything off; you just have to have the confidence to do it. Next time you see a girl and compare your problem areas to hers, i.e. “she has such clear skin and my acne is awful”, compliment her instead of making a comparison and feeling bad about yourself. I can guarantee you that she has insecurities too, and you might just make her day.

And by the way, everyone looks weird naked so stop stressing over that.

 

*Disclaimer: I know that, at a size 10, it’s very easy for me to preach about body positivity. But we all have things we dislike about our bodies, and that’s what I’m trying to highlight. I’m a firm believer that you deserve to be happy with your body no matter what size you are. If you’re sick of hating your body, I’d recommend following @bodyposipanda on Instagram. Her posts completely changed the way I viewed myself, and I’m in the process of reading her book “Body Positive Power” which can be bought here.

bodd

Sometimes all you have, is you.

Sometimes all you have, is you.

August 30th, 2017

Next month will be a year since I came out.

A year and a half since I came out to myself, to some of my closest friends.

A year since a relationship that taught me so much about myself, so much that I thought I’d die without figuring out.

It had never seemed clear before.

I never thought I’d allow myself to get to this place.

A year since I first experienced what it really felt like, to be so full of appreciation for someone, for the life I’d chosen to live, that I was blissfully unaware of the rest of the world.

I chose this life.

It was me.

I did it myself.

I decided that my life had to change.

I decided that I had to put my happiness first.

In doing that I risked everything; my stable yet unfulfilling life was turning upside down, rattling.

An aura of self-confidence surrounds my every move now,

Because one year ago my confidence was all I could rely on.

The harsh reality that you might lose the ones you love does that to you, creates this shield.

Some may try to knock you down and you have to be sure of yourself,

And if they walk away you need someone. And that someone, sometimes all you have, is you.

Throughout it all I was glad I had a hand to hold,

I thought I’d continue to watch this link unfold,

But it stopped. I didn’t expect it to stop.

And I thought I would stop too, but I didn’t.

This was the moment I’d anticipated, but not when I’d expected it.

Sometimes all you have, is you.

But that’s life.

The world keeps spinning and life doesn’t stop for anyone.

I had to learn to appreciate it.

When you experience the highs, sometimes you have to face the lows.

And I’m grateful for that.

If I didn’t experience the ups and the downs of coming out,

Then where would I be?

Sitting at the bottom of my bed, asking myself again,

“What do you feel?”

“Nothing. Emptiness.”

I don’t look back on my journey with sadness,

I’m fucking proud of myself.

Of the person that I’ve become,

Finally able to say that I’m gay and smiling,

Not curled up in a ball in my bed, through choked up tears and a pounding head and a pain in my heart because I can’t face my life in this lie that I’m living.

It still feels surreal.

Almost one year on, and a lot has changed.

Acceptance has come my way,

Slowly but at the same time, faster than I had ever imagined.

To hear that one of my favourite people said,

“Promise me one thing; that you’ll never turn your back on her.”

When they were who I most feared would turn their back on me,

Well it makes everything worthwhile.

I’ll always be grateful for the life I have now,

That I fought so hard for.

I will always appreciate my journey.

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To feel something

Three minutes had gone by, I know because I’d been staring at my watch. Three minutes of awkward, stiff cuddling that just didn’t feel right. Three minutes of one-sided chit chat about college. “Well then, I’m gonna head home,” He said, picking his keys and passport up off the floor and swishing his hair back and forth, “I’ll see you again.” He flashed a smile and gave a quick nod and out the door he went. I sat up on the edge of the bed, and all I could think was, “Hopefully not.”

I sat there for a while that day, I wanted to give myself time to think. I was sick of this; the same old, same old. For the first time in a long time, I actually stopped and asked myself, what do you feel?

Nothing.

Emptiness.

The lack of emotion was frightening of course, but it wasn’t something I was unfamiliar with. I just chose not to notice it, I thought I could go on without it having an impact on my life. It did.

I thought this emotionless, rock of a human was just who I was. For a long time, I thought I wasn’t capable of feeling anything at all. “It’s probably just my anxiety,” I thought, or “Maybe I could be depressed.” Possibly, but no. I just wasn’t being true to myself.

Maybe I should have realised that I couldn’t keep up this act of content, but if you act out the same scene for long enough, you sometimes forget it isn’t real. It becomes a part of you, an alien part maybe, but you stop questioning it. You just start to accept it, or at least try to.

I asked myself what it was that I really wanted that day, and was mildly shocked and partly upset at my brain’s initial response. That first thought led to another, which led to another, and another. About something I’d always known to be there, but always known I could suppress. There was no suppressing it anymore.

From a very young age, I’d told myself, “This is not something you can entertain.” But something inside of me changed that day. I was sick of hiding. I was sick of being afraid. I was sick of battling with myself. I just wanted to feel something, anything, again.

I stopped doing what I felt like I should do, and started doing what I wanted to do. I stopped trying to be what people expected of me, instead focusing on being the real me. I won’t lie, there were times where I backtracked. Many “I can’t do this” moments, and I wasn’t the only one getting hurt this time.

But every time I tried to stop myself, I got more and more drawn in. There was always something pulling me back. What was it? I was unsure. I was unsure of everything, in a short few weeks it felt as though my whole life was being turned upside down. And one day, I realised what it was.

Happiness.

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Just Friends

Writing doesn’t help me to evaluate or figure out my problems. You’d think it would, since I’m training to be a journalist and all, but really that’s not the case. I’ve known this since I started writing about my life ten years ago, when I kept a diary full of all the things that were bothering me. But it didn’t stop me from attempting to silence my thoughts with a pen and paper again last week.

Here in the University of Limerick, we have what’s known as the Living Bridge, I lived right beside it last year. The seats along the side are severely uncomfortable and often soaking wet, but at night time it lights up in a rainbow of colours. There’s something about sitting on that bridge that always manages to calm me down, and clear my head, I spent a lot of time there last year. I think it’s the sound of the water, it reminds me of home.

I hadn’t been there for a while. In fact, I hadn’t been there since this time last year. But last week I felt the urge to go back, I thought I needed something. I thought maybe it was space or fresh air, but I really wasn’t sure. I just felt like sitting there might help me feel better. Unfortunately for me though, it didn’t. This event ended in me scribbling down my thoughts on a piece of paper, ripping it out of my diary and throwing it in a ball on the floor. However I proceeded to pick this piece of paper up; if anyone read what I’d written they’d probably laugh hysterically and plus, I’m not a litter bug.

The realisation that came over me that day is that for once in my life, I’m not looking for a solution to my problem; I’m trying to figure out how to best deal with the solution I’ve been given. As a journalist, you’re trained to always ask more questions, to seek better answers, to always look for more. On top of that, my anxiety always has me exploring other avenues, even if I don’t want to. I can never just “be”.

What’s worse than not knowing where you stand, is knowing exactly where you stand and not being able to do anything about it. I was under the allusion for a long time that I was made of stone, but after challenging this I learned that it really wasn’t the case. The thing that always got me through the rocky periods was the idea that I was in control of my own happiness. Even when I was feeling down, I was in control and I could fix this. When I let somebody else put a smile on my face and make me laugh, I’d let my guard down; I didn’t know that I’d find it so hard to deal with the consequences.

I had this idea in my head that I’d end up falling in love with the next guy who so much as looked at me. This definitely was not the case, and I’m not sure if it’s a positive or negative thing. Two weeks ago, I had a guy kiss me on the forehead for the first time in a long time. And honestly, all I felt like doing was head-butting him. Sorry. I thought I’d have turned into a huge ball of feelings, when really I’m the opposite, I couldn’t care less. I keep making comparisons and although I want to stop, I can’t.

I’m guessing that people are sick of me talking about this, and that’s why I’ve finally succumbed to writing down my thoughts. I know that writing never helped me to solve my problems, but maybe it can help me accept the solution. This world is alien to me, I’m not used to feeling this way or being in these situations, I don’t know what to do with this. It’s hard to stay friends with somebody you feel something for, when you know that they don’t feel the same way.

I only began to think of this a few days ago when my housemate said to me, “It must be really hard for you to stay friends with him.” That’s the first time I actually stopped and thought, “Yes, this is really difficult.” But when you’re that attracted to somebodies personality, you don’t want to cut ties. So you stop what you were doing before somebody gets hurt and you end up ruining your friendship. I wasn’t meant to be hurting now; believe me, I’m beating myself up over it.

I know that you can’t change somebodies mind about you, or change how they feel about you, and I haven’t tried to. I tried to silently deal with the solution I’m faced with all semester, in the hope that eventually, any thoughts or feelings I had would vanish. They haven’t, and this has been a struggle for me.

You start every week with a “fuck it” attitude, and by two o’clock on Tuesday you’ve gotten a snapchat that makes your face light up. Being greeted with a smile, a hug and a kiss on the cheek shouldn’t affect you, but it does. It’s hard being in the same nightclub as somebody you feel something towards, knowing they’re with somebody else and you’re just, there. It’s just a feeling of inadequacy really, because you know they could have you if they wanted you, but they don’t. There’s nothing you can do, because you’re just friends.

My housemates question the other day really made me wonder why I continued to maintain this friendship when it was so hard for me, and as this semester draws to a close I’m wondering what to do next. In one sense, I’m happy that I’ll be moving to Manchester for a few months. I’ll have the opportunity to meet new people, and focus on other things. I can’t help but wonder if my mind will still be wandering elsewhere though.

There’s a part of me that wants to cut things off completely, but I’ve tried it before and it didn’t work. I could just quit while I’m ahead, but as I said, I’m curious. I always have more questions to the answers I’m provided with, I want to figure out why I invest my time in these things. I can never just “be”.

Getting over him, when he wasn’t even yours in the first place

Getting over someone can be a pain in the ass. We don’t want to do it, but we know that we have to. We can’t just sit around and be sad about some guy for the rest of our lives/semester – time is ticking and those 12 weeks of college fly by pretty quickly. It’s pretty commonplace in college, you’ve been “casually” seeing someone (see what this entails here) for a little while and then it all goes downhill, rapidly, sort of like a landslide. Maybe he went off with someone else, maybe he told you he didn’t like you, or maybe he just flat out ghosted you. I’m going to put my passive aggression away for this post, I promise.  get3

Whatever happened, you need to realise that it’s over now, life goes on and there’s no point sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. Ask yourself, will it matter in ten years? The answer will probably be no, and if that’s the case, here’s a guide to getting over a guy that was never really yours in the first place.

Step one is to realise that there’s nothing wrong with you. Even if he didn’t hit you up with the age old “It’s not you, it’s me” thing, take it into your own hands to apply it to the situation. Maybe he just didn’t want a relationship, or maybe you just weren’t his cup of tea. That can be a hard one to swallow, but do you fall in love with every guy you come into contact with? Yeah, it’s probably the same for him. We all have our preferences, and you should never change yourself for anybody.

Step two is to avoid being a hermit. Stop lurking around your room all alone for the dget4ay, it’s not helping anyone. You should probably change out of your pyjamas too. Get out there and do something, even putting on a bit of makeup is going to help you feel better about yourself. Personally, I like to head to the gym to blow off steam. Nothing like sweating out your frustrations on a treadmill while listening to Taylor Swift remixes. No, I’m not crying, I’m just sweating I swear.

Step three is to get back in the game. Whatever was going on between you two wasn’t serious, so you can thank God that you don’t have to endure the guessing game of when is considered appropriate to move on. Go out with your friends, drink tequila, throw some eyes across the dancefloor to guys that look attractive now but won’t the next day. “Why did you let me shift him?” is always a nice distraction topic with the housemates…

And step four is for when you’re out and about and have overindulged in the three Jagerbombs for a tenner deal. Delete his number, block him on snapchat, break your phone, cut off your hands, whatever. Just please God, do not contact him when you’re drunk. You’re only going to get a bad response, or even worse, no response at alget5l. Before you know it you’re stumbling home, reply-less phone in hand and banging down your door because you’ve lost your keys. When the door is eventually opened by your sleepy housemate you’ll be roaring “I HATE ALL MALES!” and storming up the stairs to ball your eyes out crying. All because he didn’t reply, because it’s 3am and he was probably asleep. Avoid the hassle, don’t text him.

Step five is to apply an inspirational quote to the situation. I’m a big fan of this one, and I like to use “What will be, will be” on the regular, an example being when I’ve ordered pizza for the third time in one week. Anyways, never a failure, always a lesson is a firm favourite of mine when it comes to this shit. Everything happens for a reason, learn from what went wrong this time. You’ll probably realise exactly what you don’t want from a guy in the future.

And finally, step six is to stick to your guns. It could be smugweeks or it could be months, but you never know when they might chance their luck with you again. If it didn’t work out the first time, there’s a reason. And I promise you, waking up feeling smug because you turned them down is better than the sea of regret you’ll be swimming in if you go back to them. Even if you change your mind by the end of the night, when you mutter “I think I want to shift John” under your breath and your housemate has to drag you home by your hair, you still managed to keep away and that’s the main thing. Go you!

So buck up and move on Princess, you’re going to have to go through a lot of frogs before you find your Prince. Why waste your college years crying about boys that don’t like you?