25 – My Overthinking Shenanigans [Mental Health Awareness Week]

Being the last day of mental health awareness week, I am sharing a spoken word poem I performed at my first ever open mic 4 years ago. I was referred to see a psychotherapist prior to starting 6th Form back in 2013 because my thinking patterns severely impacted every single wrong or right doing I committed in everyday life. Overthinking dominated my reasoning, my perceptions about myself, my friends and the world around me. It negatively impacted my thoughts and tricked me into not doing things even when I wanted to. This poem is a very personal one, but I know it could resonate with other people going through something similar. Thankfully I do not feel like what is written down below – most of the time – because overthinking is  a challenge I face daily. But I have been blessed with people who have gave me the courage and determination to overcome this. I am – and probably will always be – a work in progress, but the love and support of old and current friends, my family and my psychotherapist surely made this process easier. If you’re going through anything similar and wish to seek help, I am not talk to someone trustworthy and/or seek help! Whether you’re diagnosed or not diagnosed with a mental health disorder, we all have moments were we feel way below rock bottom, and we would need someone to help us dig ourselves out of the rubble. And I know it’s a hard step to go seek help but it’s so worth it – because you are worth it! I have left some links below for Maltese readers if they wish to seek further help! Happy Reading xx 


People might assume that stopping over-thinking is just as easy
as pulling the fragile roots of a small flower from healthy soil.
But these thoughts are large thick deep roots which crawl as they toil through your head
branching out of earth from a stale heavy grounded mind.
They tie you and lock you down

whipping you stabbing you till you feel nothing, without feeling your own blood
escape from your veins, your true colours are now spilled out of your soul,
ending up with nothing but the dirty scum of your own pain taking over your numb heart.
Your lungs are filling up with the pressure of anxiety as it suffocates you so much you can’t even breathe fresh air because you feel choked up in guilt and resentment
The words stuck in your throat try their best to surface your tongue but your tongue feels so much pain it has lost how to explain these words you would die to say.
Your hands are nothing but bony sticks which long to be held by someone special
but that someone special will never arrive you say
you’re worthless you say
you’re way behind everyone else you say
you’re an ugly selfish brat you say
you’re hopeless you say
you can never do this you say
you’re always wrong you say
why am I doing this I tell myself
why can’t I stop these parasites from eating my dead functioning brain I tell myself
act upon it I tell myself
stop crying
stop being a drama queen
stop being a baby
stop crying
stop all this nonsense
but I can’t
STOP!

As my eyes continue to deaden out of tears
I look at my reflection. All I see is nothing but the fears
of a bruised boy looking girl staring back at me, without knowing what I want in my life
without knowing what to do in order to survive this permanent trap.
yes I know that by not helping myself no one will
yes I know that by being scared about everything won’t solve this
that giving a damn about every stupid thing will destroy me eventually
and yes I know that by over-thinking about how to stop this over-thinking won’t help either.
But tell me how can you have a fraction of hope when you believe that you’re good for nothing
when you find it very hard to accept all the positive remarks that people give you and keep the bad ones instead –
when even the greatest person in the world can come up to you and tell you that you’re the most amazing beautiful human being the entire universe has ever witnessed – and yet the reflection you see is a joke so hilarious it is now dead of laughter.

So next time you pass by, don’t be surprised if I reject you
it’s not because I want you to leave in the first place
but I’m actually protecting you from the horrible mess that is me. Marilyn.
And I know you will try your best to cut through these roots so you could have a taste of who I am.
But I won’t let you because I know that you all you will be tasting is poisoned bitterness
running through these roots which bruised my own hands, stung my stoned eyes and embarrassed my weak heart.
And I feel so bad that I’d rather spend eternity living in this damned world on my own
than see you spend a day here, because I don’t want to see you try so hard to pass through these roots so that eventually you’ll get bruised yourself. I care too much for you to see you get hurt for someone like me.

I am not worth the suffering of anyone in this world, let alone your own pain.
I will not be happy and no one will gain if you do so
because no one can save me.
Not even I am able to.
At least: that’s what I think.

16th April, 2014


Links of available services in Malta 

24 – It’s going to be worth it [a pep talk]

hey Mer,

it’s been a hard month so far – or well, saying it was a hard month is an understatement because it has been a hard scholastic year in general for you and your friends to go through. and the unfortunate thing is, now that you’re nearing the end of your degree, you are doing everything to procrastinate (well… why am i writing this in the first place? it’s not the point) … i am here to tell you that it’s going to be worth it!

yes, you read correctly, it is going to be worth it. and no matter how much you beat yourself up for not working hard throughout the year, guess what?! you do work hard – yes, you have a high tendency to leave everything up to the last minute, but you still give your best shot in that last minute in which you’d be highly freaking out. you’ve come a long way, and in 24 days you will be submitting your dissertation – and i know it would mean the world to you to get the best grade you can possibly can – and guess what?! you do deserve to get that good grade no matter what your brain tells you to do! Remember to do all things through Christ (Phillippians, 4:13), and believe in yourself because you are capable to do wonders. it’s not going to be plain sailing – you should know this by now – but it’s part of the journey, and this is nothing compared to what you’ve been through all your life. now go analyse that transcript you’ve been dreading all weekend to finalize!

hang in there – you got this 🙂
much love,

Marilyn xxxx


23 – Theatre’s Role in Shaping Lives

     World Theatre Day was celebrated yesterday, and I thought of this quote by Marina Abramović from her memoir: 

“When I was young it was impossible for me to talk to people. Now I can stand in front of three thousand people without any notes, any preconception of what I’m going to say, even without visual material, and I can look at everyone in the audience and talk for two hours easily. What happened? Art happened.” 

     Maybe this quote does not refer to theatre, but I consider theatre to be art. This quote resonates with me a lot. I recall a 7 year old me playing Grizabella and performing her first solo in a medley of CATS. I recall the same 7 year old girl performing with her drama classmates “Family Portrait” by P!nk, probably the first song that ever resonated with me. I recall a 12 year old girl who became more sociable with her school friends after taking part in a Prize day production of Sister Act. I recall a 13 year old finding refuge in a play after losing a group of best friends and a 16 year old me got to take part in a 6th form theatre festival with a devised piece about immigration. 18 year old me fell on stage while kneeling in one patomime show and her shoe flew during another pantomime show, but I got to dress up as a ghoulie, a pirate and a sailor for 19 shows throughout Christmas Season. The same 18 year old then got to cut off tap dancing from her bucket list and got to do it in Students Fest. 19 year old me formed part of an all female ensemble in a play about the repercussions of cyber bullying. And throughout those years, many people and artists were encountered: some I even look up to up to this day! 
 
     Taking part in productions became more stressful for me,  and it’s partly the reason I refrained from taking part in them. But moments like these remind me of the role theatre (and arts) played in shaping who I am, because if not I would be probably shy, reserved, unapproachable – and definitely not myself! I am currently writing a dissertation on how arts can possibly play a role in offender rehabilitation, and I am using this post as a personal motivator and reminder that all arts, including theatre, are important and have the potential to change people’s lives – and I hope to show it in my research project! So to my fellow thespian friends, and those who pursued a career in theatre – I admire your artistry and your perseverance to achieve your dreams. Thank you for creating and making theatre exist! 

22 – The Dread of Finishing University

     I have ended up writing another blog post, leaving the pile of workload adding up. Yes, I’m supposed to be writing my dissertation with hopes of finishing it in a month’s time. Yes, I’m supposed to be studying my study units for the final exams. But let me bare to you that I am NOT looking forward to finishing university. At all. 

     Yes, although I am at possibly the worst state of mind with all the work I still need to do and subconsciously and supposedly looking forward to the day that I will complete it, I am envisioning a day in June where I will feel devastated after finishing writing my last exam paper. That’s how I felt after finishing my last exam in January: a deep sadness and emptiness which led me to cry my eyes out for the rest of the evening. And I wouldn’t be surprised if I do the same next June. 

     University is a very stressful experience. You see the work always increasing and your motivation to complete that work falls short. Some lecturers appear sinister as you think they want you to experience university the harder way. But even in these times of stress, especially during exam period, I have experienced nothing but the greatest memories with my close friends. Yes, most of the time we’d be out of our minds saying and doing absurd things. And at the moment, we are all sinking in our own pile of dump and trying out best to help each other to stay above it. But that’s what true friendship is all about: swimming through rough seas and pulling each other through, while creating beautiful memories out of muttering lame puns and saying stupid jokes. It’s about being vulnerable to each other even though you have no clue how to help each other. It’s about laughing and crying together. And coming June, I know we will diverge paths and God knows where He will take us. And I will not get to see them to express how uncertain I am of my future. And we will not have frequent jamming sessions together and end up using different utensils as instruments. And we will meet new people and make new friends… and we might forget each other. Yes it might seem petty to cry over not seeing your friends after finishing university, but when you finally got to have true friends who stuck with you like jellyfish throughout the whole 3 years of sailing through the rough seas of university, it is hard to let them go.

     I know this truly sounds like a pessimistic post, and I honestly don’t know how to see the positive side of this. I wish I could be more optimistic. But we all are supposed to think that finishing University is liberating, and yes it could be for some. But no one mentions the loneliness and uncertainty that I’m sure I will get to experience furthermore upon coming out of the exam room for the last time. Change is inevitable, and although it’s not so devastating as my mind is making it up, I know that it will have its downs. And I feel that no one seems to prepare you for that. 


 

21 – The true meaning of friendship

     It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post: final year has been quite a roller coaster indeed! But it doesn’t stop life from happening, now does it ?! 💁

     Apart from the endless amount of workload I have piling up, the notion of friendship has been boggling my mind recently. Growing up, I always thought that self-disclosure was significant in friendship. Apart from trust being essential for it to succeed, I considered being trusted with someone’s secrets or problems is precious – and rewarding, because out of anyone, they chose to trust you – and that is something special! In fact, when my friends don’t confide in me, I usually think there is something wrong with me: Am I not trustworthy enough?! Are other people better at tackling problems over me?! Why don’t people approach me when they are not going through the best of times?!

     These are the questions which race through my mind when my friends aren’t honest with how they are feeling; when I would know they are not feeling great but still choose to pull out their best smile and tell me they’re doing okay. And yes, it does sting me, especially when someone’s friendship means a lot to me. I’d expect my friends to confide in me when I blindly show them my “ugly side”. But I should know that friendship isn’t only that! It’s a complex mixture of so many wonderful things: finding common joys together, laughter, creating beautiful memories together! 

     Maybe my purpose as a friend is to tell them a stupid joke in order to distract them from hardships for a while. Maybe my purpose it is to remind them of their worthiness and their talents when they don’t tell me they are feeling at their lowest. Maybe my friends don’t want to trust me, but it shouldn’t stop me from showing them my support! 

     It’s going to take a while to get used to this thinking style, but I guess writing this is hopefully a start. May we all be the type of friends who don’t expect anything in order to love someone! Happy reading xx


20 – 2017 [I made it]

I am writing this on a underground tube in London – or more likely, somewhere I definitely didn’t envision myself to be a year ago while standing next to a skate-park waiting for my friend to go to a house party for new year celebrations.

To say 2017 was the best year so far would be a lie. But I’m thankful for it nevertheless. I am thankful for the emotional pain it brought about as it challenged me to grow. I am thankful for getting through heartbreak and finally moving on to focusing on myself, even though I haven’t fully figured out how that works out. I am thankful for the opportunities that gave me the chance to express myself creatively, and for rediscovering old passions and exploring new ones. I am thankful for finally letting go of toxic people I found hard to lose a year ago, as it allowed me to let new and better people in. I am thankful for friends (old and new) and family who stuck by my side throughout and who still do. I am thankful for those who believed in me. I am thankful for the health myself and the people closest to me have. I am thankful for this blog for reaching 20 blog posts today when I thought it wouldn’t last, and for somehow touching and inspiring people despite the mishaps it faced. I am thankful for the places I’ve been to, the gigs and plays I’ve seen (and the first musical I witnessed just yesterday because it was magical) and the music I’ve got to listen. I am thankful to God for all of this, even though I have no idea what He has in store for what’s next to come.

I know 2018 is going to be a tough one and it will challenge me in ways I can’t begin to imagine. But I consider 18 to be my lucky number so who knows – maybe a tiny bit of luck will be on my side 🤞🤞

Here’s to health, to more growth, to more appreciation of life, to more faith, to less worrying and more action, to more art witnessing and creating, and to a lot of pain-aching making me want to swear kind of hard work which will hopefully reap into success by thousands. And obviously, to figuring out more ways of trying to adult my way through life 😉

Bring on 2018!


19 – Dealing with “You are not Beautiful” [True Story]

It’s not often – at least for me – that strangers appear as a message request in my Messenger inbox. It’s even rarer that someone would send me this: 

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Above is an actual screenshot of what happened yesterday (excuse the poor editing skills): a person I didn’t know existed until this moment, absurdly deciding to “connect” with me just so they could try to offend me. It probably could be spam – and I hope it is – but if it’s so, I still can’t wrap my head around why instant trolls like this still exist. 

To say this didn’t affect me would unfortunately be a lie. Even though I rationally find it false and hence I outwardly brush it off with laughter, a low but persistent sting remains in my heart. And no, it isn’t enough for me to cry over, but it is a painful but important reminder that I still find it hard to reject such messages, even when there are more concrete things like friends which disprove this lie. 

I was actually considering accepting the request just to reply to him back with some comeback, but eventually decided not to. One friend told me to pray for him instead: and it kept me thinking about what I would have actually sent him. And here is what I would have sent him. 

Dear whoever you are

I know it’s probably useless sending this to you, but I wanted to tell you that I disagree with you. Even though I fall into that trap of believing so because of how I appear, I have tangible sources which disprove this: my successes, my mind, my heart, and my close friends who choose to think otherwise when I don’t feel at best. But the most tangible source is the fact that I’m created in God’s image, who reminds me that “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139: 14). I hope you get to experience such wonderful things too! 

Here’s to us believing that we are more worthy than what dishonest sources might tell us. Happy reading xx