July 2018

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I stared at the page in front of me, willing words to simply appear so I didn't have to write anything down. Creating the story of my life so a virtual stranger could understand why I'd become so downhearted didn't appeal. I didn't want to face it.

I know how to adult, but not to 'human', I wrote without thinking. I let the pen flow and went with it. It wasn't a start, it wasn't really anything, but I couldn't go back to therapy with nothing but white pages. By that I mean I know how to do all the stuff expected of an adult; I can pay bills and get to work on time, I know how to do laundry, but I don't know how to act like a normal human being. I don't know how to BE, how to socialise, how to behave, how to exist in the proper way among others. I'm on the outside of humanity, looking in.

I used to be much better. I don't know when things changed.

I dropped the pen and sighed heavily, that was more true than I cared to admit. I didn't do the things most people my age did, I was stuck in something even deeper than a rut and along the way I forgot how to be 'normal'.

I left university five years ago and had zoned in on only one thing. It was ridiculous. I gave up so much for this fantasy life never materialised and I stopped fighting for more somewhere down the line.

I eyed the computer suspiciously, knowing I needed to face it now. Doctor Russ told me I had to tackle everything, especially things that scared me. Maybe some inspiration would help me get this dumb journal thing done, then I could stop worrying about it.

I moved across the room, slowly and purposefully to bring the computer to life. A part of me wished for an interruption again so I didn't really have to go through with this, but nothing came. It was simply me and the void of the Internet waiting to greet me with whatever horrors it held. Stomach bile churned the butterflies, sending them flying in every direction as the familiar sight of social media caught my eye.

"Okay, this isn't all bad." I noted the good number of friends on my list. Clearly not close ones who I spent time with in real life since we never really connected after the initial friend request, but it was something. "People from work, that girl who works at the swimming pool, friends from the old days. Although it's a bit quiet."

I had a lot of old stuff on there, photographs from the past and a stream of status updates, but all from the happy time. Back when Natalie and Scott were still a part of me. Those magic five years ago before I screwed up.

Shit. A tear cascaded down my cheek which I brushed angrily away. Idiot!

I couldn't think about Scott right now, there wasn't any chance in hell I could search for him without dying, so instead I took the slightly easier route and clicked on Natalie's page.

"Holy hell."

Instantly, I was blown away, Natalie's life looked incredible. Not only had the last five years done her really well in the looks department—her hair had a lovely sheen and her eyes looked brighter than ever, also she'd filled out into her curves in a gorgeous way—she also seemed to have it all. Everything she wanted. Some sort of job working with young people, a good-looking boyfriend who'd put a ring on her finger over the Christmas period, and a constant stream of friends. She had hundreds of pictures doing all sorts of fun things with girls I wanted to be. Her life was everything I desired but somehow didn't have.

Again, I found that hollow sensation, I'd been left behind. What was it about me that meant I couldn't function in the real world? Why hadn't life given me everything I wanted? All I sacrificed Scott to get. Okay, so I didn't think the world owed me anything, but seeing Natalie flourish while I floundered wasn't the easiest sight in the world.

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