Courageously admitting defeat

Defeat has never been an option I take lightly; as I’m sure it never has to anyone. But today I realised that succumbing to defeat does not mean failing. In admitting defeat I achieved more than I ever have done before. I achieved relief and calm, something that over the past year and a half has been an emotional concept difficult for my mental state to comprehend. For the first time in the past 700 odd days I was able to genuinely have a glimpse at stress-free living. I felt courageous.Courageously admitting defeat

In a moment of blind ambition earlier this year, I enrolled myself on full time study with the Open University post-first year of fairly relaxed studying on the same course. I felt amazing. After completing two modules in one year I’d have just five years of study left under my belt. I’d only be a year or two behind my peers who had gone full time to university; what could be better?

After leaving school at 17, subconsciously, I’ve been playing catch-up with every other person my age who did manage to achieve the usual pursuits in life; working in government for the past five years has been incomparable to the experiences they have all had. But today, after sending that deferral request email, I didn’t care. I realised that no one else cared either. Whether it takes me two or twenty years to complete this degree it really doesn’t matter. It’s only been I who I’ve been fooling into believing that everyone cares; and this only adds to the delight felt in finally accepting how impossible juggling full time work, university and life as a 21 year old is.

The courageous part is I did it. I did it alone. I made this decision for me and with only me in mind. It’s refreshing and yes, brave; how many selfish decisions does one honestly make day-to-day? The pressure to constantly make decisions with the impact on the surrounding world in mind is honestly exhausting, completely necessary I agree but exhausting all the same. And giving in to this pressure and doing taking a decision just with my life in mind, well, it feels pretty darn amazing. I’ve been awoken to how good being emotionally selfish can feel.

Mental health is not something I battle with on a daily basis, I know that it is for a lot of people, but sometimes the need to look out for ourselves is more important than we can ever imagine. I never realised this before because I was blindly oblivious to the fact I had needs outside of just achieving. Today I was brave. Today I admitted that I couldn’t continue to half-heartedly pull the strings of every puppet in the show.

Today I made a decision that affected me and only me.

Today I am winning.

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