Once upon a time… I was a Tigger. Bouncy, excitable, tending to make people back up a little for my enthusiasm with things. And that was fine; I was happy enough in my own head, in my own little world. At least, I’d tell myself that. Tigger on the outside, Eeyore within.
I’m reasonably sure that a lot of people identify with that feeling. Putting on a brave face, or a ‘happy’ face for those around when you feel anything but. You don’t want to talk about whatever’s wrong – you’re not even sure what’s wrong; you just feel out of step with the world, and most things in it.
Of course, not every day is like that. Not every day is a struggle to do simple things like, oh, I don’t know. Shower. Change clothes. Make yourself ‘presentable’ for the outside world – putting on your armour, which doesn’t have to be wrought and gelded, it can be denim, and plaid, flower-printed and band-named.
It’s not every day that the simple act of talking to people, making eye contact, or answering messages is impossible. It’s not every day that you have to rehearse conversations, rewrite answers to messages on Whatsapp. Not every day when people don’t roll their eyes and tell you to ‘make more effort’ – can’t you see we’re trying to??
It’s not even every day that things like intrusive thoughts win the conversations you have with yourself. Not every day you can’t shrug it off, work your way through it, feel okay for once. But it’s typically those days, when you tell yourself you’re an attention-seeker, and that everything’s just in your head; it’s on those days you forget the wise words of Dumbledore: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
These days, I’m often just plain old Eeyore. Maudlin. Gloomy. Terrible at the human contact thing. And as for the world around us, it does nothing but add to my Eeyore-iness. Does that mean I’m broken? Probably. Stuck for what to say? At times. Lost? Very. But you know what? Broken means something can be fixed. Words, can be found. As can people, however lost they might be.
To those of you who don’t relate to any of this, but perhaps know someone that is, please don’t dismiss them. No one is telling you not to give up on them, because as much as that would be nice, you have just as much right to be happy and good with your life, free of things that drag you down, as those who don’t believe they do. Neither is anyone saying you must have infinite patience; believe me, those of us lost in our own heads tend to be past the point of patience with ourselves as well. Just… don’t dismiss them.
You know what one of the great things about Eeyore is? His friends recognised what was happening with him, yet still treated Eeyore the same as ever. Still invited him to things, included him in what they were doing – even though Eeyore was often reluctant, generally he went along with what they were doing anyway; because Eeyore hated being alone, even if his behaviour said otherwise at times. And, would you look at that; often Eeyore smiled.
From this Eeyore to other Eeyores out there, I don’t know what your bee stings are, and please don’t think I’m trying to take your tail – that’s no fun for any of us. I wish we could have an all day long picnic in a park, with a bridge over a stream running all the way through it, where we could play poohsticks and be gloomy together (…maybe that’s what the internet is…). In silence if necessary, if it’s a day when none of us feel like talking.
And for all the friends of Eeyores out there; we don’t mean to disappear on you. We love when you support us, and understand when you can’t; we’d just like to say thank you for being there in our hundred acre woods.