November 27th — the date that changed my mind

Today marks 2 years since enough became too much. My sense of self got stripped away and I lost my voice as I wrote in riddles, and it is only through writing do I ever find coherence.

In 2015, a phone call was enough for KABOOM! I was a husk of a man who suddenly imploded, and the space I once occupied got filled by anger. It was much more than rage. It was the loss of everything and the realisation I had nothing to lose in the first place. I’d created an existence that was worthless as rubble, and I could barely even say it.

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In 2016, I was expecting a repeat. I was expecting an ogre in the fridge, in the biscuit tin, or wherever, but I found no-one nowhere. Instead, I was scaffolding and found it easy to lament. In the year that had passed, I’d moved on but I wasn’t that far removed. I was a little more candid in my rage.

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When it comes to matters of our mental wellbeing it is very rarely a matter of this caused this and so here we are. It’s most usually this remembers that and this and put your finger here — knot — entwine.

Although they were the cause that brought the end, my bereavements and how I was treated by the funeral home I worked in wasn’t what hollowed me out inside. This date in 2015 was the final straw, that one last thing that made everything just too much to bare.

Probably because I’m an only child often best received neither seen nor heard, I grew up a thinker, a dweller, an agreer, a pleaser — I’ve always seen myself as a public persona covering a hidden me. In the end, I learnt to downplay my feelings and how to spend hours alone hearing criticism.

To find worth I gave more than I took. I became a person people could rely on, and it’s unfortunate that some people took the piss. I forgot myself. I was so busy trying to be worth something that when I had nothing I was even more worthless. I think that’s irony.

Of all the many things I’ve had to address, the feelings I feel were the most daunting and somewhat easiest to solve. It required a mirror and it required an honest appraisal of my reflection. I streamed off negatives but I challenged myself to list one positive, and another until eventually, you know what? I’m alright.

I’m not another person’s blame, I’m only my own

I’m not worthless, I’m worth everything to me

I may self-depreciate but I never have to believe

From the moment we’re born we get given things. We find them along the way and we’re handed them. Nice things and nasty things, and these things we’ve got to carry to our grave.


We get given love and support, and things like these are the helium balloons of emotion. We also get censure and pressure, and things like these are the anvils of emotion. And life has a preference for anvils. The more anvils piled onto our backs, the more we’re bent to look at the ground. There are no balloons floating by our feet unless reflected by a puddle. I like balloons. I think they’re nice.

So it’s our life’s work, therefore, to find a way to stand up straight and enjoy these balloons to the fullest.

It’s our role in life to be our own best friend, to support ourselves and care.

If we can love other people who love us then surely we can love ourselves. It is an obvious thought when you think about it. I wonder why, through all those years, it never crossed my mind…

Take care of yourselves, & be your friend!

Tomos James

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