HUNGER – By @lucyannp_
By Lucy Pennock
As it nears the holiday season, and the rest of the UK starts slowing down, the pressure seems to keep on piling on for us gorgeous little HUSH puppies at SCA.
Unsurprisingly, I’m finding myself eagerly counting down the days until the end of term. My eyes light up when someone mentions mulled wine and monopoly. The thought of sitting by a fire, and thinking about nothing related to advertising makes me beyond excited.
I feel bad that I’m looking forward to the holidays so much. I really really enjoy being at SCA. So much so that I sentimentally tweeted how much I love my course mates last Friday (platonically of course) and how (to me) it was rather sad that in 158 days it would all be over. Can I just say I wasn’t drunk!! Just hormonal…
I think what I’m looking forward to the most is literally just seeing my family again. The Pennock gang. I miss sitting, playing games, talking and just squabbling with them. All the usual family antics. It’s been nearly 4 months since I packed up my belongings and moved to London. Our family WhatsApp group keeps pinging with videos of Mum stirring the Christmas pudding. Dad pondering whether he should dress up as Father Christmas for the annual town float. My sister complaining about having to sleep on an air bed in the holiday home we’ve rented in Norfolk. Me asking for overpriced presents that no one can afford. I cannot wait until Friday 21st when I’ve boarded the 18:37 train from Liverpool Street with a suitcase and a big sense of achievement for having survived Term 1 at SCA.
Because in all honesty I didn’t think I would. For as long as I can remember my mental health has always been a big obstacle between me and my goals. Between what I want to achieve and what I end up achieving. It fucks things up. Or put more simply – I fuck things up. It gets in the way of me and what I want. It takes up emotional energy and it wears me down. It’s bloody exhausting. And I’m sick of it. It’s all self-inflicted of course. That’s the worse part. We always have a choice and I choose to continue to let it bubble beneath the surface, boiling away until stress gives way and it erupts.
You see Christmas for me is normally a very joyful time but its also an extremely anxiety ridden one. It’s a holiday that I really enjoy but also really worry and panic about. I’ve beat myself up for years for feeling such guilt and anxiety around Christmas. You’re supposed to be feeling grateful, thankful, forgiving. It’s a holiday you spend with your loved ones. But it’s also a time that makes me sad because every year I find myself in exactly the same position. Struggling with the same issues. Battling the same demons. Feeling the same feelings. Why can’t I just get better?
Well the truth is – I am better. I did get better. But the one thing I can’t seem to let go of is the guilt and shame of what I put my family and loved ones through when I was ill for all those years. That’s really the last hurdle. Letting go. Accepting yourself. And where you are in your life. And that’s what I’m going to do. Accept the things I can’t control. I’ve tried too long and hard to control every aspect of my life and for once I’m just going to let it be.
As I reread what I’ve just written I sound like bloody boring Boris. A negative Nancy, droning on about how “hard” my life is. In fact my life is amazing. It’s full of twists and turns, challenges and celebrations. And that’s why it’s so exciting! I’m so proud of myself for what I’ve achieved in the past year. I’ve come so far. Gone through so much. And guess what? I’m still alive. Its not all doom and gloom. I’ve still got my amazing friends and family. A whole new set of wonderful course mates, a flourishing creative career ahead of me, and a second family who accept me as one of their own. LIFE IS WONDERFUL and it’s only going to get better.
This time last year I couldn’t even work Photoshop let alone Aftereffects. This time last year I was shy and introverted about my desire to be a creative. Now I’m bold, bright and loud about it. So much so that one of my goals this year is to have one of the best portfolios in the entire world. I want to be be best.The hard times and the depressive ones always make you a stronger, a more resilient and a more determined individual. I’ve got my eyes on the prize and I’m not backing down. I’m not going to let myself self-sabotage this year.
So instead of reflecting on all the things I could have done better this year – I’m going to relish how far I’ve come, what I’ve pushed through. 2019 is going to be my year. I’m going to win, I’m going to succeed and I’m going to fly. I want to win that black pencil, get hired at the best agency in town and be the best I can possibly be. Because what’s the point if you’re never fully fulfilling your own potential?
I think its a good thing to always be striving. You can have both – success and happiness. It’s not one or the other. Lucy, you don’t have to destroy yourself in the process. I’m allowed to fly and I’m allowed to be ‘well’ and happy in myself at the same time.
So watch this space – because I’m never going to give up. I’m hungry. I’ve got hunger. And that’s OK. Now, Lucy…GO and scamp to The 1975, whilst thinking up ways of how to sell washing up liquid.