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Finding your lost self at 24

Is it normal to feel so alone at 24? Is it normal to struggle making friends, to keep a smile on your face when socialising and supposed to be having fun? Is it normal to worry constantly about the ‘what ifs’? Is it normal to take things so personally all the time? And, is it normal to compare yourself to others success and appearance?

The simple answer is no.

But is life that simple, no. We battle with our contrasting thoughts all day and all night. Even up what is the better choice or choosing when to take a different path in life.

Taming these thoughts is an up hill battle, and I would love to sit here and write this piece with some takeaway advice, but it would be wrong of me to give that, as I for one never listen to my own advice.

Today I spoke with my mum, who has been away working for over a month now. We have a strange relationship as sometimes we cannot stand each other, but this afternoon while speaking with her I completely broke down. I felt so lost and alone. Burnt out and completely exhausted by my own thoughts and feelings.

This led to a mixture of emotions. One being my generalised anxiety, which I battle with each day to keep under control. I worry often about the future, what people think of me, how I look when I go out, and just fear judgement. Perhaps I’m not happy in my own skin at times, body conscious elevated by being part of a community where appearance is judged more so. But am I making excuses for my feelings or are they valid and true? Some would say I am making excuses and feeling sorry for myself which for sure doesn’t help in combating the feelings I have.

Others would recommend talking about these feelings more openly but that can be deemed a struggle too, as it can be seen as a weakness – mental health issues that is.

Another reason why I broke down today, was that I am in my 20s, the prime of someone’s life. The time of ultimate adventure, madness, happiness and excitement. Agility and stamina are at their peak. Staying out till 4 or 5 in the morning going clubbing should be the norm for someone my age, according to social media and friends. But for some reason I struggle to see the enjoyment of it, however much I try to have a good time, I find it hard work.

I said to mum today that I would love to be young while feeling it too. I would love to go out, not care about my appearance or how I act, just be free and happy, spread my wings, get drunk and be a little careless, in it’s limitation and moderation of course.

I think I’ve hit rock bottom. I need to allow myself some time to focus on the important part of life, which is me. I need to concentrate on bettering myself, for myself. I know however it will take time, but I’m more committed than ever to face my demons head on, and live my 20s in the best possible way I can.

Written by: Kieran Goodwin

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