I’m not sure what to tell you, Alice. It’s not really going to be a good year.
To be perfectly honest, it’s probably going to be the worst year of your life (stick it out until July).
(Although, you do have tickets to see Ed Sheeran in November, and that’ll be pretty good.)
Let’s start at the beginning. You need to break up with that boyfriend, because you’re not in love with him. Yes, he’s got a nice face, and you have fun, but he’s not the one you want. Sadly, you can’t hear me through the realms of time and space, and you have to be able to make your own mistakes. But they’re such silly mistakes, Alice. Look in the mirror – you know what you want.
And that’s not to say that is the right answer either. You’re in love with someone who appears to not love you back – oh, by the way, he does, there’s a mindfuck for you in 5 years’ time. You two are the most toxic couple the world has ever seen – through no fault of yours or his. You are not good for each other. You are not Edward and Bella. You are not Bridget Jones and Daniel Cleaver (he would definitely be Daniel Cleaver). You are not Romeo and Juliet (though, that would probably be where things ended up if you got what you wanted, and that is not an exaggeration). Drop it. In five years’ time you’ll both be able to meet up and laugh about it, and that’s a good thing, so for your own sake, drop it.
There are going to be times this year where you want to run. Not in the good, let’s lose weight and exercise way, but in the “I need to not be here anymore” way. You’ll run to the top of the stairs and slam the door like the petty teenager you’re still allowed to be, but you can’t get away from any of it. It’s in your head.
The swarming of the noise and the thoughts and the worry and the fear and the “i’m not good enough” and the “nobody loves me enough” and the “am I ever going to be enough”.
But this is a big thing, Alice. Your skitziness is finally going to get a name. It’s Generalised Anxiety Disorder and Depression. They’re scary words you hear on the news and in the media but they’re you, too. And they’re the most comforting words you’ll ever hear because It has a name and that name means someone somewhere understands. A doctor who sees your blotchy face, at the end of your tether after one of the worst attacks, is going to give you a box of magic pills and they really are -magic.
You’ll get a social life. You’ll go out. You’ll be able to get drunk. No, these aren’t the most important things, but the knocking down of the barriers will be huge for you. After the first couple of weeks, anyway.
You will break up with the boyfriend after he does something you never thought he was capable of. But that will be it – problem solved, journey over, no going back. You’ll give him his stuff back, you’ll slam the door in his unapologetic face and you will never regret it for a second.
You will get an internship for a job that does you so much good, and makes you some of the best friends you’ll have. You’ll lose touch with most, but one (the one who probably shouldn’t) will still be there, and you’ll be thrilled to have him your life. Think of that when you meet him at his birthday party.
You’ll realise, Alice, that there are several men mentioned in this chapter. This is the start of a new chapter in your life; Single Alice. Single Alice doesn’t stick around for very long and make the most of her, because she’ll lead to a lot of fun. You’ll think your heart is getting broken a couple of times, but really it’s just your pride. Men don’t have to fall in love with you, just like sex doesn’t have to mean love.
Own it, woman, because you’re a goddess.