This is my second time writing this because, honestly, I’m having a hard time writing about guilt and grief without speaking in the past tense. I wish to write in the present tense because as of right now, this story is not about offering solutions or framing it as if my guilt and fear lives in the past. I have difficulty writing about pain and hurt on here because 1) it hurts, 2) I use vague language and hesitate to use specific details (rendering it all to be clichéd and nonspecific), 3) I want to help you, not drag you along with my pity-party. 

So, I present to you echoes, a song I wrote in high school, when feelings of guilt, anger, and regret first became a noticeable theme in the way I navigated myself and my relationships. 

How do you deal with guilt? How do you deal with regret? How do you deal with anger and frustration? 

I used to ask myself these questions every day. I still do. Sometimes I wonder how I don’t collapse beneath the weight of things that I find myself holding onto every single day.

I still find myself thinking that I can run away from these feelings. That if I cut everything off clean enough and go to a new place I can start over with new people who wouldn’t know me or all the dumb things I used to say, do, be. The feeling isn’t lasting and it comes and goes, but there are moments when I’m convinced that I’m a bad person. They were more frequent before, but it still comes around these days. I mentioned in my last post (x) that in my isolation that I was trying to control my own narrative. This was especially hard when even my own concept of self was one that I was not particularly proud of. I know I’m not a bad person, and I know I need to stop bending myself into an apology every time I interact with anyone at all, but it’s hard to unlearn. I’m trying though, I am.

My writing is a bit clunky and curt today. I can’t find the words to admit any of the scary stuff. So, I guess I’ll do it like this: 

A List of Things I Know To Be Untrue:

  1. I am a bad person. 
  2. I need to pursue and obtain closure for everything I have ever done and everything I ever will do.
  3. I am violently insignificant and embarrassing.
  4. I need to be liked by everyone. 
  5. I am not allowed to make mistakes.
  6. I need to be absolutely perfect and absolutely 100% lovable in order to matter anyone. 
  7. I am unworthy of love. 
  8. A larger idea of me exists separately from my individual relationships with people. 
  9. I am wasting my time.
  10. I am a nuisance.

I know these things are not true. I know that writing them down might give them more power. I know that I shouldn’t think any of these things about myself. 

I’m writing them down and telling you about them because I want to show you that, no matter how rosy and beautiful and optimistic I am, I am still, every day, confronted with some super ugly and debilitating thoughts. They paralyze me and hinder me from doing the things I love. The day that I posted echoes on YouTube, I started crying for absolutely no reason other than the (irrational) fear of not being heard, seen, or cared about.

Yet, I keep on. I keep on. I push light out of every part of my body. I try and try and try to fix everything, and announcing when everything is ultimately fixed and solved. But it really, really doesn’t work like that. 

If you’re reading this, and you believe any of these things about yourself, or you relate in any way: I understand. I really do. And it fucking sucks. And we can deal with it. 

You and I should not treat ourselves with such hostility. We are deserving of roots and forgiveness and trying again. We can not run away from ourselves. We can not scold ourselves tirelessly. We cannot keep shooting ourselves down before we even try to get up. We deserve hope and multiplicity and not being fixed all the time, but still trying for it. We deserve rest and flexibility and truth. 

Another song is coming for you. 

See you tonight— 



*izzy angus, 20

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