This has been a rough year. For a lot of people, but for me it has involved a lot of soul searching and therapy. I have been open about what I have been going through with friends and family on my Facebook profile and on Tiwtter, but I have not written a lot about it here. Since 2017 I have been on and off in therapy because of anxiety and depression, and this year has been eye-opening in that regard.

I have always felt like I have been an outsider and I could never put my finger on why. It has been a barrier between me and other people, and when I have been a part of social occassions I have had issues with dizziness or being outside of my own body. This is has been really taxing on me and resulted in me only really being social when I was able to numb my senses with different intoxicants. I shall not go into details as I do not feel like going on and on about that part of my life.

For those who do not know me, I had a sever accident as a 14 month old toddler. I burnt my right hand and this developed into an infection in the wound. The doctors was worried about thiis infection developing into something very serious and could have killed me, so they decided to remove the skin by scraping it off my hand and then transplanting skin onto my hand after the infection had been treated. Even with a second operation to treat scarring, I was left with a heavily scarred hand and a body primed for anxiety.

As a child I would go to kindergarten and we would sometimes go on trips into the forest or other places. Many of the kids would not want to hold my hand because of the scarring and it left me feeling like an outsider. In fact, the earliest memory I have is one of being told by the girls on a trip that my hand was icky and that I needed to stay away from them. Ever since then I have been petrified of rejection.

The reason why I went on this trip down memory lane is simple. I had never connected tthis memory with my anxiety or the feeling of always being on the outside looking in. During ttherapy this year, this is one of the many things that has come up. Combined with the violent bullying I experienced later in life, I always thank my lucky stars that I at least had a family that was stable and cared for me. And during this year they have truly shown their love for me.

I was for a long time very unsure about how open I should be about my issues and how affected I really was by those early experiences. The first of my posts on Facebook was more about how therapy was going, but after I had time to process some of the more publishable memories. I have not gone into details about the bullying as it has been too rough, but I do think all of this is connected. Me being having the accident leading to me being rejected and then eventually being an easy target for bullies.

Realizing this has been rough as I do think about what if I had gotten the help I needed early on, or if some adultt had managed to notice that I was drowning in my own brain. It also led me down a path of trying to explain some of my behavior to old flames and girlfriends, not to try start something up again, but I have always had a need to have people like me and when things can be explained I try to do so.

There is however some light at the end of the tunnel and this piece. I am glad that I found out this, and that I am now getting help. At least there is something wrong with how I have viewed the world and me. It is not something everyone goes through and it is not me who is weak, as I often believed in the past. It is just sometimes I get too much to carry and since I am alone, aside from my family and friends, it gets heavy.

I hope that the next year is better and that I can get some of my stuff under control. Maybe even be a bit creative and get some books finished.

I wish you all a happy new year and that your year is better than this one, even it was good or bad.

Photo by Jan Luneborg

JH Lillevik is a writer of sci-fi and fantasy. He writes screenplays, novels and short stories. He also works as a writing consultant for upcoming writers. His specialty is mythology, world building and psychology.

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