28 Plays Later: Challenge 13 (Mediocrity)

Today we had to write a stream of conscious monologue, I have not had the best of days, so this got dark.


Samantha Frost

13th February 2017


Someone asked me the other day what my greatest fear was and it’s weird because I’ve not really had that question before, I mean I’m used to you know what would you want as a superpower, or if you had three wishes what would they be but no one’s really ever asked me that before, what my greatest fear was and I really had think about it, and it took a long time to come to me, I woke up in the middle of the night and it hit me like a ton, I realised my greatest fear was mediocrity. Mediocrity. That I will never be anything. That’s my greatest fear and I know it sounds weird because it’s not death or disease or losing people and all of those things are horrible and maybe it makes me really shallow, that this is my greatest fear, that to me the idea of living an unremarkable life is worse than death. I suffer with so many mental health issues it is insane, I have anxiety and depression and the best one is borderline personality disorder. Which means I really struggle regulating my emotions because I had what is called an ‘unfulfilling childhood’. Which is psychobabble talk for I was abused horribly and the abuse did not stop until well about four years ago, actually. I never developed my own personality because I was too busy blending in for survival, being invisible was the safest option. To me all I ever wanted to be was loved and to be loved I needed it to be special. I needed to know that  and be told that and shown that I was, because clearly, I couldn’t be that special for that many different people to want to hurt me. But here’s the thing when you have mental health issues it feels impossible to be anything. I mean really if I can’t understand what I’m supposed to do in a day how am I supposed to achieve anything. I honestly don’t know. If I don’t plan out my day meticulously I am confused, genuinely confused. I wake up in the morning and I just stay in bed and stare at the ceiling because I don’t know logically what makes sense to do next, do I get up and shower and then dry my hair and do my make up or do I get up and get my son up and then make breakfast? Which one comes first? Should I get up earlier so that I can do those things first and then get him ready, do I do it together? If I do it together, then how can I make sure he’s teeth are clean and clean mine too? But then if I focus all my energy on getting him ready first, then I’m never ready on time and I just have to walk out as I am.  Then I feel horrible and that affects the mess of my day. If I don’t write down a schedule for myself, I forget to wash, I forgot to brush my teeth, comb my hair and I am a mess and then I don’t get dressed and I get stuck.  It sounds ridiculous, I know to people who do these things daily and normally and find life’s stress’ elsewhere. But for me? I find living day to day laborious and confusing and it hurts my head and if I can’t figure that out how in the name of all that is holy am I supposed to figure out how to be a successful person? If I am on benefits because I can’t work because it makes me so ill that I cut into myself how am I supposed to do anything? I love anything creative, anything that feeds my soul, doesn’t feel like work to me, it’s a release but here’s the kicker you can’t say I can’t do this type of work but I good with this type of work. You can’t pick and choose, so if I’m on the state for not being able to work, how can I then achieve work that I want to do? If I am working a part-time job to make ends meet and it makes me ill how am I supposed to pursue anything else? And it gets so muddy and so confusing and my head hurts and I don’t know what to do. So, for me not being able to achieve the many, many things I want to, that is my life’s greatest fear.

I want my son to live a life that I never did, I want him to feel safe and loved and warm and fed and beautiful. To be able to walk out into the world armed with a loving background, so he’s secure in himself and confident and to take on the world, but what if I’m putting my shit on him? What if he sees me defeated by the laundry? How is he supposed to go forth and feel strong and brave, when his mum can’t even put detergent in the machine? And it’s not every day, and it sounds dramatic and you know what? It kind of feels dramatic but that is it. That is how I feel sometimes, most the time, pretty much all the time and it’s a battle that has been raging in my head for almost 31 years.  I don’t know what to do because I can’t lay down and accept mediocrity. But every time I stand up I feel like I’ve been kicked back to the floor, I can see what I want and while I don’t always know how to get there I could kind of feel my way. The problem is that every time I try to spread my metaphorical wings there is a lead weight submerging me into water and I sink and sink and sink and I look up and I can barely see the sunlight penetrating the water any more.  Every time you think you’ve hit bottom the ground below you breaks.

So, how with all of that on top of me am I ever going to be anything more? I don’t know, maybe mediocrity is the height of success that I can hope to achieve. But I won’t lie down and give in, I can’t and I guess it’s that struggle that hurts the most fighting between the two voices in my head and me sitting there still and unable to move, all the while hearing the voices raised at each other. So, yeah, maybe, maybe mediocrity is the best I can hope for but I know I’ll never except that. I will never accept that I can’t be more than what my abusers thought of me. I have to stand up, I have to fight and I do it every day and I’m going to continue to do so. I will not become a self for filling prophecy, I will not perpetuate the cycle. My son is loved and he knows it. I have to start to see the things in myself that others tell me are there and even though I feel crushed daily by the weight of my mind, I will not go gently into that good night, I will rage and scream and punch and…and I will stand up and I will be counted and I’ll be recognised as more than a fucking statistic. I am furious with passion and so, that’s it, that’s my fear –  mediocrity Only ever been recognised as a patient. I wanna be more for myself because the more I can be for myself the more I can be for him. He is everything to me and I will give everything for him.

The world used to seem simple black-and-white, well welcome to the Greys, because everything is messy and confusing and loud, but I have to find a way to navigate those waters. I would rather die than live an unremarkable life, I would rather die than be mediocre. I want to succeed and be recognised for the fight and the passion and the drive and the skill and the talent, and burning inside me there is a small voice, that tells me I am worth so much more than the opinions of criminals. So, yes that is my greatest fear mediocrity.



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