24. Not only just the number I wear when I play hockey and not only my current age at the time of writing. It’s a number that’s become quite significant to me as of late. Yes, I’m that peculiar I find a number sentimental, feel free to judge me and make my cry to my mother as a result. 24 is not only a number to me, but it’s also an achievement – an achievement that I’m delighted to have accomplished, please applaud and yes, please give me a bouquet of flowers, a sash and a tiara so I can happy cry like I’ve just won Miss Universe.
Now the significance of 24 being an achievement in life is irrelevant to everyone else in the world, it’s not like your 18th where you can finally go to a pub and be refused service for being too drunk or your 50th where you can be buzzing that you’re 10 years off a free bus pass. It’s just another age in your 20’s where you celebrate it like any other non-significant birthday, by having a scavenger hunt in Japan of course. For me, though it’s a case of actual achievement and a holy fuck I’ve made it to this age, it’s generally something I thought I would never achieve. Deadly serious, I never thought I would make it to 24.
When talking about the future to friends, colleagues and those random heroes you meet on nights out who you spew your feelings too, I had always said I would be dead by 24 and I was genuinely serious about that. I did not think I would make it to 24. I thought by now I would’ve died and my death would’ve been self-inflicted. Not a fun thing to read at all but it’s the full T sis (keep in, meant to be T sis, it’s a queer thing). Nothing else crossed my mind for the future. I would talk about my goals and aspirations but I was certain I would never accomplish them unless I managed to do it by the time I was 24. Pretty fucking horrible stuff and I do apologise for it, but there is some light at this huge tunnel and you’ll see it, just wait.
Yet despite everything I’ve said, I’ve made it to 24 and I’m still here typing away on my iPad producing some articles and blogs, cracking some terrible jokes, complimenting people I like and love a bit too much and still spooning my cuddly toy called Fridge every night. And I’m actually happy to have made it to 24 and to not have my name cemented on a bench on Troon beach. I’ve sort of had this new release and outlook on life his past year, even with Corona fucking world more than your sex-crazed dog fucks teddy bears and your leg. This new sort of outlook has propelled me into a better place mentally where I’m having significantly less bad days and really bad moments with my depression that has been kicking about for a decade. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still battling it and certainly still struggling with major anxiety problems, but I’m having less depressive days than what I used to, and that’s a big deal.
I can account quite a bit of this down to the things mentioned at the start of the previous paragraph as well as many other things. Yes, even spooning Fridge every night which I’m happy to take all judgments for, but also fuck you Fridge gives me comfort and that’s something not to judge. I’ve just started to focus on the things I enjoy and doing what I want to do that ultimately makes me not feel shit. I’ve started to only do things because I want to do them and not feel like I have to do them. And most importantly I’ve taken the time and put some more effort into trying to be less miserable through podcasts and spending time learning from some seriously positive people that inspire me like Yes Theory, Josh Campbell – The Health Hunk and a lot of my pals. Taking time to invest more into me, invest into the things I want to achieve and just being even more unapologetically myself even if I’m already too much for some people and not fully open to the world on a few things.
I’ve managed to make it this far and get to the age I never thought I would make it to. Would I say I’m happy? No, not at all and I never will be as I don’t believe you’ll ever be truly happy in life. Would I say I’m content? No, but I’m taking steps to come into a state of content. I’m not miraculously better and I still battle this lovely thing that is depression and yet to make significant progress with my major anxiety. But you can certainly say I’m getting better and hoping to be able to get to 25 where I can say I’ve made progress in my life goals, ticked more countries off my list of 100 I want to see, grown Loveable Loser and my new project, and be less miserable. Oh, and be able to make a tube of Pringles last longer than 10 minutes.
Swankie – 24, Scotland. Loveable Loser.
Just want to thank everyone who made it to the end and apologies about any distress some of this article may have caused, it’s something I wanted to get out to the world and be able to share out to start having more people talk about their mental illness struggles more openly, even if they’re really dark.
One person I want to give a huge shout out to is Josh Campbell – The Health Hunk who (unknowingly) has really helped me along the way with simply just helping me out with some things on Loveable Loser and encouraging me a tonne with everything. Please give him a follow on Instagram: healthhunk. Josh is a fucking great human who does a lot of online coaching that circulates a lot to do with men’s health whilst also tearing down ‘Lad culture’, which as a gender-fluid/non-binary human makes me very happy. His girlfriend Jas also does a lot in women’s health and female empowerment which I highly recommend checking out on Instagram as well: jaslipska.