Crybaby Self-Portrait: Mari

Written By: Mari

It’s always been a characteristic of my personality to be extremely hard on myself; the more years that have passed, the denser layer of doubt I’d smack onto myself.

Going back five years ago, I was at a crucial crossroad; I had always felt inept at the academic walls put up by my school…I was never the one who solved the most complex mathematical sum, or the one who could spit out the chemical structure of things at the drop of a hat.

I was different, I adored composing a bluesy melody that would speak to me in incomparable ways and studying the inspiring and imaginative literature of Oscar Wilde’s poetry would sing through my ears so sweetly.
But it’s sad to say that the school I attended wouldn’t look twice at you if you weren’t the next highflying lawyer or medic, so naturally, you would tend to feel unintelligent and even incapable of succeeding at this thing called life.
I never thought it was ok to be different, and always felt so self conscious and anxious that I was different.
I didn’t care about listening to chart music and applying fake tan, but I felt so trapped in this little bubble of falseness that I couldn’t get out, so I would wear extensions and pour make-up onto my skin because I thought that was normal?
When I was 15, one of my teachers told me I would never succeed in life and raised their voice at me in front of my whole class, I was mortified and so angry that I went home and really thought about where I was headed.
I decided to pull my socks up and study the hardest I could, in order to get the grades to support my hopes of going to university.

When it came to my final couple of years at school, I completely immersed myself in the creative biosphere; and rediscovered my passion for writing.
I remember as clear as clear as day; moving day.
Of course, I was like an excited puppy, eager and intrigued to start the newest chapter of my life, but anxious to leave the nest. Little did I know that my life was about to completely change; and I definitely was not ready.
During my time at university, my mental health took a big hit. I was living with people who I didn’t see eye to eye with, but was studying with people who I absolutely adored. I was working a full time job during the majority of my time studying, and was balancing writing essays with pouring coffees.

I went through an extremely abusive relationship during my second year of studying that really changed me, making me a very weak, depressed and anxious person. I very nearly dropped out of university; I felt like I was being dragged in so many different directions and felt suffocated. I felt so alone, in a world full of people. My weight drastically dropped, to the point where most days, people would comment on this. Most days, I just wanted to break into tears because I was just stuck. My confidence and self-worth was non-existent and I wasn’t allowed to express or even be my normal self. Having been in the grip of such a controlling and evil person, after everything, I became mute. I still find it difficult to speak my mind now and again because it was embedded in me for so long, but the journey I have been on since the day I found courage to leave, has made me so incredibly proud of myself.

I have now found the most gentile soul and beautiful human being that makes me feel so loved and respected. I feel so lucky to be with someone who truly values me and cares for my well-being like he does.

So, when someone asks me what makes me proud of myself?
I can honestly say, I’m just really proud of this journey that I have been on, the things that have made me who I am today may not necessarily be good things, but they happened, and I fought through them until I was blue in the face. Looking back over the last 5 years, I never ever thought I would get into university, let alone graduate with a Bachelor of Arts honors degree in journalism. I have been lucky enough to have met some of my closes friends through my degree and have created some of the most hysterical memories.


Life really is what you make it, so grab that bull by the horns and live the hell out of your life.