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You are neither here, nor there.

Craig talks about loneliness and coming to terms with his sexuality.


Written by Craig Butler and posted in opinion


This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact editor@spunout.ie.


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I want to share with you my own personal experiences of loneliness. I hope that in some way I can catch the heart off guard, so that you and I can come to the same understanding and share in a memory or in the now. For this is something that we all experience during some part of our lives. We are all human and we are all connected in one way or another. There will come a time in your life when you are neither here, nor there. When you feel so insignificant that you start to question your own existence. I am talking about being alone.

I have suffered depression my whole life. For as long as I can remember.

Through primary school I didn't fit in. I had no friends and I was the one that nobody wanted to sit beside. Classmates would act disgusted and protest to the teacher if they were made to. They would shuffle to the opposite corner of the desk and laugh over and back with their friends. I felt like I was dying on the inside and I would dread my teacher picking partners to team up for class assignments. Why? Because whoever partnered up with me would make a scene and I would just awkwardly stand there at 11 years old and try my best not to burst into tears. I was a loner and totally alone. I didn’t have a single friend whilst growing up. No one to run to for a hug or to vent. It's hard to fathom now and it hurts to think that there are kids going through this whilst I type.

Surfing gave me an escape, but only to a certain degree. Liquid therapy is the best type of therapy. Or so they say. But surfing isn’t always there. Surfing isn’t something that you can call upon in some of the darkest times in your life. The ocean is a short-term fix that won’t always be there. Especially the days when you feel trapped. When you think that your life has no direction and your purpose on this earth is meaningless. Over the years I have come to learn that this is a feeling that 90% of people around the world feel at some point in their life. So, what do we do when we hit a low point in life?

When I hit my teen years and started high school, deep down inside me there was something forming. On my travels through puberty my sexuality was starting to form. The day I realised that I might be gay was the day I cried my eyes out. I cried because I didn’t want to become any more of an outcast in every aspect of my life. But the truth be told, everyone at that age is an outcast. You just haven’t found your path in life yet.

Being a young surfer coming to realize your own sexuality, for me was a very worrying thing. I have fought many demons in the past couple of years that have come close to breaking me as a person and at times I still just hold on by a thread. But the biggest demon of all was my fight against being alone in my younger years whilst coming to terms with my sexuality. I would spend hours online as a kid searching for other “gay surfers” but always came up short. Could I really be the only homosexual surfer on the planet? Of course not, but it certainly felt like it. I had no one to aspire to or I could relate with my hardship. I had no one to share these strange feelings with.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I waited until I finished school to come out. The day I let go of the weight on my back and opened up was the day I saw the light. No one cares about your sexuality because everyone has their own fight. Nothing changed when I came out, I don’t know what I expected to happen. The only difference came from within. When I finally knew the time was right and came out I became more confident and happier with myself. I don’t feel the need to hide anymore and if you are struggling with your own sexuality you may also feel the same. People won’t stop liking you and their opinions won’t change. On the off chance that they do, then who cares. You don’t need that person in your life and you have to learn to let go of them, because if someone stops liking you for you then they are not worth the time of day.

You can feel like the loneliest person in the world. But on the face of it all, we are all alone. You shouldn’t rely on others to bring you happiness. Happiness comes from within. I wish I could go back 10 years to when I started high school and tell myself that. Once you sit back and learn to embrace your own company, you’ll never go lonely again. I have travelled the world with friends and I have travelled the world alone. I have travelled to surfing contests around the world by myself trying to see myself fit to make the world longboard tour but always came up short. I was always alone, but never alone.

Find Craig on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/da_trui_hui/

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Published January 2nd, 2018
Last updated January 8th, 2018
Tags loneliness alone bullying school coming out sexuality lgbtqi
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