Delusion. The false belief about an external reality, a belief that is held despite all evidence pointing to the contrary. 


Delusions. Something almost anyone can relate to. 


“I’m not delusional,” I murmur to myself while closing my chemistry textbook. “This is just common sense.” 


“I’m not delusional,” I think once again, convinced I might still have a chance, although my crush seems to have found a girlfriend.


“I’m not delusional,” I sigh, opening my phone and scouring the notification centre to find the response I’ve been waiting for all day. 


I’m not delusional. The hope I cling onto no matter the circumstances, the feeling that gives me the motivation to get out of bed in the morning, the motivation to go to school, the motivation to maintain a semi-good social life. 


I had my first brush with delusion when I was a mere year 9. Starting a new school, making new friends, meeting new people. Trying to cultivate the perfect persona. This of course led me to try and become an absolute academic weapon. I spent countless hours pouring over my books, each class the hardest thing I’d ever attempted. Spanish in particular. Staying up past my bedtime trying to convince myself that verb conjugations are basic knowledge and I’ll surely remember them during the exam. Because after all, I obviously work best under pressure. 


The next time I was faced with such a delusion, I was older. Wiser. More mature. That, of course, did not help much. My year 11 self was thrust back to my silly year 9 ways, convinced that I am not obvious in my infatuation with a friend. I deluded myself into thinking I had a chance, why else would he change seats to sit by me in chemistry, why else would he play Val with me at night, why else would he join our friend group? The answer to the last question was glaringly obvious to everyone but me it seemed. He too was suffering from delusion. Towards my friend. Delusion is a cruel mistress. 


I had not learned my lesson yet and was obviously a sucker for pain, why else would I be hit with delusion twice in the same year? Now as a year 12, my delusions had reached a new high. I made new friends, met new people, started new subjects, and yet those delusions stayed. I was now affected for two reasons. The first once again being the fact that I got a crush. This one even more unattainable than his predecessor. My friend’s ex. A man that is quite literally a walking red flag. The second reason being university. This particular delusion is one I am faced with even as I write this. The delusion of thinking I will get into the course I want, that I will get a job straight after studies, that I will live a perfect life. This particular fantasy is one everyone dreams of. Although it may look different for other people, everyone wishes to have the life they think they deserve. This delusion being the hardest one to get over, and the most brutal one when you realise it will never come true.


However, delusion is not always bad. She can be a friend. 


I deluded myself into believing that, I am in fact, an academic weapon in year 10. So much so I asked to go a year ahead in science. My grades were not the best but obviously they are good enough to try. How right I was. 


I deluded myself into thinking I could get a job, despite the fact I was 15 with no experience bar volunteering. Once again I was right. 


Delusion and confidence often go hand in hand, you cannot have one without the other. So next time you’re deluding yourself, turn that frown upside down and get confident.  


Written by Caitlyn Blaauw and edited by Yuke Chan. Published on 3/9/23. Header image by Cindy Zhang.

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