I haven’t written anything in awhile. This happens to me sometimes, I have so much racing through my head I can’t get it down, and then something hits me and I’m ready to go again.
Last night Selena Gomez opened up about her struggles with her mental health and I watched that shit twice. It’s kind of sad how so many times we put ourselves second. We want to save face, look strong, and never fall short of others expectations of us – all while struggling with what’s on the inside.
But how many times do we let ourselves fall short of ourselves? How many times have you looked in the mirror and realized the person staring back couldn’t look themselves in the eye?
I’m no stranger to depression and anxiety, I’m no stranger to the effects of bipolar disorder. I’m up and down, or at least I used to be a lot more. With the help of professionals and the love of my friends and family, I’m more leveled these days, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t days I sat there and drowned in my insecurities and forced myself to fake a smile. And that doesn’t mean there were days where I knew my natural high wasn’t real but forced myself to feel that too.
I’ve forced myself to go out before because I thought everyone would think I was an asshole for staying behind, I’ve forced myself to do something I really didn’t want to do for the hell of it, and this would cost me my mental health. I would know that I was feeling depressed or anxious and I’d force myself to sit there and fight it. What happened next was ugly. I would feel the walls closing in on me, the room felt like it was moving at 100 mph and there I was, in slow-motion, unable to create a connection with anyone around me. My thoughts would run wild, my heart would start to race, and then within minutes I’d have to excuse myself and go home alone because I just couldn’t bear another moment in this dark hole.
I don’t know how many of you read what I write and actually know me or think you have an idea of me or just follow me on social media because we’ve met a time or two before. But for me being low-key isn’t easy. I’m not used to being alone, I’m not used to having minimal plans… I don’t like downtime. This sounds weird but I don’t. I just picked up a weekend job again because that’s how much I like to always be moving. I like discipline and schedules, I don’t want to have free time.
Before, this used to be because I couldn’t handle being alone with my thoughts. I couldn’t handle my own feelings and they ate me up. So this past summer, I did something I normally don’t do. I spent a lot of time alone and I was pretty low-key compared to my usual self. I’m not the girl who skipped the party phase by any means, and for that reason I needed to chill out. I needed to face my problems rather than distract myself from them. I needed to deal with what was really going on. Maybe it was the change of college to home and being in a relationship to being single. Maybe it was all of it, maybe it was things I couldn’t change, or a job I didn’t know if I liked. But there I was, I had to deal with it.
I spent a lot of days coming home and laying in my bed thinking, crying, talking to my friends and family and with that came the healing. At first it felt like it would only get worse and for a while it did, and then one day I woke up and there were fewer moments where I was sad, there were less anxious feelings that consumed me and a lot more time spent living care-free.
I can’t speak for everyone, I can only speak for myself. But sometimes we try so hard to be the person we want everyone to see us as, we forget to spend our time being the person we want to see ourselves as. That’s the recipe for disaster and it’s something I’ll never let myself get caught up in again.
Feeling your feelings, living the life you want and following your heart are the only things I intend on doing from here on out. I’m not going to sit there and try to be anything for anyone just to make a point about who I want you to think I am, I’m going to sit there and be sad when I’m sad and happy when I’m happy. I’m going to call you when I want to talk and I’m going to show up to the place I actually want to show up to. Life is all too short to be anything less than who you actually are and it is too precious to waste saving face rather than living it authentically.