I want to be the girl everyone thinks I am.
The one who’s taken on the world without any sort of issue. The one who stands up for everything she believes in. The girl who’s managed to change sceneries time and time again without even batting an eyelash. I want to be the girl in my photos who’s smiling or laughing with different people in different places.
I don’t want to be the girl who’s currently cowered under her duvet wondering when everything got to a point of no return. I don’t want to be the girl who’s been under such stress from her own depression and anxiety that she’s had to move back home. The girl who’s had trouble admitting to herself that things aren’t going well. That everything that’s been going on lately has been way too much for her to shoulder on her own.
I want to be the girl who used to have everything come so naturally and easy that it looked so effortless. Life doesn’t work that way, though. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 26 years of being on this Earth is that at one point or another we’re all going to struggle. Some of us will struggle privately and manage to pull ourselves out of our darkest moments.
Some of us will realize there comes a time and point when we need to lean on all the people who love us wholeheartedly for extra love during times of despair.
The older I get the more I realize we’re so scared to talk about when we’re going through the really bad lows. That is largely due to the new normal of being flawless on social media. We look at everyone else’s lives that are going perfectly and compare them to our own. Comparison is natural, but we shouldn’t compare ourselves to such extreme points that it makes us question our own worth.
I find my default is comparing my older self to my younger self. I look back at 21 and think about how back then I was drinking way too much, dating really shitty guys and ignoring all of the mental health warning flags that kept appearing. I didn’t give a shit about being unhealthy because I didn’t have time to care about myself. I was too busy trying to find my worth at the bottom of a bottle or on the other side of some loser’s bed. To me though, in those moments of comparison, everything is idealized and romanticized. I only see the good.
I can logically look at those situations now and see the imperfections within them. I can see the damaging behavior I had allowed into my life daily.
I can see the fact that those decisions I made back then have made me who I am today.
While I wouldn’t change any experience I’ve had, I just wish I had been honest with myself back then. Maybe then I wouldn’t be the girl who’s holed up in her bedroom trying to figure out how to feel happiness again.
It’s scary to stand here with my chest open and all my feelings spilling out of me like I don’t have any time to catch them. It’s scary to admit my depression has hit such a low that my life has now been altered in major ways. It’s scary to think that from here on out I’m probably not going to be the same person anymore.
So while you’re sitting at home, trying to figure out if you should keep on pretending that you’re OK, or if you should reach out to someone close to you to tell them that right now you’re not sure how to keep it together, my advice is this; it’s always better to deal with it head on than to let it fester. Fuck anyone who thinks you’re weak because of your mental illness.
You are brave. You are strong. You will find your happiness again. All you need to do is put yourself first and other’s opinions last.
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Thinkstock photo via JulJuli