There’s no point sugar coating it so I’m just going to spit it out, life is a bit shit for me at the moment. Emotionally, I feel winded and as though my heart and head are finally catching up with each other; essentially I am just fucking exhausted.
That’s why writing has taken a back seat, why I hate using my phone, why it takes me hours or even days to respond to simple messages and why being anywhere other than my bed feels like a marathon I just can’t be fucked running.
Admitting that things are rough doesn’t come naturally to me. I was taught from a very young age to hide pain, trauma and sadness away from people because it’s private – sacred even. So I learned to fine tune my ability to separate what I could and couldn’t share with those around me.
As I got older I’ve held onto the shame surrounding being sad or hurt and tried to make light of any and everything so other people wouldn’t confuse me with someone who was hard to love. Heaven forbid I should have feelings other than excited, happy or playful. How selfish of me to want to share my thoughts and not hide in the shadows of my life pretending there is no darkness because it’s more comfortable for others.
That’s why I’ll forgive you for assuming I’m okay all the time.
Social media tells you I have a beautiful dog, loving friends and a never ending supply of perfectly constructed selfies and a caption to allude to my journey of radical self-love and appreciation for my mind, body and spirit but it’s all bullshit.
5 days out of 7 my dog will shit somewhere inside my house, I’ve cut so many friends from my life in the last 2 years I’m beginning to feel like Edward Scissorhands and my journey to self-love feels more like loathing some days but I’d never dare share that online.
I don’t know why we’ve become obsessed with manipulating our lives to appear more interesting or polished for the internet. I really don’t know why I care so much but the joke really is on me because look how fucking tired I’ve become. I’m not blaming social media, it’s just a large part of this new found anxiety I am experiencing; a pressure you might be feeling too.
It doesn’t help that I have always felt the need to be available to the people in my life who need me, often to the detriment of my own mental health.
The things that are weighing me down currently are as varied and complicated as they are totally valid.
I’ve been anxious about work, my phone, social media, my relationships and friendships, food, body image and all of the could, would and should haves that circle around my brain. I hold onto moments, people and situations that have long passed by. I obsess over all the things I wish I’d have said and hate feeling as though there are any unanswered questions. These things coupled with the grief I feel after losing my Dad (that just for the record – doesn’t seem to ever get easier) and the fact that I’m still haunted by very real and crippling childhood trauma is a recipe for self destruction.
Of course, this is made more difficult by the fact that I don’t like asking for help or admitting that my breakdown in the shower last night for 2 hours is beginning to feel more like deja vu than a once off.
Writing them down like that though, makes me feel connected to the things that strangle me. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t make them disappear but it does feel like a relief to not sweep them under the rug today, like I normally would.
My point is, that even when things seem simple or easy for someone it’s often not. I’m not looking for your sympathy I’m just looking for your patience and to connect with you (whoever you are) in a safe place.
Believe me when I say it feels like a win to find the strength to admit that I am not okay and as frightening as that is, it’s also totally normal to not be okay all the fucking time.
I always thought being strong meant ignoring the shit and just getting on with it. How cruel that the world we live in teaches children that ‘it didn’t hurt’, ‘you’re okay’ or not to be a ‘cry baby’ and then punish those who don’t speak up later on.
Let me make this really clear. You don’t have to hide away in your shame silently and you have nothing to be embarrassed about.
Being scared is normal and natural. I’m super fucking aware that it’s also heaps easier said than done but there are people who will listen, people who care and will be there when you do find the courage to reach out. Remember, your sadness or heavy heart are not the enemy and you’re certainly not weak for taking up space in this world by giving truth to exactly how you are feeling in that moment.
Practising self care can and does always look different to everyone. For me, it starts with being honest with myself about what I truly need instead of masking it with cheap thrills or instant validation. Take a walk, find a routine, cuddle your dog – fuck that – cuddle ALL the dogs! Make a plan, take a bath, meditate, be creative, see a doctor or talk to someone you trust.
Try to find a safe place to allow yourself the time you need to recharge and re-evaluate the things you can implement to have a better day tomorrow and don’t worry if it doesn’t go to plan. The day after that is a new opportunity to try again. I know the world is a scary place sometimes but you can get through whatever it is, I know this because I believe I can too.
If you’re having a shitty time too at the moment, please check out the link below and reach out and remember you’re never alone.