This blog post is probably not what I’ve led you to expect. I have been planning to do a series of blogs around what growing up in (what most people would call) a shitty situation and what qualities I got from it.
I wanted to be all “out of muddy waters grows beauty”, etc. But it just hasn’t been sitting right, every single time I put pen to paper/ finger to keyboard it’s felt icky. It felt like I was trying to prolong a series for people to read so I could convince everyone that I am a better person because of what I have experienced in life. See? Icky, right?!
This is why I have been so “quiet”, I won’t publish things that don’t sit right with me.
In truth, while I have got a lot of qualities that I could attribute to whatever it fits in with, I feel like I am currently struggling to let these qualities shine through. I was going to write about my resilience, my adaptability, my ability to see the good, etc. But that just feels fraudulent.
Recently, I was given work by Self Love Sarah which led to posing a question on my social media asking people what words they would use to describe me. Before asking this, I had (privately) written words about myself. The words I used were half words I would describe myself as now and half aspirational. I compared the list I had written to the list by others so that I could gauge how authentic I am being.*
The kind of words that were used were; inspirational, loving, brave, beautiful, funny…
I sat and cried my heart out when I read them because they matched shockingly well with what I had written/ who I aspire to be. I once again felt like a fraud. Like I had made people believe that I was someone that I am not. Like I was (am) faking my place in the world.
That is when I realised that if I am not careful, I will end up very unwell.
Who am I kidding? I am unwell.
My symptoms are all coming back; shutting down from friends and family, crying most days, anxiety about leaving the house, anxiety about not leaving the house. The list goes on.
I think that this is mostly circumstantial- in the last 6 months, things have flipped. There are things in my life that used to make me happy that just don’t any more and my social life has taken a bit of a hit too as a couple of my best friends have moved away. One friendship is still thriving, but I am severely grieving for the other. It’s one of those that was strong one minute and kind of disappeared. It breaks my heart.
In some ways, I am the happiest I’ve been. Planning to marry the love of my life for example. Except it’s really hard because all of my bridesmaids are elsewhere so there are certain things that I just can’t do yet. This is not to make anyone feel bad, I wouldn’t do that to my Bridesmaids. It’s just to show that sometimes things are harder than they look.
There are a few other things that I need to sort through too, things that don’t really belong in my blog just yet, or maybe ever.
Then there is the last thing I realised – I can’t solve everything by myself. Mental Health issues come in lots of different forms and the one I have needs an ear, someone to sort through what is circumstantial and what has been there for much longer. Someone impartial.
I’ve made the decision to find a therapist. It’s the most loving thing I could do for myself right now.
I am typing this into my blog to challenge my feelings about getting help. I feel ashamed to ask for help. Very ashamed; but I shouldn’t. Nobody should. It is a crucial part of self love for those of us who are prone to mental illness.
So, here I am owning my shit and telling you all that I am prepared to put in the work to make things better even if I do feel like my head is barely above water right now.
* I want to stress that Sarah is amazing and the work she does is amazing. It is in no way related to her how I reacted to the work.