Trying to understand: a sort of poem

I’m trying to understand why you’ll support everyone else but me.

I’m trying to comprehend how you can understood someone else’s pain over my own.

All I’ve ever wanted is for you to understand, it’s all I’ve ever needed.

I was nine years old when I first felt unworthy. That feeling only continued to grow.

I tried asking for help, tried telling you my pain but all you did was make me feel worse.

I tried telling you that I needed help, that I wanted to feel happy but all you did was tell me no.

I hurt myself, I hurt others.

I cried myself to sleep most nights.

And I was convinced that I was the problem.

I wasn’t.

Wanting help didn’t make me weak, it made me strong.

Those periods of depression I had, the symptoms of my anxiety that you labeled as “bipolar” or childish, the cuts on my skin that you claimed I had no reason to have.

You made me feel worse for coping with my pain when you wouldn’t get me the help I needed.

But when a a stranger or someone on the news shares their own struggles, you support them.

Where was your support for me? Where is it? Because here I am, twenty one years old still trying to find reasons to live.

Looks are all too deceiving.

I smile, I laugh, I joke, and I have an outgoing personality.

The surface is great when it hides what’s underneath.

What you don’t see?

My heart threatening to pound out of my chest, the thoughts going through my head that try to convince me of why I should give up, and the pain I feel over being misunderstood.

I’ve gotten the help I needed.

I’m better now than ever before.

And I love myself more often than not.

I did it without you when I should have had you along for the ride.

So, I’m trying to understand why you’ll support everyone else but me.

I’m trying to comprehend how you can understood someone else’s pain over my own.

Are you afraid to face the truth? Are you ashamed that you weren’t there when you should’ve been?

Whatever the reason. I forgive you.

I forgive you because I know now that you just didn’t know how.

Everything is so much easier when you’re not the one directly involved.

I understand.

At least I’m trying to.

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In a low

I’m in a low. That’s the only way to describe it. It happens every so often, though not as much as it used to. It’s difficult to pinpoint why, but I should be happy.

Life is good, steady, albeit busy but that’s the life of a senior in their final semester of college. Still, I’m in a low. I can feel it in my body, my mind, and even my heart. It takes everything in me to not drop all of my responsibilities and curl into a ball on my bed. In the past that’s what I would have done. But I can’t. Not now. Not with all of these things that I need to do every single day. But I want to. I really, really do.

I hate my low, it isn’t a fun place to be. It breaks me down and rips apart my insides, and no one sees it. No. It’s a battle I fight beneath the surface, beneath what others can actually see. I can feel my anxiety on the brink of completely giving in, a panic attack waiting to emerge. But I won’t let it. I can’t.

People don’t understand what it’s like for me and the only way for me to describe it to them is with words. Even those don’t do it justice. I’m in a low and I really hope I come out of it soon because fake smiles, forced laughter, and dangerous thoughts are no way to live.

I am enough

I never thought much of myself. I never thought I was pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, etc. I spent all of my time comparing myself to everyone else. .

it was sad really, almost heartbreaking. I convinced myself that I was disgusting because I wasn’t as thin as this person or as pretty as another. I hated not being like everyone else, it made me angry. So, I took it out on myself. I hurt myself, figuratively and literally.

It didn’t matter what my closest friends told me, I didn’t want to hear it. I always thought they were telling me what they thought I wanted to hear or what they thought they were supposed to say. I never stopped to think that maybe they truly meant it. I didn’t realize it then but my friends, as few as they may be, were genuine in their belief that I was enough. And that’s because in their eyes, I was. It was my own eyes and the eyes of my bullies that didn’t agree.

I was too busy comparing myself to the popular girl, the girl who got the guy, or the perfect girl on the cover of a magazine. She was beautiful, she had the perfect body, and she was probably smart, too. Beauty and brains, wasn’t that the dream?

I harmed myself and put my own self down because I believed my bullies and because I believed that the images staring me back in the face every time I opened a magazine were real. Although that may have been true, I failed to realize how real I was too. I failed to realize that my body, my features, my personality, were all parts of me, that they were all parts that my friends and family loved. I just didn’t love them too.

When I was old enough to realize this, I was afraid that I was too late. But I wasn’t. Because it’s never too late. It’s never too late to love yourself and to realize that what sets you apart from someone else is also what makes you perfect. By acknowledging your differences, you’re acknowledging that you’re original. Isn’t originality better than a falsified, copied persona? I certainly think so. Once I admitted this to myself, loving myself became easier.

I’m still working on that self love and I’m still struggling to accept that my imperfections are okay. It’s a daily process of waking up, looking in the mirror, and not looking away in disgust at the person staring back at me because that person is real, that person is me. I am enough. I am. It’s a daily effort, one that’s extremely difficult at times, but I know the truth. Even when I’m at my darkest, there’s a small light telling me that I am enough.

Find your light. Be your own light. Know that you are enough. It’s so simple to make comparisons and to fabricate a result, but most of the time that result is bogus. If you’re happy and comfortable in your own skin then what else really matters? Nothing. Life is too short. If you’re happy, be happy. It’s your body, your mind, your everything, and no one else has a say in it.

You are enough. I promise you that. And I am enough, I promise myself that, too.

I’ll admit it to myself, I’ll admit it to you

It isn’t an easy thing to talk about. In fact, people dismiss it when it comes up. Not always but enough times for me to not want to talk about it anymore. Until now. I felt the need to share this. I’ve mentioned it before but never this bluntly.

These last couple of weeks have been especially hard on me. Whether it’s stress from school, my insecurities, or my mind getting the best of me, I don’t really know. All I know is that finding reasons to stay has been especially hard.

There are moments where I’ll be laughing or smiling and out of nowhere sadness will hit me. At first it’s subtle, almost non existent. And then, after a few moments, I start to really feel it. A heaviness pushes on my heart and it’s hard to fight. Most days I ignore it and push it aside while other days aren’t so easy.

Those are the days I start to question my place in this world. I question why I’m here and what I really have to fight for.  I question everything. These are the same days where giving up feels simple, almost logical. But it’s not. I know it’s not. It’s hard to convince myself of that though, especially when I’m overwhelmed with sadness. It would be so easy to give up.

I’ve never admitted this to myself. It isn’t an easy thing to do. Why? Because I was at the doctor’s office one day and he asked, “Do you think you have a mental health problem?” The way he said it was almost condescending. He followed that question with saying that he didn’t think I did.

So, I’ve never admitted it. I’ve never admitted that seven letter word. I’ve never admitted that I’ve contemplated it more times than I can count or that it breaks my soul when I do because I can’t control the thoughts that pierce through my heart and soar into my mind.

But I’m going to admit it now. I’m going to use that word. I’m going to say it. I’m going to admit it to myself. I’m going to admit it to you.

Suicide.

I’ve contemplated suicide more times than I can count.

It’s not that I want to do it. It’s just that when the sadness takes over, I lose all sense of myself and instead focus on ways to get rid of the sadness. Leaving always seemed like the easiest option, even now. But I know I’m wrong. So wrong.

I don’t want to die. I don’t want to take my own life. I just want the sadness to go away and I want to love myself for longer than one day at a time.

I have too many reasons to stay, too many reasons to not give up.

I’m still here because even when it feels impossible, I remember my reasons and I hold onto them for dear life. I hold onto them as tightly as I can and remind myself of why I’m fighting. Especially now. Because a few years ago, I didn’t have the same reasons I do now. They weren’t as prominent or strong.

Now I have friends. Unbelievably supportive friends who break through the darkness with their light. I have family who love me even with my flaws and insecurities. And I have myself, with the strength to push through the doubts and stay.

There was a time when my list of reasons wouldn’t have been gone higher than one.

Suicide is treated as a dirty word. And like most words associated with mental health, it has a negative connotation attached to it.

It’s okay to admit your struggles. It’s okay to voice them aloud or even just write them down. It’s important to acknowledge them and know that they’re real.

It’s true what they say. Acceptance is the first and greatest step to healing.

It’s an every day battle and some days are easier than others but I’m still fighting. Because of that, I’m healing too.

Remember your reasons, admit your struggles, and use that to make it through.

Live, stay, and fight. It might feel impossible but it isn’t. You’re doing it right now. And so am I. Let’s do it together.

I woke up loving myself

It doesn’t happen often, but today I woke up loving myself.

My imperfections that would normally cause me to curl into a ball and hide were insignificant. I didn’t care that my hair was too frizzy, that my muffin top was more noticeable, or that my eyebrows weren’t on point. I just woke up grateful to be alive. And for this reason, I loved myself and didn’t put myself down.

I know that all days should be like this. I know that my imperfections shouldn’t be as detrimental as they are and that loving myself should always be a thing, but it isn’t. Most days I loath myself. I loath myself so much that I spend most moments trapped inside my own head while comparing myself to every person passing by. It gets exhausting. It gets hurtful. And I end up hating myself for these minor flaws.

Not today. Nope. Today I was able to look in the mirror and smile because I felt beautiful. I felt worthy. Whatever imperfections I thought I had paled in comparison to the feeling of love I felt when I woke up.

Love is a powerful sentiment. As humans, we all crave it. Every single one of us. Most of the time it’s the lack of romantic love that sets us back, and without it we feel lonely.

For me, it’s self love. When I don’t love myself, I’m at my darkest. I feel absolutely alone when I don’t love who I am. Which is why this morning was so significant. I felt better than I did yesterday. I felt slightly less empty. I felt good enough.

Unfortunately, this feeling is rare. I don’t always love myself. In fact, more often than not, it’s the opposite. I hate myself. I hate everything that makes me different, everything that makes me stand out.

I shouldn’t. I know I shouldn’t, but if you’re anything like me then you know that it is much easier said than done.

So today, when I woke up happy with a fuller heart and lighter soul, I didn’t question it. I just let it be.

But I love this feeling. I love that I woke up loving myself. I don’t want it to go away.

I’m going to write down my flaws  (or what I think to be flaws) and beside each one write why these so-called imperfections are actually perfect. I’m going to spin them.

Flaws are only flaws if we let them be. I mean, who decides whether or not you’re a beautiful person? Who determines your intelligence? Who has the right to tell you that you’re not good enough? No one. Not even yourself.

I’m going to keep this list close and I’m going to make it an every day hope to wake up and love myself. Because if I love myself, and all that makes me who I am, then that’s really all that should matter.

Wake up. Love yourself.

Sounds simple enough right? Maybe not. But it can be, and it will.

I’m going to stay

I got a tattoo. A tattoo that says “Here I’ll Stay.”

I got it as a reminder. I was so tired of convincing myself that I wasn’t good enough and that I didn’t have a reason to be here. I was running out of reasons to stay. In fact, there was a time I didn’t have any at all. Actually, there are still days I struggle to find some, or even just one.

How do I explain that to people? How do I explain that the reason I’m upset or acting out is because I have this internal struggle of whether or not I should stay? How do I explain that when I’m unusually quiet, it’s usually because the little voice inside my head is listing all of the reasons I shouldn’t fight, all of the reasons I shouldn’t stay? How do I admit to that?

I don’t. I let it happen. I deal with it. And I push it aside until I’m forced to acknowledge it, until the thoughts become too much.

One day when the little voice was listing off why I shouldn’t stay, I blocked it out and started a list of my own with reasons why I should.

This is why I got the tattoo. To serve as a permanent reminder. To remind me that when the little voice invades my heart, soul, mind, and whole being, that I have a list of my own. A list of reasons to stay.

I’m sharing a fraction of my story because if you have a little voice inside of your head trying to tell you to give up, hopefully making your own list will help shut it up.

I did it. You can do it. We can all do it.

Living, staying, and fighting has honestly never felt as good.

That’s why I’m going to stay.

To put it bluntly: Loneliness sucks

I’m lonely. As many people as I interact with every day and as often as I’m surrounded by people, there’s a constant loneliness deep in my heart. As deep as it is, I still feel it. Every minute of every single day, I feel it. And it sucks. I don’t know how else to describe it. But I’m going to try.

I don’t feel connected to anyone. I don’t feel like anyone really knows me. Heck, I’m not even sure if I know myself. I live in my head 90% of the time and a lot of the time I spend there isn’t by choice. It’s just something that happens. When I feel inferior or afraid, I hide inside my head and observe. I observe everyone around me, from their conversations to their mannerisms, and I wish it were as easy for me to do what they’re doing. For me, most conversations feel forced and I never feel like I’m saying the right thing. I feel like an intruder when I voice my opinion or when I try to make myself fit in.

Maybe that’s why I feel lonely. I’m at a constant competition with others around me when I shouldn’t be. I should just live my life and talk to people without it being something more. But it is. For me, it’s always something more. There’s also the small issue with the nagging voice inside my head constantly pointing out my flaws every opportunity it gets.

How do I fix it? How do I become comfortable enough to talk to other people without feeling intrusive or awkward? How do I open up without beating myself up over it after for being so selfish? How do I get rid of the constant ache in my heart when I’m still working through my pain? How do I become normal?

I don’t have the answers but I’m hoping to find them soon because I’m so done with being a victim of myself. I’m stronger than I was before but I want to be strong enough to be okay. I need to be.

My new goals? To have a conversation without reading so much into it. To participate in group conversations without being afraid of whether I’m intruding or not. And to silence the doubt inside my head.

If you have these same issues or some similar, try making some goals of your own. Use them to help ground you. They might help, they might not. We never know until we try.