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.

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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.

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.

Beating your own mind

Sometimes I forget how my mind works. I forget that it’s always at full speed with little breathing room to relax. I forget that I over-think and over-feel. I forget that when I want peace all I get is chaos.

Most of the time my thoughts are filled with doubt and words that lack encouragement. I shove them aside as best as I can and dismiss them whenever possible but most of the time they linger and grow, making it difficult to find my self worth. I hate it. I hate it because I’m always searching for admiration or praise from others when I should be able to do that for myself.

I found myself for a little while. And for that little while, I thought I would be okay. But that little while didn’t last long. I panic and I break every other day. I struggle to find happiness. And when I do feel an ounce of light break through the darkness, I question whether it’s real or not.

I don’t feel good enough. I don’t feel like I’ll ever amount to anything. And I question why I’m still fighting to prove myself wrong. It’s because I know I’m here for a reason. I know I’m here to make a difference. I know that fighting is better than giving up so that’s why I do it.

My mind is constantly on overdrive, threatening to break me completely. When I close my eyes and try to settle in silence, I hear chimes and whistling. I hear noise. Nothing but noise. So, I sit through it and hope it passes. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a hit and miss, really. It almost drives me mad.

So, sometimes I forget how my mind works. I forget that when I want peace all I get is chaos. And that’s okay. It’s okay because I’m fighting it. Every day, even when those pesky voices try and convince me otherwise, I know I’m strong enough to beat this. Fighting each battle is hard when you don’t know if you’ll win the war but with each battle you beat, you’re one step closer.

It isn’t easy trying to explain to others how my mind works or why I have a hard time staying present. They don’t understand and I don’t hold that against them because I barely understand it myself. I’m just the one living it.

If your mind works like mine does then try these few steps:

  1. Breath. Always breath. And let the air you release take the negativity away with it.
  2. Concentrate on the now. Don’t let the past or future distract you. Just focus on what’s at hand and do one thing at a time.
  3. Write. If concentrating is hard and breathing doesn’t work, then write down the distractions going on in your head. Whether they’re words or sounds that call your attention, write them in a journal. Read back on them later. This could help you find ways to defeat them later.

I can do it. You can do it. We can do it together.

Live, stay, and fight. You’ve got this. We’ve got this. Our minds are our own and it’s time we took them back.

Some days are painful

I don’t know how to make it stop. I feel as if this pain is on repeat.

But why am I in so much pain? Why can I barely breath? And why are there tears falling?

Maybe it’s because I’ve been holding it all in. I’ve been brushing off the stress, insecurities, and worry that have been coming into my life. I’ve been brushing them off because I didn’t have the time to dwell on them.

We’re all living this life and we all have certain challenges that we face every single day. So, I treated my own challenges just like that, like they were ordinary and easily dismissed.

I was wrong for doing that because it all built. Every single emotion that I’ve been feeling for the past few weeks built on top of the other and left me with a gaping hole in the middle of my soul. What I thought I could handle, I couldn’t. I can’t.

Life is too short to live it with this much stress, doubt, and worry. I don’t know why it hurts so bad or why I’m losing so much hope in myself but I am.

Some days are just painful.

And again, I’m doing it on my own. And just like all of the other times, I know I’ll get through it. I just have to wait it out and let life take its course.

While that happens, I’m going to let myself hurt and I’m going to let myself cry because that’s what makes me human. It doesn’t make me weak or unable. It just allows me to release my anger in a healthy, natural way.

Giving into your emotions and expressing them is the most human, genuine thing a person can do.

I don’t even care if other people think I’m overreacting or being dramatic. I’m being a person and I’m going to cry until I feel better.

If you’re having one of these bad days, too, then cry. Just cry or do whatever is going to make you feel better. It’s your pain, your stress, your emotions. You’re the only one who can feel them. Don’t be ashamed to feel or express them because they’re a part of you and we all have them.

It’s okay to be weak sometimes because that weakness is what’s going to make you stronger in the long run.

Some days are painful and dealing with that pain isn’t something to shy away from because if you let it build too much, that pain will only get worse and none of us want that, right? I know I don’t.

Stress filled days

I cannot express how stressful my life has been as of late.

It’s a new found stress, one that I’m not entirely used to.

I’ve taken on more tasks than I can handle but I continue to add onto it, completing each one with just as much anxiety as the last.

This has caused a huge damper on my mental health. Naturally, I have a ton of anxiety and self doubt. Add stress and a never ending work load into the mix and I’ve got a heightened set of emotions.

Like now, for example, I type this with a tear in my eye, shaky hands, and wine by my side.

It’s a typical Sunday night, really. One where unwinding is a must. I sort of do that in reverse though because rather than unwinding at the end of the week on say Friday, I unwind on Sunday evenings, the night before the week starts.

Today was especially difficult though, I honestly felt like it was never going to end. I can’t even count how many mini or almost panic attacks I had.

How did I get through this? I took deep breaths and when the self doubt started pouring in, I reminded myself of my purpose. When I was done convincing myself that the end of the world wasn’t near and that I could handle it, I turned to one of my best friends.

There was a time when I wouldn’t let anyone in, when I would deal with the pain and anxiety on my own. I learned soon after letting this friend in that it’s okay to have people by your side when you feel like you’re on a downward spiral. Why? Because if you trust them enough to let them in then chances are that you love them and their love is probably just as strong, meaning that they can help you better than you can help yourself. Most of the time, anyway.

My point? Today was hard. Most of my days are. I could’ve listened to the doubt in my head, the harsh remarks they were giving me, and I could’ve numbed myself from the pain that came from it. Instead I let it roll on through like a tornado in the South and waited for it to pass. It isn’t easy but each time feels a little more bearable than the last.

Today was a day where I lived, stayed, and fought. A day where I stood my ground and came out stronger because of it. I feel good. I feel strong. And it’s all because I didn’t give into the negativity that threatened to take me.

You can, too. If you have a hard day, filled with stress, just remember your purpose and don’t be afraid to let others in.