I have just posted a blog that I wrote months ago. I was always too afraid to share it because I was scared of what people would think of me. I decided to post it now because I’m not afraid anymore to share my past or my truth. I also have taken a long time to believe in myself enough to not care what others think. I’m finally living life on my own terms and I’m okay if it get doesn’t get approval because my main goal out of this life I have been given is to be and do better for the world around me but most of all myself. It will always be a constant work of art and battle of all battles but if at the end of the day I’M happy with who I am, my actions, thoughts, words and my surroundings then that’s all that really matters.
Blog Post 05/09/2018
Putting your thoughts on paper can be a challenge. It can be difficult to even say them out loud at times or form a sentence with them. I decided to start writing because I feel like I have a lot to say and it’s built up over the years as now a days it’s so difficult to speak or live your truth. I have always found it helpful to read other’s stories and how they have overcome their battles. It’s kind of nice to know I’m not the only person in this crazy world with depressing moments,days, months or even years.
Growing up I felt stress free and I loved everything about myself, I had no need to compare myself to anyone else or feel unhappy with my genuine self. I always knew that I was different to others and it was okay if not everyone accepted me. It was simple and it felt like happiness. My parents brought me up in an environment where I was loved and there was never any negativity.
As I grew older in to the age of social media everything started to feel a little more complicated. All of a sudden it wasn’t just about who I was with in the moment or how I was feeling in the real world but more important to post those feelings online for others to see. Pictures were no longer shared among friends and family at the coffee table but now they were made in albums on the internet waiting for validation from people who in the real scheme of things didn’t matter. I feel like just as I was figuring out who I was I managed to get distracted by what others were doing and what their opinion was of me. It felt like if you weren’t following the crowd then you were a nobody/weird/not normal.
How is a teenager who is already going through so many changes supposed to deal with all this extra anxiety of seeing other’s online who may seem prettier, sportier or have better things than you? There is so much pressure put on you in school already. How to dress and act, what are you going to study, who are you going to be. It seems as if social media influences you to be anything but an expression of yourself.
If I look back and take a time when I started feeling severely depressed – it was when I was in grade 11. This was the year where all of the big pressures started. You had to have it all figured out already. How are you meant to know who you are and what you’re supposed to do in the world at 16 years old and try understand the thoughts going through your head – I still don’t have a set idea on who I am at 24! Social media made me think it was more important to have an online presence and show everyone that I am having fun instead of focusing on being happy or trying to fix what was really going on. In grade 11 I drank a lot and built up quite a name for myself. I was known as the party girl who was everywhere all the time. Looking back and thinking deeply about those times reminds me of how hurt and broken I really was. I had no idea who I was as a person and I constantly wanted validation from people whether it be on IM platforms or online with posts. I felt so lost in the world I didn’t even realize I was just 17 years old and all I had to do was go to school, enjoy my sports and spend quality time with the friends and family who truly mattered.
At that young age I put so much pressure on myself to the point where I felt unworthy. It got to the stage where I quit playing sports something I had always loved, I drank so much I blacked out a couple of times and ended up trying to take my life. Yes, I tried to kill myself. I sat on my bed one Saturday evening when no one was home and wrote a suicide letter. It was three pages long and drenched in tears. I explained my hurt, fears and how I felt about myself and the world around me. I then proceeded to finish A whole box of pain medication. I obviously had no clue what I was doing and thank goodness for that. I ended up passing out and waking up hours later. It seemed as if I didn’t really have the guts to do anything more extreme than that to end my life so I figured it can’t be that urgent to do so. I tore apart my letter, ate some dinner and went to bed. I woke up that Sunday and did my homework as if nothing had ever happened and went to school that week. I never spoke to anyone about it and still felt terrible inside. I lived every day carrying these emotions inside of me.
I have only told about 5 people to date about that story because I was ashamed of what people might think of me. I was too scared to ask for help because I was more concerned about what someone would say to me so instead I moved on like it never happened and continued to struggle with my demons inside all on my own. I struggled with these issues every day even more so when I left school. It was better at times but there were moments when I completely lost myself. I felt as if I didn’t have any clue of who I was and what I felt inside. I couldn’t describe my emotions and I basically just put on a show for everyone around me to see. There was more than one occasion where I almost went down the same road in school but this time had a little more fight in me. I basically had become someone that the world today expects you to be. Conformed, anxious and dependent on the opinion and validation of others. Only recently as in this passed year have I faced my fears and decided to just admit I was not okay. I didn’t get any help from psychologists or medication but instead just tried to learn and understand my feelings inside. Also try and figure out why I was truly unhappy. It has worked in tremendous ways and even though I’m no where near to where I want to be emotionally I’m 100-300% better than I was two years ago. It’s definitely not easy or for everyone but it has worked for me.
I have bad days every now and then but I have the strength and belief in myself to overcome any troubles that may arise even if it may take a while to do. I can honestly say that I am happy now. Real squishy, fuzzy, heart warming happiness. It takes hard work every single day I’m not going to deny that but it’s worth it. I am content with where I am in life and most importantly who I am in this world – as well as to myself. I have found that self love and that true gushy happiness is REALLY self made. No one can tell me what to do, or ‘make’ me feel that way, no medication or treatment can help me heal in the same way I can by just learning to understand my mind and how it works. It’s difficult and it takes effort but oh is it worth it!
I have also learnt that one of the main roots for my depression was because I wasn’t living my own truth. I focused too much on being like everyone else to fit in when I am unique in my own way and I definitely have a lot to offer the world just by being me. Today it’s all about what your Instagram feed looks like, the latest influencers, being ‘perfect’ online. What is the point if you are living just to watch everyone else’s life and then trying to figure out your next move based on being better than them when the truth is most of what is out there is not 100% real. There’s always a whole life behind the scenes that no one wants to show you because unfortunately if you don’t share a lifestyle filled with perfection and accomplishments then who cares right? Social media has it’s ups but unfortunately it has many downs and it’s shaping many people around you into something they are not while creating more mental health issues than there has ever been in history.
It’s so important to know that you are not alone in your struggles. Mental illness is a huge issue especially in this day and age. Not enough people care about it or shy away. If I had known this when I was 17 years old imagine how many years of hurt and grief I could have saved myself from. Even though it has helped shaped me into who I am today I still think I could have prevented so much damage I did to myself mentally. I hope that someday soon the world will take mental health and the implications of what you post online more seriously. I sure do and every day I try look at those around me in a different way – who knows what the person sitting next to you might be going through. Ask your family member if they are really okay, give your friend a call and ask them if they need to talk, treat an angered person with respect and kindness, hold no grudges and forgive. One small gesture can create one big positive chain reaction or the opposite.
This is what I have learnt:
It’s okay to be sad and not know why. As long as one can take small steps in feeling better even if it’s drinking tea while listening to a favorite song.
Most of the time when you compare yourself to a lifestyle showcased on Social Media it isn’t realistic. There’s always a back story and by just looking around and counting your blessings you will be real surprised at how crazy good your life is AND that you are one of a kind which is all you really need to give the world.
A lot of what happens around us is REALLY in our control. I don’t have to do anything I’m not happy to do and it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I can make the world around me a positive/exciting/mind blowingly happy one!
It’s okay to ask for help or speak to someone about what’s going on in my head. Find someone who you trust and just open up. They don’t have to give you advice but just letting it all out to another human being can help in tremendous ways I have found.
Never be ashamed about feeling anxious or depressed. It’s out of your control and the mind can be an overwhelming powerful force. For me I have rather just accepted the way I am feeling and I take action (even in a tiny way) to overcome these feelings. Most of the time by accepting and understanding (knowing it’s humanly me) I can already feel a bit more sane.
Look around and be grateful for all those little things you may take for granted. You may not have what others have but there are definitely pro’s in anyone’s life.
Treat everyone with kindness and try look at reasons they might be acting out. If someone is rude, arrogant, quiet, possibly a bit weird whatever they are – it may be because they are fighting a battle on which they are completely on their own. I know how I’ve acted/treated people in my worst of times and even though I may have hurt or offended them I was truly hurting inside. KINDNESS and UNDERSTANDING to those around you is vital.