I’m posting this a lot later than I intended because life got in the way. You know how it does that sometimes.
This is what I know (part two):
It’s okay to feel shit. It’s okay to have feelings. They are important. They help us function. They help keep us safe. They help us understand. You are allowed to feel whatever you want to feel and don’t let anyone else take that away from you. I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to express your feelings and have someone hear them. If you need to stay in bed all weekend because your anxiety has taken a hold of you, do it. You will find your feet again. What is not okay is feeling like shit all the time and keeping it all inside, letting your feelings consume you. I urge you to find support if this is you. I have been to some very dark places thanks to my feelings. There were times where I thought they would not end. But somehow I was able to claw my way out. I still have really bad days sometimes. I’m not sure that my anxiety will ever be gone but I’m starting to think that it might be okay. You might think I’m crazy for saying that, but sometimes my anxiety helps me. It helps me be hyperaware in most situations; it helps feed in information for me to make decisions. It has also helped me tune into my body and be mindful of what it is telling me. My anxiety is as much a part of me as my dimples are when I smile.
Being stressed really does affect you physically. We need to make sure that we are looking after our minds and body. They are more connected than you might think. When I am stressed my body goes into nuclear meltdown mode. Everything I eat doesn’t sit well. I’m nauseous. I’m tired. My tolerance for everything is lowered. I eat foods that aren’t good for my body because I am too rundown to make better choices. My brain doesn’t function properly. I make silly mistakes and then beat myself up for it, because I should know better and just focus better (rolls eyes at self). My attention span is minimal and I find it hard to function. I feel like I am floating along. I forget what is said to me. I forget what I say. I turn into a zombie.
Buying clothes and shoes that are too small is never a good idea. Saying ‘oh I’m sure the shoes will stretch’ or ‘I will lose the weight’ is really not a good enough reason to buy them. I have donated so many clothes and shoes lately that I have bought when I was in that frame of mind. It only makes you feel worse for not having lost the weight you intended to lose in some silly timeframe that you gave yourself. And there are only so many times that you can wear your new shoes with thick socks to break them in before admitting defeat.
You are allowed to change your mind. This is how you grow. You don’t have to think one way for the rest of your life. I think it’s important to have an open mind. We are always learning and growing. Just don’t be a dick about it, don’t force shit down peoples throats. It’s also okay not to know and just sit back and take it in. I thought I had parts of my life mostly figured out and then one day, poof, I don’t want those things anymore. I am not sure of what I want. I’m not sure why it changed either, I feel like I lost my way a little. Or maybe this is the way that I need to be going. I’m learning to be okay with this, it’s really hard (I am trying my best not to over analyse, wish me luck). For now, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and see what comes my way.
Social media is powerful, but powerful in all the wrong ways. It can be so hard to ignore all the subtle and not so subtle messages about body image and comparing what you have with someone else. This is something that we all need to do a little less. We are all at different stages of our lives and it just doesn’t make sense to compare our chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 10. Social media can be a nasty space for scared people to say horrible things through fake profiles. I don’t understand how they can do it, but I guess some people just want to watch the world burn. I am hoping that there will be more and more positive and real pages coming through to remind us of all the love and support there is out there.
There is a lot of sadness, hatred and fear in this fucked up world. There is a lot of injustice and unfairness. There will always be something out there that has the power to suck you in and bring you down to a place that you thought you would never see. Your heart will break in so many ways that you never thought were possible but it will also swell with love and happiness. There is also lot of beauty in this world, sometimes we just have to look that little bit harder through the darkness to find it. But I promise you that it is there, waiting for you to be ready to see it.
We can’t fix it all. Even though we think that we can, we cant fix everything all at once. Sometimes it takes time to sort itself out. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom. Sometimes we need to take small steps to get to a better place. Sometimes we have to go through a lot of shit to find our way. I think that sometimes we forget that it is unhealthy to be happy all the time or to have everything perfect. We need to feel a whole range of emotions to learn how to regulate them and we need to fail a number of times before we understand how to do something properly.
Some people have opportunity fall into their laps and some people have to work 10 times harder than everyone else to get where they want to be. Both of these are okay and neither should be judged. We are all finding our way in this world, our experiences will be different. No matter which one of these people you are, remain humble. Nobody likes a prick.
The world needs more real people in it that: are not afraid to be themselves, are not afraid to speak up when something is not right, that support others with no judgment, that are accepting no questions asked. We need more people who are open and honest. It just makes it so much easier to get through life. I often worry what people will think of me and am afraid of judgment. But that quickly fades when I remember that I am surrounded by such amazing friends who just get me and love who I am. Be real and be kind that’s all I ask.
Taking a few deep breaths when you are overwhelmed really helps. I can’t even count the number of times doing this simple exercise has really helped me calm down. Breathe all the way in until your tummy is as full of air as it can get, then slowly release it. I try to imagine what it would look like to follow my breath in through my nose, down my throat and into my lungs and then back out of my body; it really helps to just focus on breathing and nothing else. Your brain is forced to just think about your breaths. I guess its like mini meditation but less effort. I’m all about a minimal effort.