About a year and almost two months ago, I wrote a piece for this site. I wrote an article for me. A piece that many people connected with despite it being one of my darkest times. I was not a good place. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I started going to therapy. I never knew how bad I had beat up on myself and let all these naysayers get in my head over the years. In many ways, I let fear dictate my life instead of going for what I wanted. In many ways, I’d be lying if I said I had not done this for some time now. Lately, I find myself applying for numerous jobs online. All of them so far have been writing based because that is my passion. Ultimately at the end of the day, I love writing. But because I kept hearing all these little things and letting them stay with me, I could not break through my bullshit to dive deeper into who I could be.
Right now, all I know is that I’m furloughed, and I haven’t wanted to admit that to anyone. I haven’t even told some of my best friends this because accepting it makes it real and that being real is a scary place to be ultimately. So regardless, I’m in a place where I want to shoot for some dreams. I have to do this now. I keep hearing that in my head repeatedly, and I’ve made little strides throughout the last five weeks. I feel like I am writing regularly. I feel like if I’m not writing, then I’m sleeping, eating, or exercising. Those are the main things I do these days. I feel like to some degree that I’ve been sleeping more because of the anxiety. The irony is it isn’t on a schedule. My body has balked at plans and instead is now one giant shrug.
The problem is I need routine. I’ve learned this through my exercising. Even if I choose to exercise at eight at night or even ten at night, I need that routine. I need to at some point during my day to exercise for fifty minutes. I also need to get back into the habit that I have to walk for 500 steps an hour during my day. These are thoughts that would have made me curl up into a ball a year ago. I think that’s why when I hear things like well you need to be accountable from a doctor I want to scream YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW ACCOUNTABLE I AM NOW. Because I know my journey. And lord knows there is not enough time in the world in a doctor’s office to tell a doctor their entire journey within a year. There’s not.
And that’s okay for the most part, you know? I’m not mad about that, but sometimes it does make me wonder why we merely look at someone or assume things. Just because I weigh what I weigh does not make me an awful person. Does it mean I need to lose weight to be healthy? Yeah, it does at this point. I’m on pills I was not on a year ago to keep me on a straight and narrow path. I can get off these pills by merely losing weight. And while I’m not saying go out there and start the latest fad diet or shaming anyone, I am saying that for me, I need to lose weight. The crazier part is that I want to lose weight because I enjoy exercising.
My mental health has improved SO much just from exercising almost every day. I let myself get into a slump after I had the flu this year because I felt like I couldn’t breathe after I exercised, or it was harder in general to catch my breath entirely. I stopped exercising for a while as much as I wanted, and I built myself back up to exercising six days a week, 50 minutes every day, with strength training being a part of those days three days a week. It works for me, and it keeps me sane despite loathing strength training. I think it does provide something for the mind, body, and spirit. Its a part of my self-love even if I hate it. I know that sounds so weird because it felt weird for me to type, but it’s true.
Last year at this time, I was doing so much work on me, and that’s not to say I have stopped, but I was a completely different person. I’m not the same person, and I’m so glad I’m not her anymore. I’m delighted to know that we can go somewhere deep and so dark and come out in the light. I’m glad to know that ultimately she wasn’t me. I do not have to remain the same person I was a year ago. YOU do not have to stay the same person you were a year ago. In life, what people don’t tell you is how vital growth truly is to your mindset. I had no confidence a year ago. None. It was like years of having people make fun of me or bully me into submission took that way. I was mostly a doormat.
I did not speak my mind. I didn’t speak up when I was hurting. I continued to let people run over me because they could. They knew they could get away with it, and that’s not to say that people were continually running me over, but there were a handful of people who knew I wasn’t going to say anything. They knew, and they took advantage, so I finally got to a point where I just stopped letting people take advantage. I started to say no. I quit feeling guilty about saying no. That’s a HUGE one. I would always feel SO BAD for saying no to a friend because I felt like saying no made me the proverbial bad guy. On many levels, I felt like by saying no I was somehow telling them that I hated their guts, and I never wanted to hang out again—anxiety at its best folks.
And that’s the crazy part about anxiety: sometimes, even though you know someone wouldn’t intentionally hurt you, you’re still worried. You feel that pain. They still hurt you. And that’s okay. You are allowed to feel what you’re feeling. No one can tell you differenty because they are YOUR feelings. What you’re not allowed is to let someone gaslight you into thinking that you have no right to feel that way. Do not doubt yourself. It’s SO hard not to doubt ourselves because we live in a society where we can continuously do more and be better. I’m not saying that is something we shouldn’t strive for because we should always want to be a better version of ourselves than we were yesterday. BUT this does not mean that I should feel bad because I had a piece of chocolate cake or I spoke up for myself, and someone disagreed.
THAT DOES NOT MAKE ME A BAD PERSON. THAT DOES NOT MAKE YOU A BAD PERSON.
I repeated myself and then told you, my reader, the same because it’s a lesson that has taken me YEARS to learn. Mindset is half of the battle, folks. It doesn’t happen overnight, but know that regardless you will get through whatever you feel you cannot right now. It might be two months from now, or it might be a whole year from now, but you don’t have to be the same year in a year. That’s the critical thing to take from this and know that it’s ALWAYS okay to continue getting to know yourself. Love yourself. The rest will slowly fall into place. Besides, like Demi Lovato asked, “What’s wrong with being confident?” and my answer is not a damn thing.