Hey there! I really appreciate you taking the time to read our blog, it means so much to me! Justin and I focus a lot on positivity and mindset and I know sometimes it may get annoying. But I think that it is so important to spread positivity, and offer words of encouragement and support because it wasn’t that long ago that I was in a very dark place. There is so much stigma around mental illness in society today, but with 20% of adults experiencing some form of mental illness, it appears that just like teaching sex-ed in high schools -> if we don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. Right?
So I have taken it upon myself, as a mission of some sort, to share my struggles with depression, anxiety, self-esteem, toxic relationships and anything else that I have experienced in my life that I feel others might be experiencing too. With the hope to do everything possible in my power to reach out to those who are hurting and let them know that they are not alone. So, with that I ask you (if you choose to consider reading) to please take a minute and let the people in your life know that you care about them (including yourself) and that you are there for them. Because even the happiest of people may be crying themselves to sleep at night.
The other day I received an email reminding me that I had opened my online journal account 4.5 years ago and made my first and only entry on that day. And When I logged in to delete my account, this journal entry opened up and naturally I decided to read what I had written:
Reading my own thoughts and feelings from so long ago really just breaks my heart. And it makes me so sad thinking about the fact that no one ever stopped to ask me if I was okay or if I needed someone to talk to. I have always considered myself as someone who is very good at interpreting other people’s emotional states and feeling what they are feeling. I was always more concerned with how other people felt and how I could make them feel better. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that not everyone felt this way. I was always doing everything for everyone else, never asking for anything in return because it made me happy making other people happy. And I figured that by them being happy that was enough, but I often felt like I put in way more effort than I received and often was left feeling unworthy and taken advantage of.
Anytime I tried to talk about my feelings (and let me tell you as a teenage girl with raging hormones, divorced parents and two step families -> I had a lot of them) I was more often than not met with “you’re overreacting” or “you are misinterpreting what they are doing/saying, because they would never do that.” And I was left feeling even more unworthy after speaking my feelings than I felt before I had said anything. So I learned that it hurt me less (or so I thought) to just keep those feelings inside. I lived for so long with the belief that my feelings did not matter and that the only thing I gained from sharing how I felt was more pain. It was less that I was overreacting, than it was to hear from someone else.
All I ever wanted was for someone to care about and validate my feelings and let me know they were there for me. It seems so simple, but often times people are listening to respond and not listening to understand. They were so focused on fixing things and forgot to ensure me that my feelings were understood and they cared. And it only takes so many times before instead of “they would never do that” you hear “your feelings don’t matter, so I stopped trying to ask for help. I now have come to realize that the only person who has the right to decide how you feel is yourself, YOU are the only one. Someone can decide that they didn’t intend to hurt your feelings or that their actions/words may have been communicated, but they have no right to tell you how you feel.
Unfortunately keeping everything bottled up inside wasn’t something I could sustain for forever, and I was slowly reaching my breaking point. I went from being able to live my life by putting forth a facade that I was happy to withdrawing from everyone around me because: 1) I didn’t want to explode all these negative hurt feelings onto some unsuspecting person and 2) I didn’t believe I was worthy of anyone’s time or attention. But, when I finally felt like I couldn’t take it anymore, not for one more day, not for one more second something inside me said “don’t give up.” In that one moment, it became so clear to me that the only person that I ever needed to be there for me was myself. I needed to believe that my feelings mattered. I needed to believe I was worth something. And I decided that I wasn’t going to live another moment on this Earth if I was going to continue to feel this way and I knew I had to decide whether I wanted to stand up for myself or not.
And over time I have crawled out of that deep dark hole I had once believed I had been destined to live inside for my entire life. And as sad as it makes me to see physical evidence of the feelings I once had, it makes me so damn proud of myself for choosing to stand up for myself and get out of that toxic place. So proud that I have worked through all that pain and hurt. I want to be that person that I needed, that person who is there to help others find their strength. Yes, the only person you ever need to validate your feelings is yourself, and everything that you have ever needed is inside of you but you are not alone on this journey.
I may not know you personally, but if you are currently or are ever, feeling like you are worthless, helpless, stuck, numb or whatever it is that you are feeling. I want you to know that I will always be here for you. I am not telling you this because I want your pity or because I want attention. I am sharing this because if the person I was when I wrote that journal entry was to stumble across something like this, I would hope that she would feel slightly less alone.
And I’m also writing this for you all because regardless of your mental health, past or present, I want you to know that you are important and you are enough. I want you to know your life is worth living and realize that you want to live it, and live it to the fullest capacity.I want you to know that your feelings are valid and you deserve to be heard. And I also want you to know that it is going to be hard, nothing in life comes easy, but you don’t have to do this alone. Things won’t always be this way, you didn’t come this far to only come this far -> you just have to have a little faith. You have survived 100% of your worst days thus far and that is something to be so proud of. You are strong. You are a warrior. You can do this.