June 7th is my birthday and when it approached I started writing this blog post.
Every year when my birthday comes around I like to spend a lot of time thinking of all the things that are associated with becoming another year older. I agonize over whether I’ve done enough of the things I really want to be doing with my life or whether or not I’ve already accomplished the long list of things I had hoped to do by now. I recognize that if there are things I wish I was doing (like this blog) it is up to me and only me to do it. I know I can do it but fear and anxiety still hold me back. I don’t want it to- but the truth is that I’m afraid because if I start blogging then you’ll know me better. You just might see the real me.
I don’t want to be afraid, but the truth is I have anxiety and depression and it’s always there lurking in the shadows causing this ready-to-spring-at-any-moment crippling fear. You wouldn’t know all this just from knowing me. I try to pretend to be stoic and poised and always at my best manners. I will smile at you forever and Asian winky face at you until you laugh. None of this is ever fake, I love to shine on others to try to brighten their days, but when it comes to myself I like solitude. I don’t like people to see me when I’m hurting or inexplicably sad or panicked. I want everything to be perfect but it can’t. I want this blog to be perfect and sunshine and rainbows and glitter- but I’m afraid the more I write, the more of my true self that I reveal, the more vulnerable I become. I’d like to break the cycle and try to use it as a strength.
One of my incredibly smart besties recently had a lengthy conversation with me about how the dream of everything perfect seems unrealistic. In every story, there has to be some sort of conflict. I realized if I want to write, I can still write about makeup and cooking and the things in my life that bring me joy and sadness. There are no guidelines. When I started this blog, I remember that I started it for me because I enjoyed writing. Yet I feel as though I rarely blog because I’m afraid of my weaknesses being revealed. Sometimes my anxiety and depression make my brain feel like it’s spiraling out of my control. Sometimes they are like two halves of an hourglass, slowly falling through to the depths of the other half, until one gets closer to being filled and I fight it because I desperately don’t want all the sand on one side, so I flip it over again- but I can never escape the hourglass no matter how many times I turn it and it’s a neverending battle for balance… sometimes the sand gets stuck, and then I get stuck, and I don’t know what to do and I feel my anxiety heightening and my panic rising. It is rare but I’ve had panic attacks before. It has taken me a long time to realize that it is not a weakness, a flaw in my character as I previously viewed it; it is something I cannot control, that is beyond my control.
I am getting help and I am feeling better by the day. I started taking medication again. The last time I was having issues the medication didn’t really help me and was making me feel worse instead of better which is why I ultimately stopped. I’m having much better luck this time around. I’m happy and most importantly hopeful.
Samuel Butler once said, “Happiness and misery consist in a progression towards better or worse; it does not matter how high up or low down you are, it depends not on this, but on the direction in which you are tending.”
I feel like things are getting better. It has been a long time since I’ve truly felt this way. With nothing left to hide, my dream is to continue blogging and I know no matter what adversity may come my way I am stronger than before and that whenever I say this to myself it will eternally be true.