Throughout my whole life, I’ve been pretty slow at acting upon certain dilemmas. It took me pretty much years of low self-esteem to realize that I needed to change my lifestyle habits and take care of my health. My body dealt with a failing reproductive system for almost three years because I ignored the fact that not menstruating is a significant issue. Now, I genuinely feel like I’ve overlooked something even more important than ever, because I’m continuing to type this with the same mindset.
They–as in the “experts” or whomever people look up to for credible advice–say that you need to eat more fruits and vegetables to be happy. They say that sunshine is our daily medicine. They say an hour of exercise a day keeps the doctor away. They say seven to ten hours of adequate sleep rests the mind. Oh yeah, and take your B12. Here I am, getting in my five a day, biking in the sun all afternoon long, still doing an hour of Pilates, sleeping eight hours on the dot, and popping in my vegan B12 vitamin every morning. And yet, I’m sadder than ever. Even deeper in the depths of negativity than I was six years ago, way before I knew about all of these healthy habits.
A week ago, I finally mustered up the guts to tell myself that I wake up every morning, not truly nor intuitively happy. I really don’t know why. I only look forward to three things in the day: food, exercise, and friends. Don’t get me wrong–I still ADORE this blog and I genuinely wish I had more time to nurture it and more creative energy to nourish it with. Keeping up with work, maintaining high grades in a quarterly system, as well as clubs and relationships, are already difficult enough.
The same day as my mental breakdown, I spoke to some old and new friends of mine (including Linda–shoutout to you, my angel!) about my current mental state. Basically, I told them that the world seemed better off without me, plus a whole array of statements that encompassed my darkest state of mind. Amidst this, I still refused to admit that this was serious. I ignored advice from my doctor, my best friend, and others who expressed concern. Once food and exercise–my two main loves–didn’t seem as exciting to me, I knew I need to seek help.
To say that it wasn’t hard is an understatement. And to say that figuring out why I’m not truly happy within my soul wasn’t hard would be an utter lie. I spent hours, days, and restless nights dissecting deep into my past and my present state to identify the root cause of my despondency. I thought about every incident that involved me feeling similar emotions. Before I went to sleep one night, I finally found the core issue.
Since my youth, I have always feared being a burden to anyone and anything. But it keeps pulling the strings behind my back, and I’ve stretched the max that my body can physically, mentally, and emotionally handle. From this day forward, I need to stop living solely for the future and living away from the past.
As of now, my plans include going to counseling at least once a week or every other week and clearing up my schedule to make some time for myself–more time, that is. Opening up to friends and other loved ones will become at least an every-other-day ritual, but most likely a daily ritual as my schedule clears up. Aside from this, I have to, HAVE to, pursue what I love. This blog is so emotionally releasing and fulfilling to me that it is almost at the same prioritization rank as my organic chemistry homework. And that says a LOT.
I truly understand the meaning of making time for the necessities now. It requires sacrifice. Conversing with friends might necessitate eliminating a work shift. Affirmations may require waking up five to ten minutes earlier in the morning. Pursuing my passions might compel me to scratch off another club or activity that doesn’t fulfill me. People might be mad. My acquaintances may no longer like me. I might not be as qualified to be classified as an overachiever. That is beyond okay. You know why? Because this is you–somebody no one else can embody.
Say I no longer have a top-notch GPA, but a considerably “safe” one. A GPA that will get me a diploma, at the very least. Say I no longer have my blog. Say I no longer have a job on campus. Say I no longer am in any of my clubs. Who am I? I still know my true internal self. I am alive, driven, passionate, thoughtful, kind, open-minded, and a vehicle that has developed from so much heartbreak and suffering.
Who are you?