Updated: Oct 22, 2021
Hi everyone! If you hadn't already noticed, I haven't posted on here for over a month. I didn't forget about it, I just avoided it like the plague for a little while. Why, you ask? I wasn't doing well. If you read my first couple blog posts, it's pretty easy to imagine that I was in a dark place at the time I wrote them. I had a lot of anger and fear and uncertainty built up inside me and was looking for an outlet to try to get those emotions out of my system so that I could move on. Unfortunately, I think re-living those traumatic moments made things worse. My mental health is my own business and I don't want every single person who reads this to know every detail of what was going on in one of the darkest times in my life. But I can tell you things weren't going well. I wasn't caring for myself the way I should have been, work was becoming extremely difficult, and I had begun to isolate myself from the people who love me.
Over the last month, I've received treatment for my mental health. It has involved therapy, medication, and rebuilding supports around myself. I'm feeling genuinely better for the first time in a LONG time. I still have a lot of work ahead of me but I'm embracing it with open arms and accepting that I am and always will be a work in progress, under construction.
One of the supports I've added to my life is journaling. This is way different from blogging because my journal is for my eyes only. I can write whatever the heck I want and no one else gets to read it unless I want them to see it. I'm planning on continuing to journal every morning to get my mind in the right place before I start my day. It's a way to practice mindfulness and take some time for myself. I follow a prompt every morning from an app called "Questions Diary" and write 1-2 pages of response depending on the question. Today the question was very thought-provoking and I wanted to share my response with you. I think it's a good start to move this blog into a more positive direction for healing instead of re-living more trauma. Here goes!
What do you want the most in the world?
This is a very difficult question. I'm just sitting here pondering all my potential answers... I've been straying away from the word "happy" for probably 7-8 years now, thinking happiness is overrated and it's just something you see people crafting on social media to create a prettier picture of who they want you to think they are. I've been really cynical and it hasn't gotten me very far in my relationship with myself. Over the last few weeks the concept of "happy" has been reintroduced to me, but not as a way to influence how others think of me. As a way to impact how I think of myself. Even this morning thinking about this journal entry I'm hesitant to use the word in my answer. But my dog is being so cute and obnoxious and playful and happy, and I find myself smiling while watching her. Happiness is not a feeling you project onto the world, it's a sense of feeling content, safe, and joyful in the moment you're in, and it can be a totally private feeling.
So I guess my answer is that I want to live a truly happy and fulfilling life. Not every moment will be happy. Maybe not even the majority of moments. But I want to fill my life with people and experiences that bring me that joy and sense of happiness.
I watched a TED talk by Brene' Brown recently, "The Power of Vulnerability." She talked about the emotions we feel and the ones we don't want to feel. Such as sadness, fear, vulnerability, anger, jealousy, etc. Those emotions have a negative connotation but we are human! They are going to happen. There is a time and a place for every emotion and THEY ARE VALID. If we try to numb ourselves from those emotions to avoid them, we end up numbing ourselves to all emotions. And living an emotionless life is miserable. I had fallen into that state for a while before I finally got help. I didn't want to feel anything too strongly because then I might have to feel those negative emotions that I was so scared of. I wonder if I even wanted to feel happiness? There were many days where the answer was no.
Today, after receiving treatment, I feel more powerful, more in touch with all of my emotions, less fearful of them. I know I may experience sadness, anger, and being overwhelmed. But I feel that I am skillful enough to navigate myself back into a neutral or even positive mindset after allowing myself to experience those negative emotions. I will not feel happy all the time, nor "should" I. I will not "should" myself into trying to feel happy. I will experience life as it comes and do what I can to ensure I've filled my life with the people and experiences that are meaningful to me and bring me joy.
Thank you for reading! I hope to continue to share my progress with you. What do you want most in the world? Comment below or message me privately if you prefer. Until next time, please take care of yourself!