…and doing it anyway. In the 2 months and a bit we’ve seen of 2019, I must say that I have totally shocked myself. You may have noticed that it’s ben a while since I’ve posted, but it is with such good reason. I’ve not only been in-between employment, with huge amounts to prepare/ organise but I also decided to take some time out – away from the blog and away from Instagram. Maybe I could do a separate post about the importance of stepping away during periods of creative de-motivation, because this short time away has really done wonders for me.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway” – a quote I hoped that one day I might be able to live by. It was also something said to me by my therapist a year ago. I’d become so accustomed to listening to the anxiety and believing what the depression was telling me, that I let the fear win for many years. I’m not saying that I’m now the perfect example of a confident person who is gallant and fearless in every single pursuit but I am saying that, by slowly achieving small victories I felt more equipped to face bigger challenges. With huge amounts of self-compassion and patience of course.
So, this past year that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.
In the pursuit of recovery and this strive for a better life I will say that I also had to get a bit angry first. Angry at my situation and that feeling of being stuck. Angry at the way I was made to feel by people in situations, past and present. Angry that I was not living the life I knew deserved, after 8 or so years of living under the rule of my mental complexities. Angry that I had been robbed thus far of so many things because the chemical imbalance in my brain said so. This anger fuelled my fire. This anger pushed me towards the path I was destined to walk. It’s a feeling of anger that I hold on to in some ways, to remind me of why I’m striving for a better world. In this post I really want to get into the fears I have faced in recent times and the total pride and beauty that comes with following through with ideas that initially had terrified me.
Sometimes I can get really frustrated, feeling like I’m not accomplishing anything. We live in amongst a generation of Kylie Jenners and YouTube sensations, where so many people have achieved so much, not only in a short time frame but by such a young age too. Sitting around in-between jobs at the age of 23, you can only imagine how this feeling was exacerbated. A few weeks ago while feeling sorry for myself, I came across a quote from a really cool motivational street art page on Instagram – Notes To Strangers – which read “Today was your ‘one day.” And never had anything rang so true. Here I was, weeks away from embarking upon a really exciting new career path which could potentially change everything for me. Reading this quote forced me to reflect, because really and truly, I never thought this day would come.
I kept delaying sending my application through for this particular role (which despite knowing I’d had no experience for) knew I was perfectly capable of doing. Then when the interview came through, aside from feeling totally shocked, I began mentally gearing myself up for this. When the day of the interview came; I remembered it all; the people who had made me feel inadequate, the people who who said was incapable, the days I’d spent staring at my bedroom door, looking for the answers, but more importantly remembering the woman who had gone through it all. She was resilient and this interview was child’s play in comparison to the tribulations she had endured. I carried it all with me, on my postured shoulders as I walked through the doors. Running on two or three hours sleep, I walked into that interview, wearing an outfit I made sure I felt totally confident in, having blared some Eminem on the way there, and having done hours of preparation before hand. I killed it. I’d never killed anything in my life, not least in recent years and for a person with very little confidence and self belief it almost feels arrogant to say. It was the realisation that I had every right to occupy a seat in that interview room, just as much as the next person, that changed everything.
If we rewind to this time last year where I was house-ridden, saying to myself “..one day I’ll be able to go back to work..” and then upon returning to work and thinking “…one day I’ll find the courage to leave this retail job for something I truly love…” to, months later hoping that “one day I’ll re-launch my blog…” and “…if I feel brave enough, one day I might contact this photographer…” Eventually, and very gradually I might add, I was able to find and connect with this inner fire that enabled me to face all of the above, despite feeling absolutely and whole-heartedly terrified, with the support of my mother and a few propranolol in tow. I’d done it. I’d slowly done all these “…one days’…”
* I’m not suggesting for one minute that medication is needed to affront such like situations, but for me personally (and it is about finding what works for YOU personally,) they have aided/ subdued the physical side-effects that come with anxiety and panic attacks; the uncontrollable heart beat etc. Obviously consult a doctor and do some thorough research before taking any medication – it was never a decision I took lightly. Medication can help some, but good mental health, encouraged by a positive, kind and compassionate relationship with one’s-self, is everything. I am confident that, although they have helped me through these transitional phases and intense moments – and I only take them on occasion – in the future I will feel able to stand alone. We must address our needs and react accordingly.
Eventually I also conquered the “…one day I’ll be able to apply for that other job…” which later became “I cannot believe I start this new job in April!” I’d love to get across the notion that despite all our feelings, all our thoughts (which are often lying to us) and all those fears; rational and irrational – it is possible, with that fire in our bellies, to do that thing. Whatever that thing may be. Starting a job? Leaving job? Making a call? Making an appointment? Reaching out for help? Starting an art or yoga class? Starting a blog or page dedicated to to what you love? You can do that thing! I hold firm the belief that if I have been able to create this shift in my circumstances – which have been dire at many points– then anyone can. I still have many bridges to cross, many uncharted waters to navigate, I definitely don’t have it all figured out (because, newsflash: no-one does) but I’ve finally started to give myself the assurance I’d always waited to seek from others. I continue to question the negative thoughts my brain is so eager feed me with, while using the nasty words, lack of compassion and general bullshit that has been thrown my way, to rise above these very ashes. To feel the fear and do it anyway.
I hope this post may have inspired you in some way or perhaps made you feel more understood/ less alone in your struggles. It’s the malinformed ideas forced upon us by the media, telling us that the Kylie Jenners of this world lead perfect ‘self-made’ lives that are part of a bigger problem. These ideas are magnified by perfected social platforms and perpetuated by us, the consumers who need to stop buying into it all . I’m sure Kylie farts, burps and has bills to pay too! This ideology of perfectionism is simply inaccurate and deeply destructive. We’re all beautifully human, meaning that in essence and reality we are somewhat ‘flawed.’ This is a rule with no exception. We’re all on our own paths, so let’s be kinder to ourselves and believe in the possibility of change while feeling all the fears and doing stuff anyway, just because we can, and because it’s right for us.
In the meantime you can find me on Instagram @lifestyleev.blog!