Friday / February 7, 2020
I consider myself an optimist, who always tries to learn from difficult situations. I’ve been stuck in this negative circle for quite some time now, complaining about my life every single day, so I started questioning where my optimism has gone. I wrote in my last story that I hardly saw any light. This circle that I’m talking about has exhausted me. I needed a reality check so I started paying more attention to my time and energy and here’s what I’ve realized. Constantly thinking and complaining about everything that makes you unhappy and miserable will make you feel even worse. Sit down, acknowledge your thoughts, emotions, and patterns. Express your pain in a way you’re most comfortable with. Talk to your friends, write about it, draw, sing, go for a walk, you do you. Breathe, feel your lungs, move your fingers, your legs, your hair, break the cycle of negative thinking with physical activity. I’m the first thing that comes to my mind when I think about what makes me unhappy. You know why? Because I choose to do everything that makes me unhappy. We all choose to do that. I’m not attacking anyone, I know that some of us have literally learned to live life that way. It has become my default mode, from the moment I wake up till the moment I go to bed. I unconsciously choose to let my mind do what it’s been doing for years now. Be cruel to me, be mean to me, make me imagine the worst scenarios. Make me imagine myself failing, being lied to and so on. Thoughts create feelings and feelings determine your mood. So I sat down and asked myself; what is going on with me lately, why do I feel down all the time? Why do I feel like disappearing? I analyzed my daily habits which I hadn’t done in a long time and boom, I got my answers! My top unhealthy habit is overthinking. So I started paying attention to it. My life is a bit complicated (I just realized that I genuinely think there’s no person who’s life isn’t complicated) for multiple reasons, and I struggle with a lot of things, but it’s good to have a conversation with yourself and literally cut your own bullsh*t. It’s necessary to remind yourself that your thoughts are not your reality. Say it out loud. Just because I fear failure it doesn’t mean I’m really gonna fail. Just because I think people think I’m lame, it doesn’t mean they really think I’m lame. People who have had or still have mental health issues or childhood traumas tend to have very low self-esteem. I’m one of those people. I like doing a lot of things, but I never think I’m really good at it. My cousin Flor thinks I’m really smart and I’m always like ‘why would you think that?’ It’s because I think my depression took away a lot of my abilities. For example, I always have to double-check if I turned off the oven. I always have to double read the message someone sent to me in order to make sure I understood it correctly. When people are rude to me, I always make it about myself and convince myself it’s me who misunderstood the situation. But let me tell you something: NO! Your depression is not the answer to everything in your life. Your depression is not your number one enemy in life. Some people are rude to you and you’re not making it up in your head. Rude people exist, and I really have to stop justifying people’s behavior and making it about myself every time. Sometimes it’s just not about us man! My dear people, whoever is going to read this, both you and I, despite depression, anxiety, panic attacks, we’re still capable of all the things we want to achieve. It might take you longer but why would we have to go fast anyway? We wouldn’t we choose our rhythm ourselves? My fear of failure is out of this world. I failed at a couple things because I did things following other people’s timing and not my own. I thought that I had to be in alignment with people who were my age. But I don’t have to. My experience is very different from a lot of other people. So while thinking about my past experiences and why things didn’t work for me, I decided to start taking into consideration my circumstances too, not only the end result. I know why some things didn’t work and that’s exactly why I’ve decided to slow down completely. I’m allowed to go slow and take my time. I’m allowed to do things my way and not the way ‘it’s supposed to be done’. Please don’t let other people’s success pressure you to be successful too. Your time will come but get some rest first. If you’re someone who suffers from a mental illness, let me remind you that managing to get out of bed is also a success. Get some rest, get some help, learn, grow and then start slow. That’s what I’m trying to do. I went back to education and university after two years. I avoided studying for a couple of months because I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to learn anything (I dropped out of college two and a half years ago because I was unable to study due to my depression). I was terrified of not being able to study again but I pushed myself to try. I started studying for my English exam about three days ago. I figured out English was the easiest to start with. I’m more than happy to say that it’s going well (for now). The fear of failure is still there but it has calmed down a bit. I don’t have very high expectations, I just want to pass. If I pass this exam, it will help me believe in myself and my abilities more which will help me with my future exams that are possibly going to be harder. Remember that everyone’s journey is different. Someone who is just starting to learn a new language doesn’t immediately become fluent. Don’t try to eliminate your fear, just let it be there. Do what you want to do with your fears sitting next to you. Nothing is going to happen, if you don’t succeed the first time, you can always try again. I started studying law, it didn’t work because I didn’t understand a lot of terms that are in the book. Not to mention that subject bores me to death. Then I started with sociology, but the number of pages I had to learn felt overwhelming considering the fact that I had about 10 days to prepare for it. Then I moved to psychology but the same thing happened. As I said, I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to study which is why I was afraid to even try so that’s how I lost a lot of time. I tried studying three times and it didn’t work. I kept trying out until something felt a little better. And now I see that I’m actually not disabled. I just have to go slow and take my time which is perfectly fine. My brain still works just fine. Fingers crossed we all learn to listen to ourselves and our needs. Fingers crossed we all dare to do things our own way. Sending lots of positive energy to whoever reads this, including me.
PS: good luck to everyone taking exams! 🙂