okay okay okay

dear you (me? us? we?)

it’s currently 2:35 a.m. and you’re snuggled up in bed in your gorgeous red velvet blanket. you had a fantastic night out and you’re ready to take on tomorrow. i’m proud of you.

actually, there’s something i’ve been meaning to talk to you about. something that you don’t nearly acknowledge enough with yourself. you are such a goddamn strong person, even though it doesn’t feel like it. i know, you’re rolling your eyes to yourself right now, thinking, how the heck would drunk me understand sober me?

but just listen. i know how hard it’s been, because i’ve been there since day 1. it’s goddamn hard. but, it feels like with every year that passes, we gain some more clarity on the whole ~*~situation~*~. somedays it feels impossible to get out of bed, and that you’re the first and only person who will ever experience This Feeling. and then there are other days where you’re so busy you forget what emotions are, and you drown your feelings in the sheer amount of stress and anxiety that is just enough to keep you busy, but not enough to break you. it numbs you.

but then, wait, wait, get this. then there are days, where you can completely just let go.

I KNOW! i know right? that’s not even the best part. wait, just listen.

there are days where you’re experiencing everything to your full potential. days where you smile and hold your friends close just for the sake of holding them close. days where you feel like smiling for no reason at all. i know!! just wait, it gets better. there are days where you feel happy.

take a breath. i know, isn’t it insane?

days where you draw for the pure sake of just drawing. days where you lace up your running shoes and go on a long run. days where you can bask in the sun and take a pause. days where you can eat a bowl of your mom’s trademark beef noodle soup, and slurp every last bit down. days where you can hold your cat for just five more minutes, while he’s purring up a storm in your lap. days where you take that first bite into an apple and it feels incredible. doesn’t that sound amazing?

there’s something else i’ve been meaning to show you. follow me into this room, i have to show you something. through the door, close it behind you and rest in the chair.

it’s been so long since you’ve been in this room. does it look familiar?

take a minute. you’ve been here before.

….

yeah, i know. it’s been a while. this is where your childhood is kept. where all of your nights in grade school were spent. where you kept all of your crushes. where your first love is still heavily guarded. where your earliest memories are kept. where your deepest fears and anxieties are carefully logged.

i know… i don’t really like being here either.

but i think it’s important that we’re here, you know?

together.

it’s important to come back here occasionally to double check on ourselves and take some time you know? it seems like this is where you like to go when you’re afraid, but since it’s so unfamiliar, it’s uncomfortable and makes your bad moments even worse. we don’t have a good understanding of whats going on inside, which makes it hard to navigate.

so here’s what i propose.

once a day, we’re going to spend five minutes in this room, going through memories and remembering what it was like to be us previously.

maybe we’ll linger on a particularly painful experience, or we’ll relish in one particular memory. no matter what, we’re going to spend a little bit of time every day here, visiting with ourselves.

it’s important.

it’s so that we can become more familiar with this room, so that the Bad Times won’t be quite so bad. so that we don’t feel quite so strange when we need to retreat here when something bad happens.

because of recent events, i know you’ve felt particularly fed up. and i know what you would’ve done in the past. you would’ve continued the cycle and refused to take a break, convincing yourself that the best way to feel better is to distract yourself with something else.

but for the first time in your life, you haven’t jumped. you’ve stepped back. you’ve hit paused, and said

i can’t keep doing this, it’s not healthy. i need to take care of myself

it’s okay. it’s not a set back that you’re taking some time for yourself, and really understanding what’s going on. it’s actually pretty smart.

you wake up in the mornings and stretch your legs in the spacious double bed of your bedroom. the sun filters in through the blinds, and you can hear murmurs of your roommates voices upstairs. you smile, push your face into the soft blankets on the bed next to you and inhale the fresh scent of your sheets.

sometimes days are bad, but then there are days that are okay.

this is one of them.

a shot in the dark

dearest friends,

this is an apology, for every time that i’ve ended up a crumpled heap and you’ve been the ones who’ve had to pick up the pieces and smooth out the wrinkles.

you keep telling me

you need to love yourself before you can love someone else

and i reply

i wish i knew how

because if it was as easy as waking up in the morning and breaking in a new pair of shoes, i would have done that years ago and saved us all from this heartbreak.

every time someone, that i swear to god i felt a connection with, tells me

i wasn’t sure what i was doing, i’m sorry.

i just want to be friends.

you’re too emotional for me.

it shatters my heart to a million trillion pieces. every time i am told something along those lines, it makes me want to lock my heart up in a box and throw the key away. why would i keep risking getting hurt if i know how this will end up?

and yet, the way that i wholeheartedly love with my entire being is one of my favorite parts about myself. maybe i’m too honest about my feelings, or maybe i expect too much from others, but i just can’t fathom living with the fact that you and me might become a missed connection.

and that’s where the conflict comes.

i don’t know what i’m doing wrong, but no matter what approach i take or how long i wait to say something, the story always ends with me alone in bed, clutching my chest and sobbing into my sheets with an awful awful heaviness in my chest, tears streaming down my face, embarrassment that burns my cheeks and a feeling that i’ve depressingly become all too familiar with.

it’s so goddamn unfair, when you know that you deserve the love and affection that everyone else around you is experiencing, you’re spending time trying to get to know someone, you’re not jumping into things too fast, and you’re not being disrespectful with your feelings, and yet you still end up alone in bed, feeling absolutely awful about yourself and cursing the fact that you said anything in the first place.

i know it’s got nothing to do with me, but when i want affection from someone and i don’t get it, i can’t help but wonder deep down what the hell is wrong with me?

to my friends, i’m sorry you have to keep watching me make these mistakes over and over again. i promise i’m trying my best.

the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog

it’s been a rough fucking quarter, but you’re almost finished. i’m so proud of you. you came back to school not really sure what you were getting yourself into. you were so excited to finally be back that you might have bitten off a little bit more than you could chew.

you met a lot of people, even though you were a little anxious and worried deep down about whether any of this was still worth doing. it’s okay.

as one of your good friends told you, friendships, relationships (and all those other ships) are worth pursuing — even if you only have a year left in this wonderful city — because they’re what make life meaningful and make the memorable experiences that you’ll ultimately look back to in the future.

so what if two relationships didn’t go the way you wanted them to? it’s okay. it’s happened before and it’ll probably happen again in the future (for pure experience purposes, i sure hope it does).

ever since you first started getting romantically involved with people, it’s been one experience after another, where you tried molding your life around someone else’s. that’s not how this game works, unfortunately.

i know it’s only been a couple days since he left, but don’t get too down about it. of course, feeling crummy and emotional about it is totally valid. just take the time needed to decompress and focus on yourself.

it’s one of those rare moments you haven’t experienced in a while, where you can just relax and not focus on anyone else but yourself.

and knowing you, you’re such a compassionate and type-a kind of person, that it’s almost insulting to tell you to focus on yourself.

but trust me, you need it.

this isn’t even in a bullshit “fuck everyone, you deserve it” kind of cliche pep talk.

take a while to just savor waking up, completely alone, uninhibited and ready to do whatever. you. want.

for the past couple of years, all you’ve been worried about is jumping from person to person, seeking validation and wholesomeness from someone else.

i think it finally took getting your heart broken for the 20 millionth time to realize that’s not a sustainable way to live.

here’s what you’re gonna start doing:

  • dressing bolder, it makes you feel more confident
  • exercising regularly, esp yoga. your body will thank you later
  • spending a bit more money on good food. it takes so little to make you feel so good

i know that it’s difficult for you to just ~*~exist~*~, but maybe that’s what it’ll take for you to get out of this funk. your *go *go *go attitude isn’t having the best effects on yourself right now, so even if its wildly uncomfortable to go into things blindly and without tangible results right now, it’ll be okay.

just trust me.

let’s be honest.

i haven’t written on here for a while, and it’s mostly because i’ve been up to my eyeballs in school and newspaper responsibilities. i always go through these phases where i say that i’m finally getting better and that this is the part where i turn over a new leaf and become a ~*~new person~*~. but let’s be real, healing isn’t linear and there’s no deadline for me to improve myself.

i’ve never written something so blatantly honest about myself, so i thought this would be a great time to start since i had a fantastic night out and a killer breakfast to top it off. (i’m looking at you, brenna. i love you and i mean it.)

i’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for many years.

just writing that sentence out brings up a lot of murky thoughts and feelings, but i realized today that i need to be much more honest with the people in my life about what’s going on with me.

so anyway, back to what i was talking about. as a result from my depression and anxiety, the inner workings of my mind work a bit differently than everyone else. for example, in high school up through sophomore year of college, i slept way too much and was constantly exhausted. chalk that up to iron deficiency or depression, but it was hellish to be alive. i remember never feeling fully rested and avoiding social situations because those would make me even more tired to the point where i’d have to spend even more time sleeping to recuperate.

on top of that, my anxiety causes me to have crippling breakdowns that can only be solved through a good cry in bed and a nap. i’ve dealt with that on and off for years, and it especially gets worse when i’m romantically involved with someone.

combine that with a lot of problems with self-worth and self-love, and you get a very complicated tangled mess that i’m still trying to work through, even after years of therapy.

i’ve self-medicated with a lot of booze, junk food and by seeking validation from other people, which has lead to a lot of heartache, misunderstandings and anger.

i guess the reason why i’m writing all of this is because today is the first day in a very long time that i’ve felt truly grateful for everything. i’ve had moments where i honestly didn’t know if i was going to make it through, because i couldn’t see where the chaos would end.

very recently, i was very very close to throwing in the towel and calling it quits, because i didn’t see the point anymore. i couldn’t see myself being strong enough to claw my way out of this hell hole. i remember being swaddled in my bed, crying so hard i didn’t have any tears left, and not for the reason you’d expect. it wasn’t because i was so sad that i wanted the earth to swallow me up, but rather because i was imagining trying to break the news to a much younger self that i was finally giving up on her.

i remember vividly as a teenager believing that it would all get better as soon as i grew up. but here i am, nearly 22 and wanting to end everything because i’m still the same person, with the same issues as when i was a teenager. essentially, nothing had changed.

imagine spending more than half your life struggling with a mind and body that took twice the amount of effort to keep sort of running? and then realizing that this is what normal looks like for you? and then pushing your body so hard that you crashed and didn’t have the heart to pick up the pieces? and then wishing you could just sleep and never wake up?

imagine how difficult it is to break that news to your starry-eyed and (somewhat) hopeful younger self that you wanted it to end?

but thinking back to that moment, i’m glad i hid that kind of rock bottom. because the remorse i was feeling for almost letting down my younger self meant that i still cared. deep down, there was still a tiny bud of hope that i attribute to what pulled me through this time around.

god, it’s difficult.

anyway, i’m writing this because i realized that memorable moments in life aren’t as few and far between. it just takes a bit of open mindedness and flexibility and patience.

thanks for reading.

and to my younger self, we’ll hang in there. i’ll take care of us.