Managing My Mental Health Is The Hardest Thing I’ll Ever Do

I am not who I wish I was, but I am who I’ve turned out to be.

What a cavernous void lies between the two.

Changing is not as easy as our society would like to assume. If it were, there would be no such thing as mental health issues. Trust me, if I could magically transform my perspective, I would like nothing better to. I spent too many years pushing my feelings and trauma away because it was the only way I knew how to survive, and then it became the only way I could survive. I never learned a healthier method of dealing with my problems, so they kept mounting up like a fetid landfill of ignored sadnesses.

Now I am so full of ill-contained pain that I well up into tears at the slightest provocation. It’s clear to me that I have to dig persistently into the trash heap of my past until I find solid ground, and I’m terrified. I have no sense of self, no clear focus or vision, because I lost sight of who I was so long ago that I’ve no idea where to begin to find her. If you have ever felt completely without solidity, without form or function, then you understand.

I am living proof that a person can move through life and seem well-adjusted, even capable, while drowning inside. I’d argue that most are actually doing so to some degree. After all, working through past trauma is incredibly difficult. There is such irony in feeling as easily overwhelmed as I do already and also knowing the only way to get over my fears is to attack something more overwhelming than anything else I’ve ever known.

The fear is the trouble, as it always is. No fear! No regrets! These are phrases that we toss carelessly to the wind, feigning confidence that we can achieve such assuredness with ease. I can’t help thinking, if I really venture down into the deepest, ugliest parts of my psyche, will I ever resurface? Obviously I do not yet believe that I can handle such raw truth, and so my fear manifests itself in frustration, sorrow, and stagnation.

If adjusting years upon years of learned behavior and dysfunctional patterns was easy, I would already be cured. I’m so weary of doing everything on my own, of standing alone, of everyone expecting me to always stay strong. I don’t want to be tough anymore. I want to feel like the people in my life accept me as I am, but first I have to discover myself under all of this accumulated garbage. If I have the courage to attack my own barriers until I crack their insurmountable strength, perhaps then I’ll find my way back to the person who existed before everything else interfered.

Perhaps then I can begin to reconcile the woman I wish I was with the woman I am. Perhaps once I uncover the root of my being, quieting the jarring, critical voices in my head that hold me hostage, I will finally accept myself and begin truly living. Not as the person I wish I was, but as the person I am meant to be.

About the author
In a world where you can be anything, be kind. Follow Amy on Instagram or read more articles from Amy on Thought Catalog.

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