I started this out as a list of things I need to work on to make myself better. Some crappy things have happened in my life, and I needed a way to work out how they have affected me. I was bullied and raped more times than I care to remember, and I have felt abandoned and suicidal for far too long. It is time that I get it all out in the open so I can try to heal. I am hoping that writing this will be therapeutic for me. Maybe it could even help someone like me know that they aren’t alone.
1. Take A Second To Breathe Before You (Over)react
I have had some serious issues recently with lashing out at my loved ones. Whether it is my boyfriend not letting me watch the show I want to watch on Netflix, my dog leaving a toy out in the snow, or my mom badgering me over my weight, I just can’t seem to stop the mini explosions. For most of my life I was pretty shy and reserved, but recently I have developed the bad habit of lashing out before thinking. It is hurting those around me. I need to focus on producing positive outcomes to my frustration.
2. Remember Everyone Thinks Differently
I tend to forget that not everyone has my opinions, habits, and quirks. In my apartment, shoes have to stay by the front door. Dirty clothes can’t be in or on my bed. The silverware and china have to be a certain way. There has to be a light on whenever I arrive home. I get anxiety attacks over being late for things. These things cause way too many arguments, especially with my boyfriend. I get so frustrated because “he just doesn’t understand.” I need to step back for a second and realize that I’m weird and that not everyone has the same priorities when it comes to their home.
3. Take Better Care Of Yourself
No more lying to myself, I am overweight. Once my depression worsened halfway through high school, I started gaining about 10 pounds a year. I keep making excuses. “I don’t look that fat. I still fit in my old clothes.” “I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.” “I’ll start my diet next week since this soda already ruined this week.” “I can’t find my sports bra. No running for me!” The excuses need to end. I am overweight, out of shape, and unmotivated. Time to get my lazy butt of the couch and away from the junk.
4. Put Others’ Needs First Sometimes
I am a relatively clingy person. Generally, I talk to one or two people constantly and freak out assuming that I’ve done something to offend them if I don’t hear from them every few days. My boyfriend, however, is a bit of a loner, and he likes to be alone or else he feels highly trapped and claustrophobic. I understand it, but I sometimes struggle to remember he can’t do days on days of hanging out like I can. Another huge issue right now is my boyfriend’s impending move to a different state to pursue his dream degree. I want him to be happy, but I can’t seem to shake the selfish thoughts I have been having of asking him to stay here. His dreams are taking him somewhere that mine aren’t, and I need to come to terms with that.
5. Get Interested In Something
During high school, I was relatively active in extracurricular activities. I was editor-in-chief of the lit mag, student council president of my robotics team, in Civil Air Patrol, and involved with a couple other clubs. I spent my other time with friends or doing school work. Since college started, I have become more isolated and afraid to join anything. I’m working and taking classes, but I don’t have much to look forward to. I am attempting to write and make art again. Maybe start playing my bass again. I just know that I am sick of just staring at my computer for hours, scrolling though the Facebook nothingness.
6. Don’t Worry So Much About What Others Think
When I was in preschool, the teacher recommended that I be held back for emotional and social reasons. I wasn’t “ready” for all-day kindergarten. I was that kid that ran up to the others with Band-Aids and hugs the second I saw someone in tears. One child had pushed me away and said I was weird. My reaction: tears and self-hatred. I could never, ever stand people not liking me. I had little self-value. After being bullied most of my life, I slowly learned to isolate myself. If people didn’t know me, they couldn’t judge me. I have developed intense anxiety surrounding people paying attention to me and judging me. This is the biggest reason no one reads my writing or sees my art: I care too d**n much. People really don’t care if my hair is messy, my glasses aren’t straight, or that I don’t have the correct answer. What matters is what I think of myself.
7. Ask For Help When You Need Help
Another issue I face due to my anxieties of people judging me is that I can’t get myself to ask for help. I shy away from the idea of going to a therapist, even though my loved ones urge me to. Some person listening to my deepest secrets and fears doesn’t sound very productive to me. My last therapy attempts ended so horribly that I was overwhelmed by self-hatred and my self-harm habits worsened. The biggest thing motivating me to get my mental health in check now (despite the anxiety) is the suicide of one of my closest friends. Her death saved me in a way. I am paying more attention to my own depression. The strongest person I knew was facing some of the hardest struggles a person could face, and sometimes the struggles become too much to bear. I want to get help. For my friends. For my family. I don’t want to hurt people anymore, and I think acknowledging my issues is going to help me start to recover and revitalize my own life.