I started this blog with very little expectations for myself except that I would at least try. Try to write something that didn't sta...
Don't Worry, Be Happy
I started this blog with very little expectations for myself except that I would at least try. Try to write something that didn't stay hidden away in a mostly empty journal. Be brave enough to step out of my comfort zone. Test my own abilities to write and effectively communicate my life and experiences. It proved to be quite a challenge to write about anything deep. But once I wrote a few posts on depression and other mental illness, I realized I had finally found some courage and confidence in my writing. It's never easy to admit how you really feel, especially if how you feel is depressed or crazy. But a fellow friend and blogger told me to be honest and vulnerable and people will be more responsive. She was so right.
Yet I still find myself cowering away from writing when I'm having a really bad day. You'd think that would be the best time to write but instead I write nothing or if I do it stays hidden in my notebook or deleted from my drafts, never to be shared. I always want to seem up and positive and try to write when I'm at least having an okay day. But now I realize that adds to the falseness that is social media and online presence and I just hate that. I never want to add to this fake layer we have added to an already fake society. I want this to be open and honest and real.
So here's how I'm really doing. I'm a depressed mess lately. I have loved ones that are truly struggling with a wide range of issues and it breaks my heart. I'm a fix-it person, in every sense. I mean it's even a huge part of what I do for a living is fix broken code! I have never been okay when a problem comes my way in life that I cannot fix. People are complicated and difficult. You can't fix people. People have to fix themselves. And often, the problems people have can't even be fixed! So sometimes, there is truly nothing to do for a struggling loved one except to simply be there for them. Listen, offer comfort, and no judgements. This is the hardest thing I have ever attempted in my life. I didn't even realize what an obnoxious fixer I was until recently! But with this awareness, I hope, is coming the ability to be that steady comfort for others in my life, especially those who have done it for me.
When I have a bad day of depression it's often not because of my own problems, but because of others' problems. I don't know how to separate out what is something I need to worry about and what is something out of my control and requires no stress on my part. I guess I felt worry was required to show you truly cared for someone else. The idea sounds silly when put that way but I know I'm not alone in this behavior. How will worrying fix anything, even if it is in your control? It won't, it can't, yet we do it anyway. It's a strange way of showing our love for someone, and I'm finally realizing, it doesn't have to be this way.
I don't have to be depressed about someone else's problems just to show my love for them. It doesn't mean I love them any less because I choose to push their problems from my thoughts and not let them fill me up with stress. In fact, I will be a much better friend if I don't let everything stress me out. Instead of always feeling emotionally exhausted, maybe I'll be able to feel strong and truly be able to hold space for the people in my life. And most importantly, maybe learning to not stress about everything will be the biggest step I can take on my journey to loving myself.
About author: Melanie
Mother, wife, web developer, writer. I blog about my life as an anorexia survivor, depression battler, being a mother to 2 boys, 1 with NF1, living healthy, and much more!