Hello friends. Today I wanted to write more of a serious post. I've been dealing with something lately that I can't seem to shake off so easily.
I've tried to explain it to my boyfriend and to a couple of my close friends. It's just a little something that can appear with anxiety...and I think it's possible a rut of depression.
I hate making assumptions but I also hate ignoring things that challenge me in my life. Every day has been a challenge and I know I need to take back my happiness.
I feel stuck in certain aspects of my life, and I'm currently taking steps to make some changes. Although I can't currently go into details about the specific areas I'm trying to change, I can tell you one thing, and it's something that my boyfriend had to really jam into my head: It's okay to stop grinning.
The entire purpose of my blog is to reflect my interests and the lessons I learn through tough times. I don't actually recall a time where I've had trouble expressing the depths of my anxiety/depression until now. Usually I find it easy to ask for help and to bounce back. It's been a few weeks now, and I'm still in this rut. Tyler has seen a lot of tears from me for these past few weeks. And with the tears comes me apologizing for being a mess. But each time, Tyler insists that it's fine for me to cry, that everything will be okay and that I can get through it. Which is when he made the very important note that I am human, that I'm allowed to not have it all together all the time.
He made the very important note that I am human, that I'm allowed to not have it all together all the time.
I've been nervous that I'm falling back into my anxious rut from the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school. That I'll become fearful of everything, so fearful that I'll stay home and refuse to go out and truly live. But today, with the help of my best friend, Megan, I felt truly aware again. I felt genuine laughter and happiness again. And we captured the entire experience.
(Any photos of me are taken by Megan. Any others by her are captioned to give her some well-deserved credit for her beautiful photography.)
She decided to do something absolutely genius with me--she united me with a camera again. I appreciated this because, in my schlumpy rut, I felt zero motivation to do anything. I managed to write one blog post in the past few weeks, but even then it took hours to write (which, I'm glad I still made a point to do it, despite the challenge). It's crazy how someone can suddenly have a hard time doing something they're passionate about. But once she took me out, I instantly had camera fever.
I appreciated going out, enjoying the weather, and hopping back into a hobby that I genuinely love. I'm still trying to tell myself that it really is okay to lean on friends for support. I feel guilty depending on others, but I feel even worse going through something alone. So if anyone of you out there are going through something similar, I hope you find someone you can lean on. And if not, feel free to contact me by clickinghere.
Photo by Megan
Lately my days have all been mushed together in my head. But today was different. Today I went outside, I ignored any fears. I said yes to going on an adventure. And it's an adventure I've been craving for months.
Take the time to admire all the beauty around you and set aside your fears. Take time to live..
Photo by Megan
My boyfriend also advised me to deeply think about myself, to think about what drives me and what I plan to do to get back on my feet.
The reality is, despite all the support I receive from my friends and family, I'm the only one who can actually build myself back up and keep myself standing. But there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a support system along the way.
I saw a very meaningful post from The Artidote on Facebook that stuck with me. The quote, by Jellie-Bells, read:
"My therapist told me something meaningful yesterday. She said, 'It’s important to remember that when you’re depressed you have to nurse yourself and be extra gentle towards yourself. Just like an athlete wouldn’t break an ankle then force themselves to run that ankle. They rest as it heals and do not think 'I am a failed athlete,' they think, 'right now something isn’t working so i’ll take care of myself until it does.' Just like a broken bone, depression can change the way your daily life plays out, and pushing yourself too hard and getting frustrated when you don’t feel better is just like trying to run on that broken ankle and getting frustrated when it doesn’t heal.'"
When I read this, I felt more at ease. I told myself that I'd try to take life one day at a time, that I'll be able to smile again soon. I can now truly believe that it's okay not to smile all the time. But for now, I'll just be working to make the changes in my life necessary to take back my stride. And that's all that matters for now, finding genuine happiness. And today, I finally felt a glimpse. And I'm so ready to take back my confidence, my joy, and my life.
So when I finish my blog posts with "keep on grinning", it certainly isn't a command. I can't force anyone to feel any way. That's just not how humans function! Emotions are healthy, even if you feel numb. As long as you make a point to be aware of how you feel, you are completely capable of finding your happiness again.
"Keep on grinning" is my wish for you. I hope that you and I can find steps to keep on grinning. If you fall, I know you can find your way back. I'm still finding mine, but it all starts with me. Be goofy with those you love, enjoy nature's beauty. Appreciate those simple pleasures around you.
So for now, I'm signing off. Thank you so much for reading! G&N turns 3 years old soon, so let's get ready to celebrate! Thank you all so much for reading.
And please, friends. Never doubt that you're able to find your grin again.