I hope that by writing this I can move forward with my life and begin to find true happiness within myself. Though that may sound cliché, I really hope that in time I begin to fulfil my true potential and become the person I aspire to be, physically, emotionally, and career-wise. I don’t know what happened to me this past year, but somehow I lost myself. Truthfully, I don’t think I ever found my way I just merely carried old wounds with me and tried to do my best with the little I had because that’s what we do, we take what life throws at us and try to do our best to navigate through it. I say that like that’s what we should do, but knowing where I am now, I’ve come to realise that in life just carrying on with things isn’t always the way but knowing that you need some extra guidance in navigating through those turbulent times in your life sometimes is.
You see, I tried to be this person who I’m not, I tried to be happy and strong. Strength itself can refer to many different things but in this sense, I tried too hard to pretend like I wasn’t hurting. I wanted to be strong for myself and for my family in fear of letting people down, I had this secret growing deep within me that only grew stronger and became harder to hide. My demons were all hidden away until eventually, I crumbled. I let myself down because I cared too much about appearing to be this strong individual and instead let myself suffer in silence. I’ve come to realise that being strong isn’t about how you cope with situations because everyone is unique and we all deal with our battles in more ways than one. Some of you may choose to push it to the back of your mind and keep yourself busy, some of you may cry, get angry, face those problems head-on or even like me choose to hide away and pretend you’re dealing with them, but secretly you’re not. There’s no right or wrong way in coping with the challenges we face in life but to me, true strength comes in the form of knowing that sometimes being sad, angry, and overwhelmed is okay, there’s no shame in that. knowing if you need that extra guidance or not and most of all true strength is being true to yourself. It’s knowing that no matter how broken or overwhelmed you may feel, believing that things will get better, and slowly finding your way to picking up those broken pieces. What I’m trying to say is we know ourselves more than anyone could ever know us, we know those secrets we keep hidden, we know what makes us happy and what doesn’t. I knew I wasn’t okay, yet I put up a front to be this person I thought people would want me to be and instead risked my happiness to fulfil others. I let myself become so trapped in this mindset that I knew I had no choice, but to pick up the phone and ask for help. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting here, writing and sharing this with you. I was and am broken pieces of a person trying to find her way back to happiness and recovery. It hurts me to say it, but if being strong is what I had envisioned for all those years, then I don’t want it. I want to be my version of strong, if that means letting people down then so be it because I’ve come to realise that being what you think people want you to be isn’t the answer but staying true to yourself is. I want to be true to myself, I want to be happy and recover from my pain, I want to show my weakness without fear of not being enough. I want to be my true self through all the highs and the lows.
This past year I’ve lost more things than I knew possible, I lost people I hold dearly and close to my heart but through all of that, I lost myself to keep up appearances with those people. As much as it pains me to say it, my mental illness resulted in a lot of people leaving. I left it too long and then put too much pressure on others to make me happy without finding that happiness within myself first. I don’t blame anyone for leaving because like I said we must do what makes us happy. I’m also not saying mental illness is a reason for people to leave, but sometimes those things happen for a reason. People come and go out of our lives for reasons we may not realise at the time, but they impact our journey and take us one step closer to becoming who we are. So for that, I thank every single person who has been in my life and though some are not in it anymore I’ll forever be grateful for what they taught me. Without those people I wouldn’t have had the courage to get help and though it hurts to know that my broken self resulted in the loss of some amazing people. I also know it’s those that stick by your side through the worst times of your lives and the best that are worthy of knowing the real you.
I’ve made the hardest decisions this year, some I didn’t think I’d have to make but I did it for me. For so many years I was fearful of what my actions or feelings might do to hurt others that I forgot the most important person, me. I hope this year I can begin recovering from my past and find myself somewhere along the way. I hope that anyone reading this who has struggled to, whether that’s from family issues, mental illness, or the undeniable turbulent journey we all go on, I hope that you too can begin to realise that your happiness is all that matters. I hope you know that though this life is so unforgiving and sometimes difficult to cope with you’re not alone because we’re all on a journey, one that is so personal to us. Put yourself first and be a little easier on yourself because you matter.