It is finally the end of Term 2, and the end of a long Semester 1. With everything that has happened, I am glad to finally have a break. Working for 23 weeks, without a proper rest, has had me drained and emotionally, physically, mentally and in some ways spiritually tired.
This level of exhaustion made me realize that things need to change and I need to be more proactive in managing my emotions and energy.
Halfway through Term 2, at my lowest, I made a list of hobbies and activities I wanted to do but held myself back from. Things that made me happy but I pushed aside because of reluctance.
I had a look at the excuses, and realized that the only one holding me back was myself. The only one who held the keys to my happiness was myself.
Upon that realization, I gave myself permission and I made a promise to myself – to do more that makes me happy.
Starting with these holidays, there are three areas I am going to focus on:
Fix my DSLR camera and discover what type of photography I like and take more photos.
Be more physically active.
Do more hikes/walks around Perth as well as being in nature more.
Here’s to the things that make you happy. I’ll keep you updated on how my three focus areas are going.
Anxiety takes form in different ways. Whether it’s your perfectionism influencing your need to be in control of everything in your immediate vicinity (whilst internally you’re panicking), painful spikes of disassociation as you’re frozen but your brain is racing, or not knowing your flight response was triggered until you’re in a safe environment emotionally breaking down.
It’s being tense and shallow breathing and the rapid calculations of the quickest way out. It’s the constant twirling of the rings on the hand. The jittering of the leg.
Quite often, this anxiety struggle is below the tip of the iceberg that is our public persona. If you know the tells, you’ll probably see the anxiety peek through, but otherwise for the most time, it’s hidden. Because making it obvious to others attract attention and when you’re anxious, that’s the last thing you want.
That’s why it’s not as simple as “you shouldnt worry so much” or “oh, just come out – it isnt that hard”.
So be gentle and kind with others, for everyone is fighting a battle you may not know of.
Okay, writing this letter isn’t going to be easy. Because frankly, you need to be told some home truths, so I’m going to just going to be blunt. So here it goes: you need to stop it.
Yeah, that thing you do where you put others over yourself and then as a result you suffer mentally and emotionally. Yeah, that. You need to stop that.
(Here comes the vulnerable bit.)
You’ve invested so much in helping, loving others that you’ve lost track of who you are.
You’ve invested so much in helping others you have some how managed to self-doubt who you are and what you can do. You’ve let yourself be overruled by your lack of self-confidence and let your self-consciousness influence far too many decisions.
You’ve lost yourself so much that each day blends into the next and you’re still running on the same spot. You don’t set goals anymore because what’s the point you think. You don’t set them because you (somehow) think you’re not going to reach them.
No matter how many notebooks you buy for writing notes in (because this time you’ll set goals and stick to them), you don’t let self-confidence seep past your barriers of hurt, doubt and pain.
But enough is enough.
You are important. You are kind. You are smart. But most of all, you need to stop this disassociation with the positive, confidence-filled words you write for yourself and what you actually feel.
You need to start prioritizing yourself. Start setting boundaries. Because you are important.
And you know what? This whole “I’m just as important as everyone else” thing starts today.