Hi. Remember me? That girl who used to write blog posts? It’s been a hot minute since I wrote one (approximately 262,800 of them if my math is right). Even though we are already mid-way through July, this is only my second post of 2019. Asking why? The title should give you a real big clue. I just wasn’t ready.
I was going through some stuff in the early part of 2019. Some hard stuff. Stuff I didn’t even know I was going through until I started to fight and climb my way out of it. Because of that stuff I was going through, I believed certain things about myself. About my life. About what I had (or didn’t have) to offer. About why I should even bother to write on this blog.
If you follow me on instagram @thegirlwiththepinkboots, then you’ve seen and heard a bit of what I’m talking about. You know what they say about not being able to see the forest though the trees? That was my life in early 2019. The fog was so thick. Things felt so heavy. And dark. I couldn’t see the way out of it, let alone writing about it.
So here we are all the way in July. And I’m finally ready to write again. What’s different? What’s happened? What’s changed? Oh so many things. Today’s just gonna be a little teaser. A sneak preview of things to come. It is my hope and plan this summer to bring you some “tales from the other side,” so to speak. How I got there from here. What I’ve done. What I’ve learned (and am still learning).
Probably the biggest takeaway? Be vulnerable and ASK FOR HELP. It’s hard. It’s scary. It doesn’t feel amazing a hundred percent of the time. But it is oh so worth it. What being vulnerable means looks different for everyone. Who you ask for help is up to you. But despite what I may or may not have “known” before, I’m learning that struggling through mental health issues isn’t something we should be tackling alone. Admitting you need help, reaching out and asking for it are not signs of weakness. In fact, asking for help is one of the bravest things you can do.
Which is kind of why I’m back to writing. One part of me really doesn’t want to. After all, I don’t need to put my stuff out there. There’s no reason I have to be sitting here writing about my own life for literally anyone in the whole wide world to see. But I believe in starting conversations. I believe in the power of shedding light in the darkness, in talking about things that are hard or scary. And if you read this, and realize you need to reach out and ask for help, then maybe my vulnerability is worth it. If me getting out of my comfort zone a bit is going to inspire you to get out of yours, then maybe I’m doing something right.
Speaking of asking for help, want to know one of the big reasons I didn’t? I was just so good at hiding. Hiding from other people what was really going on, but also hiding it from myself. I was so good at hiding that I was really sneaky about it. After all, if I just stopped doing all of my usual things, people would know something was up. So I carried on.
I kept going to the gym. I showed up at church. I was still the funny girl at work that everyone knew and loved. I hung out with friends. But all the while I held back. I talked a lot, but not about what was really going on. I was still at the gym, even though I wasn’t enjoying it nearly as much as I had, and inside my head a reel of negative thoughts about how I wasn’t nearly as good at things as I used to be played on a loop, slowly ebbing away at my self confidence.
I did all those things that people praised that made me look competent and like I had my life together – I meal prepped, even made food for other people. I was so good at “having my life together” that other people, let alone myself, wouldn’t realize how badly I was hurting.
Many people know that isolating yourself is a common sign of mental illness. But since I was so clever about it, I isolated myself in plain sight. I didn’t let people in and ask for help, so I just kept feeling stuck. Just like I wasn’t ready to write, I also wasn’t ready to let others in.
As you can guess by reading so far, something had to give. And I am not in the place where I was. So I stopped lying to myself and to others. I slowly came out of hiding. I admitted I needed help, and started asking for it. And that fog I was talking about started lifting.
…more to come…and I promise in less than 6 months this time. But in the meantime – be honest with yourselves friends. Ask for help if you need it. And come out of hiding. It might be scary but I promise it’s oh so worth it. ❤