(**warning of very mild foul language in this post. Hey, some people are sensitive to that kind of thing, so I’ll always warn if it’s going to happen.)
So here in Vienna, it’s late at night, and I’m feeling kind of introspective. Today I’m having one of those days where my emotions are all over the place. And I think it’s time to talk about this kind of thing. I feel like so often, we’re told to keep our “issues” secret, or just share them with a chosen few. We put on these fake brave faces. But by doing so, we’re perpetuating this myth of constant confident happiness. And the other people who are out there feeling sad think they are all alone in feeling that way.
I’m not going to get into any kind of medical discussion as to definitions of depression, or anxiety, or those kinds of things. I’m not a healthcare professional, so I’m not going to act like one. I’m just going to reflect on my own situation. And well, I have self-esteem issues. I’m hopelessly insecure a lot of the time. I try to do the whole fake-it-til-ya-make-it routine, and many days it totally works. But guess what, I also have days like today, where for no reason whatsoever (pms perhaps?) I feel like an ugly failure. Yup – worthless loser. I went through some bad crap as a teenager (sorry, no details forthcoming), that to this day has me dealing with immense insecurities with all kinds of stuff, my looks especially. It’s only been in the last 2-3 years that I’ve begun to be able to think of myself as an attractive person. But then I’ll have days where I regress to a bad place – where I feel like a hideous ogre. (Sigh, that was this morning.) When I get like this, I’m constantly judging myself against other women – are they prettier, smarter, sexier, younger?
I’m incredibly lucky in that I have an awesome boyfriend who, despite not really understanding why I’m like this, is infinitely patient with me. I feel so truly fortunate to have him in my life. He does a fantastic job of making me feel better, but we both wish I didn’t get like this to begin with. ‘Cause then I end up feeling worse knowing that I’m putting him through crap that has nothing to do with him, and everything to do with my own past. (I’m totally that girlfriend who gets all besides herself over stupid shit on Facebook – pics, likes, etc – the stuff I shouldn’t give a damn about. Yup – I totally get all worked up if he likes a pic of another girl. I just can’t shake my horrible insecurities – it totally sucks.) My life over the last few years has been a daily project of working on my self-esteem, but it remains a constant struggle. It doesn’t come naturally – I have to work on it. (But it IS better than it used to be, by a great deal.) I want to get to a place where I truly don’t feel perpetual inadequacy, and some days I totally get there, then other days….well…not so much.
Why am I sharing all this? Not for pity, not for special attention, but to let others know they are not alone. I see it every day on Facebook. People are hurting. People are sad. And I know by the posts that friends put on my own wall that most people probably think I have my shit all together all the time. Well, I don’t. I struggle. I cry. I’ve got some big-time baggage that I bring along on this life journey of mine, and sometimes the weight of it is too much for me to carry, and I collapse.
I’m also sharing because it’s about time this topic isn’t so taboo. We shouldn’t feel ashamed to talk about it!
So for the others out there who have those really really bad days, where things seem hopeless, when the tunnel is dark and you can’t see the end…. you are NOT alone. We all hurt sometimes – some more than others. But it’s going to be okay, and we will get through it! We will have good days, no, great days and hopefully with each passing day, month, year, those great days will be more frequent. I already have more good and great days than bad days. 🙂 And those terribly irrational bad days? (‘Cause they are totally irrational!) Hopefully, we’ll reach the point where they are a thing of the past.