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I'm sorry for being a liar...

I have a chronic habit of promising you more posts, but then having life get in the way and putting this blog on the back burner. I'm hoping to start being better about this but I AM SORRY IF I HAVE DISAPPOINTED YOU!!! Today's post is something that has been weighing on my mind for a while now. I didn't know how to express myself, so I'm hoping that this makes sense and that you can't tell that my brain and I communicate in gibberish.

When I first began this journey, I recognized mental health as being something that I needed to work to improve. I felt trapped in my unhappiness. Nothing anyone said or did helped, and I spent much more time than I care to admit comparing my life to that of the people I followed on social media. I remember freshman year of college and being so miserable, but seeing all my friends post about how much they loved school in their new cities with their new friends. It felt like everyone was being so “adult” and I couldn’t quite get there. After complaining about it to her, my mom reminded me that even though they’re posting about it, some may still be struggling. Not everyone is as happy as they seem online. I tried for years to convince myself of this. I took myself out of my comfort zone to show that I was having a great time in college. I didn’t see it then, but I spent more time trying to convince myself I was having fun than anyone else.

I realized that I wasn’t happy and I didn’t know how, but I was going to find a way out of my sadness for good. I tried channeling my emotions into exercise, journaling, and art. I wanted to heal myself from the inside by cooking healthy food and drinking water until I felt like I was drowning. No matter what I did, nothing felt right. I never had that “Ah-ha!” moment. When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would make my mental health a priority and to be fair, I thought I was. But I would later find that I had so much to learn and a long way to go before I could find that comfort within myself.

Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on who I am and why I want this. I’ve read self-help book after self-help book. I completed the Gallup Strength test in hopes that it would give me some sort of guidance. Of course, I was not surprised to find Empathy taking over as my top strength. What did shock me, however, was to find Discipline in the middle of my list. It’s not a word that I’ve ever associated with myself. For months, I scoffed at the idea. “I have no discipline,” I would tell myself, “this has to be a mistake.”

A few days ago, I finished my latest self-help book, Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop. Even though every book I had read told me I could get out of any situation and make any life changes that I wanted, the total honesty and bluntness of this author made it very clear: you alone can change your life. It’s not up to anyone else to hold your hand and make sure you feel comfortable and happy. I don’t know why, but suddenly things began to click. I thought back to last year when I decided to swap out my beauty products for strictly non-toxic alternatives. I went cold-turkey and never looked back. I went from being a multiple cans a day pop drinker to convincing myself that I liked La Croix enough to have that as an alternative (no small feat, I assure you). I realized that I could be very disciplined when I want to be, it was all about making a conscious effort to do so. This got me thinking about other parts of my life where I haven’t been as successful as I’d like to be. My desire for improved mental health stuck out. I spent years thinking that if I would just eat better and exercise more, things would fall into place, and happiness would come with it. When I wasn’t instantly happier, I felt discouraged and gave up.

Finishing this book helped me to understand another important fact. I can’t expect to get happiness from other people. I can’t expect everyone to stop what they’re doing to comfort me whenever I feel sad. When I was in college, I remember being depressed and lonely, and calling my family in hopes of being comforted. They would make me feel better momentarily until I would ask what their plans were for the upcoming weekend and they’d say they were doing something fun with friends or other family members. I would instantly feel terrible again because I wanted to be home, but instead, I was stuck at school wallowing in my sadness while my family was out having fun without me. Misery loves company, and knowing that fun was being had without me was my biggest tormentor. At the time, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with this. It wasn’t fair that everyone else was so happy when I was so miserable. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how messed up that is. People cannot stop their lives for you. They cannot give up their happiness just because you’re sad and want others to feel that pain, too. I don’t even think we realize how often we do this. I notice it all the time online. When someone is having a bad day, it’s much easier for them to attack someone else instead of trying to solve their problems. It is entirely unhealthy and selfish to bring others down just because you don’t like aspects of your own life. It’s time to make a change. Reflect on your life. Think about the elements that make you unhappy. Find ways to change them. If you’re not successful, identify your barriers, but realize that this journey is yours alone. No one is responsible for your happiness but you.

This process has been a constant battle for me. I’ve had some of my highest highs, and lowest lows, but still, I want to keep fighting. I want you to keep fighting. I want each and every one of you to understand that you are worth it. You deserve happiness, you deserve peace, and you deserve love.

Thank you for following along on my journey and for the support that you constantly give me.

Until next time, be well and keep fighting the good fight.

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