Here’s what I want you to know: You matter. So much.
So, so, so much.
Do you believe me?
If you’re feeling stuck and just generally shitty right now, I want to remind you that it does not have to be like this forever. You do not have to be like this forever.
I know how to live in extreme misery. Actually, for a while it was pretty much all I knew how to do. I was good at it; I was good at hating my life and myself and just generally being miserable.
But that’s a sucky way to live, isn’t it? My moment of change came because I got tired of feeling like that. I grew so bored with my own miserable little way of living. I realized that feeling awful all the time is pretty….awful. And I decided I hated it enough to try to do something about it.
Our society kinda sucks at diagnosing and dealing with depression, and one of the messages I heard from the experts in high school was that if I felt badly, it wasn’t all my fault, and was likely a messed up combination of hormones and weird chemical imbalances. While I was grateful to hear that I wasn’t making all my pain up, that did mess with my head a little. Like, if it’s not my fault that I feel this way, then I have nothing to do with it. And then, I’m pretty much helpless. Just stuck waiting it out, hoping and crying and sighing.
But my experience has been that I COULD do something about it. I tried it, you know, just to see. I tried whatever I could come up with to make me feel better. And it worked. My experience was that trying harder to feel better actually meant feeling better.
—>Here are some practical changes I made:
- I stopped listening to a lot of deep, emotional music, especially when I was already sad. There were some songs that were huge triggers for me, and they only fed the state of despair I was already in. So I stopped turning to those songs to comfort me, because all they did was affirm that, “yep, life is shitty and we’re all stuck here living it until we kill ourselves.” Not the message I needed to be hearing.
- I rethought my friendships. My friends and I spent most of our time together discussing how much we hated our selves and our lives. When I decided I wanted to get better, I realized hyper-focusing on my pain with my friends wasn’t helping. I didn’t straight cut them out of my life, but I was careful to not talk about feeling miserable as much.
- I became open to trying stuff I’d previously thought was stupid. Things like “smiling”. Or “having fun”. Or “doing something I like, just because”. I actively looked for little things that made me happy. Candles made me happy, so I started burning them more. Reading fiction books made hours pass and I got lost in someone else’s world, so I let myself do that. I began looking for things I liked, and it turned out I like lots of things. It helped me feel like I was worth taking care of, and maybe I deserved to be happy sometimes.
These were just the beginning. I’ve since totally prioritized my happiness, and now that’s a huge part of my life, rather than an afterthought.
What I’m saying is, there are little things you can do and steps you can take to feel better right now, even if you’re not sure how. You don’t have to wait to feel better and then start making good life changes, you can decide you want better right this moment and play around with what that looks like.
Like I said, you matter. So your happiness matters. Your emotional health matters. Invest some time and money and love into yourself and see what happens.
I love you.