Before reading this post, click here to see what I am responding to :--) ((also I wrote this in the notes section of my phone so apologies in advance for the horrendous grammar))
Dear Past Self,
This iced coffee date has come at the end of a very bumpy ride and you were right even if you couldn't foresee all that happened, big breaths to clean the slate have kept me afloat. The hiccups in my life that often felt like one-man earthquakes have come to pass to allow growth in the reassembling of the jaggered pieces. I haven't updated on the insides of my mind for a while and that internalization
Firstly, we made it! Graduation has come and gone (albeit during that time school wasn't a priority mentally as people close in my life know that other things were happening) but it happened! Thirteen years of school came to a close, my thoughts on it best summed up in the ask I answered while still in school:
"Do you like school?
hmmmm… there are aspects I don’t like;
the bubble of closed mindedness than often occurs when you stick the same people together for a long long time, the incapacity to cater for differences or to support the people that need it, the pressure to route learn impractical things, the skewed sense of study study and not enough room to balance other parts of my life. but all in all I’m not a person who hates it. I’ve been to high school in Japan and from a global perspective I know that I’m heck privileged to be able to study the subjects I’m interested in, to be able to afford it, to feel safe in my school environment, to have people I adore that I can spend time with everyday, to learn things that fascinate me, to feel safe in routine (suffocated sometimes but I know what to expect) & I do think that’s it’s sad that our age group often doesn’t appreciate the positives alongside it. to sum up, it’s shitty sometimes but i am rly friggin glad that as far as high school goes I’ve had experiences that make it worth it."
Speaking of Tumblr the reason I made this post was that I was asked on the tumbles if I could share my experience of healing/mental health care which I'll do my best on here :--)
There were times that no matter how much sleep I had, I was tired. The type of exhaustion that makes your emotions more erratic, the weight of mundane tasks appear heavier and more difficult to see the positive completion of and overall difficulty in maintains a sense of self. This state of being feels hard to eradicate, an echo of who you were that appears fainter and less distinct with time. If this sounds at all familiar let me assure you this will change. I know that these words can only mean so much, that it really fucking hurts and that you're tired. It is tiring. Knowing the validity of your emotions is important. Don't fight this if you can. Accept it and accept it will change.
Accept others help but also realize you will need to help yourself. Treat yourself like a child or a younger sibling. Sleep in a positive routine as much as possible. Fuel your body we good things, good people with good energy, things that smell intoxicatingly good (candles and warm perfumes, bake things), be your own best friend - do your hair, wear pretty lingerie, put on make up to dance around your room knowing it's not to please anyone else but yourself, watch feel good comedies (or tragedy if that makes you laugh) and understand this is a process.
Other things that helped me or helped people I know that may (hopefully) be of help:
- - set three goals for the day. make these achievable and personal. sometimes my goals were 1. get up from bed 2. have a shower 3. step outside into the sun for a moment, sometimes it would be to go for a run, to read a page of notes, to finish an essay. they are all goals and while some seem silly (smile in the mirror, think about one thing you like about yourself) sometimes i really did struggle with completing them. it's a good technique in embracing the mentality of doing one thing for a better tomorrow, for inching towards a happier time.
- - learn to say no. i have always been scared of saying no, that I might be limiting myself from an opportunity, have always prided myself in being a reliable and spontaneous yes person. but I've learnt particularly throughout this year that saying no can also bring opportunities. opportunity to give yourself time to recover, time to spend by yourself listening to music and taking it slowly. to stay in check with what you want and what you need rather than overexerting yourself by being there for others and not there for yourself. I'm not saying become a complete hermit and resist everything that comes your way, I'm encouraging you to say yes to things you feel comfortable doing and not feeling pressured to say yes to things you don't want to.
- - set aside worry time. My psychologist recommended this one. Similar to the concept of a worry doll it's physically time-tabling time to wallow in stress and then walking away from that space and letting it go from your body. E.g. If you feel anxious about an upcoming social encounter or exam, tell yourself you'll worry about it from 4:30-5. It may sound ridiculous but by concentrating the period of "worry" you can then lessen the feeling of it being constant. hopefully that makes some sense haha
It will get better. You will laugh and you will feel more connected to your mind, your body, the present moment and all the crazy shenanigans that life has to offer. It is a process, and I wish I could say that process is a speedy one but often it isn't. I still feel tired sometimes, I still struggle with no's but I know I am growing. I'm so grateful for the darn amazing people in my life that have made that process easier. And to you, reading this, as my previous self said, take a deep breath.
"Remember that you don't need a new year, a new week or sunrise to start again. Wherever you are in whatever state, all you need to do is take a big lungful of air then slowly release and the slate is clean. Let it clear your head and focus your energy on one task at a time."
We've got this I promise,