Faith is no longer, nor has been for a very long time, enough to get me through the day. Faith, to me, is an optimistic lie you tell yourself to feel better about something that you desperately need to be true; having faith means you know what you are telling yourself can not be proven. Otherwise, we would not need faith.. we would just know. I realize that faith is a wonderful tool for many people, but I need fact. I need proof. I need a sign that what I am believing is real. My mind identifies faith as a coping mechanism; my mind also needs to deal with life as it is, not what I tell myself it is. My mother tells me that faith grows stronger with age, and I do desperately hope that is true for me. My mind has always questioned what I have been told and sought to find answers that make sense to me. I am not certain that I will ever find the answers that I am looking for, but I will never stop trying.
A small step in the right direction is still a step in the right direction. I have to keep reminding myself of that, every day. I am enough. I don’t owe anyone anything. The only opinion that matters is my own. Loving myself is more than enough. Sleeping alone isn’t so bad. Always look at things from different perspectives. A day without talking is okay. Not knowing every single detail is perfectly acceptable. It’s okay to trust. It’s okay not to trust. Never apologize for sharing your feelings, even if they are irrational. Always be honest. Don’t apologize for being who you are; instead, learn to love who you are. Have control over your thoughts. Be playful. Accept that some people won’t like you. Worrying is normal. Accept that you won’t like some people. Your feelings are valid. If you care for someone, let them know. If you aren’t happy, then make yourself happy. Be open minded. Do things that make you happy on a daily basis. Saying no is okay; saying no without an explanation is okay. Know what your morals are, and don’t break them. Have hope. Never allow yourself to put in all the effort with nothing in return. Don’t be judgmental. Practice being compassionate. Expectations lead to disappointments; life is short and unpredictable, so avoid being disappointed. Be nice to people. Give yourself compliments. Know that nothing is concrete. If you are hurt, no one else can tell you that you aren’t. Find some sort of beauty in every one and every thing. Look to the past for advice. Say please and thank you. Mental illnesses aren’t anything to be ashamed of. Learn to listen to others and understand their feelings. Know that it’s okay to be depressed sometimes, as long as you pick yourself back up. Things can, and often do, change. Learn to communicate your feelings in a healthy way. Be faithful to yourself. Realize that everything isn’t as it seems. Don’t regret anything. Sometimes things fall apart, and that’s okay; pick yourself back up and try again. Know what triggers your anxiety. Treat life as if it is a magnificent journey. Know that arguments aren’t the end of the world. Sometimes, being selfish is necessary. Stop being so reliant on social media and text messaging. Know when to let go; know when to hold on. If you’re lonely, talk to God. Instagram likes shouldn’t give you a sense of self worth. Avoid going to sleep angry. Occasionally being lazy is alright. Have fun without spending money. Keep a journal throughout your lifetime. Use your talents. Yell when it’s necessary. Be charitable. Don’t put yourself down. Learn to truly laugh and find yourself being caught in a moment where you are overcome with happiness. Crying does not make you weak. Be selfless when you can. Don’t hold grudges. Smile. Have faith in something bigger than yourself. Don’t bottle up your emotions. Be environmentally friendly. Set goals for yourself that are attainable. Mental health is just as important as physical health. Only surround yourself with people who appreciate who you truly are and uplift you. Dress up for yourself. Be considerate. Enjoy nature. Create intimate and special relationships with as many people as you can. Talk to strangers; smile at strangers. Making someone else happy will make you happy in return. Most importantly, always be yourself. Spend each day learning who you are.
I once told a friend years ago that if there are two pieces of pizza left, I’ll take the smaller one. She said, “Misty, no one is going to get mad at you for taking the damn larger piece of pizza.” It’s okay to take the larger slice of pizza.
As of recent, my life has took a turn towards my worst fear: my father getting old and sick.
I am twenty-three years old; my parents have been together for over thirty years. My mother is twenty-five years younger than my dad; my mom is fifty-three and my dad is seventy-eight. Growing up, my dad was not young and playful like all of the other dads I saw with my friends. He was in the prime of his business career, busy working in the garage, always running about- things any healthy fifty-something-year-old would enjoy doing. Up until less than a year ago, my father has had no significant health issues; he was still active, his mind was sharp. Then, all of the sudden.. things changed. Things changed drastically. My mother and I, scared and confused, avoided showing any fear. My father, for a long time, denied anything was wrong. The reality of the situation was obvious to everyone except for him.
My worst fear, as a child and as an adult, was this happening. It was seeing my dad go downhill. It was seeing him using a cane or a walker. It was seeing him forget how to form sentences. It was seeing him forget things that he has always known. It was seeing him forget how to add up money to pay the cashier. It was seeing him lose the ability to drive. It was seeing him in diapers. It was seeing him old.
I am reaching out for help. Tons of adults face going through this with one or both of their parents, just not at my age. In the beginning of my adult life, trying to figure out who I am and make my place in the world, I just cannot seem to grasp what is happening. I need more time to pass before I can deal with this, but sadly, I do not have time on my side. Anyone, regardless of age (although it would be nice to communicate with someone around my age about this), please.. let me know how to cope. Give me tips on how to process this. Help me accept this as reality. Any kind words, stories, advice, prayers, thoughts, etc. are more than welcome.
There are too many emotions. What to say? What is most important? What makes the most sense? What can people relate to? Right now, I do not care.
I always feel like I am not good enough, whether it be a lot or a little. Always, I fall short. I have an issue with people criticizing me without reason or warning. I do not understand those who are so ill mannered and mean to others; it seems these people are always ahead in the game. I refuse to lower myself to someone I am not just to succeed. My depression is a constant ache, my obsessive compulsive thoughts only making that pain worse. Anxiety? Let me worry about my depression and OCD. Bills? Fuck, everything is late. I am never good enough because I refuse to sacrifice who I am to get ahead. When will I be enough? Never? Okay, I will learn to cope. My immune system seems to be working against me, as if everything else was not enough. Fibromyalgia, which my doctor suspects I have, sends pain through my body. Is it in my mind? Maybe. The pain is still just as real. My bones pop when I move, constantly readjusting from the pressure of life. My body is weak and tired, and my mind the same. Every day, I wake up and act as though I am fine. I am going to have a good day. I am not depressed, nor anxious. It is absurd that I am thought to have Fibromyalgia.. I am too young, too healthy. Reality sets in before I even remove my head from my pillow. I am not okay, and it hurts to admit that. I am flawed in a way that most people can not understand. I am flawed in a way that society does not accept. My depression, anxiety, OCD, and whatever the hell else is wrong does not care that my disabilities are seen as miniscule. Depressed? Well, just get up and do something; it will go away. Anxious? Why do you worry about everything? Think about something else; get out and do something and it will go away. OCD? You must be crazy, just stop. You are having a panic attack? Just calm down and come into work and get your mind off of things. You are on medication? I do not believe that helps. Have you tried yoga? I just can not believe depression and anxiety are actually caused my a chemical imbalance; the medication you are on surely is not helping.
On a good day, I am still struggling. On a bad day, it is all I can do to appear ‘normal.’ On a ‘normal’ day, my thoughts still consume me. Mental disorders are real, and those who discredit them are monsters. I do not seek sympathy, but I do seek understanding.
I say that I am okay, because in MY reality, I am. A good day for me may be equivalent to one of the worst days of your life.
Tomorrow, I will wake up the same as I did today: worried, anxious, sad, mad, lazy, avoid-ant, antisocial, introverted, eccentric, excited, achy, tired.. This is who I am, and I fear, who I will always be.
I will not apologize for the cards I have been dealt. Nor should you judge others from being a different card than you are. We are all part of the same deck; we are all important and unique. We do not have to understand one another, but we do need to accept that life has given us all different demons to fight.