Time to admit a few things ...
Updated: Jun 15, 2019
"Do you think perhaps you're being too hard on yourself?"
"For sure. I know I am."
"Why do you think that is?"
"Fear of failure. Fear of not being capable of doing the things I want to do."
"Why do you set such high expectations for yourself? Who taught you that in order to feel accepted you have to be perfect, do better, be more?"
"I really don't know. I've just always felt like that."
- Conversation with my therapist
I've learned a lot about myself these past months. Most of all? I have some serious baggage to unpack from my childhood, things that shaped the way I perceive myself today.
But you know what's awesome about perception? It's exactly that: a viewpoint. It can be changed.
I've faded from social media, not released a book since May, and to be honest been too frozen to write until a few weeks ago. Because back in June, I reached a point where the constant negative vibes I fed myself literally turned on my body. I had what I guess you'd call a breakdown - physical and mental. I've been on a bit of a journey since then, and not all of the roads taken were enjoyable. Fuck it. There are still massive potholes in my day. But the farther I go, the better the road gets. And you know what else? Potholes don't change the beauty of the scenery as it goes by.
Hiccups in life aren't the end of the world.
I've always said I'd be one of the last ones standing in publishing, that I have no intention of giving it up when I can see myself as an old arthritic lady cursing at my worn out hands. And that's still the case. But I've had to take a break for me.
I needed to do what I've neglected to for years (maybe even most of my life). I needed to put myself, my wellbeing, and my needs first. Self-care. Self-love.
Fucking believe in myself again.
Amidst the chaos I've done a lot of soul searching, and what I've found is that my passion lies in being able to help others. Through my writing, through charity, through whatever means I can. If I can make somebody else feel better, included, a little more normal, then I feel better.
Which brings me to this blog.
Blogging is something I've always wanted to do, but that critical little fucker on my shoulder has always stomped his hoof down and whispered, "Why the hell do you think anyone would care about what you have to say?" Well, you know what? I really don't care if anyone cares. I really don't give a damn if this post sees ten views, or ten thousand. What I DO care about is if that one person, that one individual who feels like I have these past months, reads my experiences and finds some solace in knowing they are not alone.
Because trust me when I say, that dark hole we all have inside of us is one hell of a fucking scary place to get stuck. Sometimes you need somebody else to shine the light for you.
Somebody to say, "Guess what? That crazy thing you're beating yourself up over? I do that too."
In today's world of social media and carefully curated posts it's easy to be too hard on ourselves. So easy. Because we don't see the inner workings. We all know that what we're shown is a snapshot of other people's lives, or a bullshit benchmark a company wants you to strive for so that you'll buy their product, and yet we still hold ourselves up to this messed up ideal that we should be perfect too.
Newsflash: nobody is perfect. NOBODY. People might try to tell you otherwise, but we're all a little fucked up about something. And that's perfectly okay. In fact, having flaws is what makes us normal. Normal does not equal perfect.
(Jesus. Where are you going with this, Max?)
I guess what I'm trying to get at, is that instead of hiding our faults, lying about our neurosis, and pretending that if we just bury our heads in the sand long enough all of our problems will magically go away, we need to get curious. We need to figure out what makes us believe these unsubstantiated biases about ourselves, and we need to share what we learn.
The things I've experienced in the past four months have been summed up into some pretty nifty titles:
Anxiety (with resulting Tachycardia)
You know what else they can be summed up as? An experience that allows me deeper understanding, a better insight to help others in the hopes I can prevent at least one person from going as low as I did.
Because, dudes ... this episode honestly made all the others I've experienced in my life look like a hayride through a field of sunflowers.
I'm going to slowly work through the things I've learned in a series of posts. I'll share what has helped and worked for me, as well as any other tips I may come across. If I'm going to spend ridiculous amounts of time researching how I can improve my state of mental health (because who would have guessed my personality type is that of a questioner, huh?), then I may as well share what I learn with others.
In short, let me do the work for you ;)
Each post will have a positive spin on it. Each post, I aim to make motivational. Basically, I want to create a blog like I searched for when I needed reassurance that I wasn't broken beyond repair and that everything would be okay.
Because it is okay. It always has been. I just have an inner narrative that likes to make up horror stories from time to time. But I'm learning to silence it, learning to see it with patience and remember that holy fuck, Batman, I'm a storyteller. And that shit in my head? It's just a story. Fiction. A made up scenario. (Who would have guessed, right?)
Embrace your ugly, people. Embrace the parts of you that make you cringe. Sounds easy in theory, and you know why? Because once you stop trying to reason why those things really are bad or undesirable, it actually is easy.
We have so much to learn from each other as a community. So much to share.
So let's start.
Let's unpack this shit that holds us back and remember how to thrive.