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"Ok"

I treat these blog posts way too much like college essays. If I can’t think of a good enough hook to start out my introduction, I scrap the whole thing and say I’ll work on it later. I’ve tried to start out from the middle before, but I can never see it through till the end if I don’t have a good start. That’s probably why I have 4 different drafts from 5 different emotional states from the last 6 months. Well here goes something…

The urge to write has been surfacing more and more frequently in the last few months. Usually that means I’ll have a few bad days and my emotions beg for release onto a page, but by the time I sit down to write, I can’t produce anything with enough pathos to meet the standards I’ve set for my own blog. For better or for worse, I can never write something I like enough to post unless I’m in deep, emotional turmoil. So it’s made it quite hard to string together a coherent post I’m proud of because I’ve actually been… kind of ok recently?

There have been very few extended periods of time in the last couple years where I truly felt like I could say I was doing “well”. Just telling someone I’m doing “good” feels more honest than it has in forever. I’m so hardwired to the emotional roller coaster of my mental health that part of me constantly tries to prove I am still miserable.

I am… still miserable in many ways. And confused. And lonely. Very lonely. 

But somehow, I am learning how to be all of those things and still be ok. I’ve written very often on this blog about depressing emotional paradoxes I get myself wrapped up in. This time, I’m trying to express a new paradox of feeling that I still don’t quite understand - the idea that I am “doing well” and growing all while the circumstances of my loneliness and depression have not changed. It’s actually quite stupidly simple when I say it like that. I guess that’s how normal people live happy lives haha. Crazy. We’ll call this a breakthrough for me though. Dear reader, please let me have this moment 🙂.


 


 

So that was a nice moment. 


Now back to feeling miserable. Some days I feel ok with feeling ok. Sometimes I notice more acutely how sad it feels to have been ok for so long but not happy. I like to use “being” and “feeling” interchangeably all too often, and it’s made me vulnerable to the whims of my emotions. Let’s try to separate who I am and how I feel to help make sense of this.


I am:

  • Finding career success at a young age

  • Over-concerned with other people’s opinion of me

  • In leadership positions in my work

  • Growing in athletic skill in a sport that I love

I feel:

  • Like everyone around me thinks I don’t deserve the successes I am seeing

  • As if I cannot live up to the expectations that come with new positions

  • Separated from the people I once looked to for support

  • Afraid at the prospect of opening myself up to new relationships


So there it is. Pretty textbook imposter syndrome right there. I’ve also been talking to my therapist a lot about codependency - feeling like my sense of worth comes from how much other people need me. So naturally, a change in the dynamics of close friendships will have a strong effect. I’m stuck in this loop of looking for affirmation from others because my brain won’t accept the facts of my life as the same thing. I want others to affirm who I want to be, but the person I want to be is someone who cares less about what everyone thinks. Yay, another paradox!

Another thing my therapist has pointed out is that I am very good at intellectualizing my mental state to distract myself from actually doing something about it. Anyone reading this blog probably could have noticed that exact same thing. But it is 1 am and I am forcing myself to post this, hoping that writing through my feelings will help me feel better. Some part of my heart that is both petty and very lonely hopes that the right person will read this and know the perfect way to affirm me. I wish I would stop doubting my ability as a frisbee player after every comment or random glance in my direction. I wish someone would look at my loneliness or recognition and tell me that I truly deserve either one. Right now, I wish that the successful, driven person I show to the world was the same person I believe myself to be.

I’m publishing this to my blog as an attempt at telling people how I’m doing. Also because I want people who brush up on my life to understand the dissonance I’m feeling between my successes and self-doubt. Also because Taylor Swift just dropped a whole double album about her messy feelings and I’m wishing I could express mine that eloquently. Maybe it’s manipulative and selfish to draw attention to myself like this, but I write these because I miss the connection that comes from raw emotion. Not fleeting conversations or simple “how are you”s, but imperfect vulnerability and honest affection. A million feelings transmitted through a hug. A moment of understanding shared in silence.

I don’t know if I came to any real conclusions through this, but it helped me calm the pressure building up in my head just a little. If you’ve read this far - thank you. As my therapist says every time I leave a session: “be gentle with yourself”. I think we could all stand to do that a little more.

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