I felt this was important to tell you.
You’re still here and have a heartbeat and breath in your lungs.
The world is not a kind place. People are not going to play nice. There are going to be too many goodbyes.
And somehow we’re still expected to play it off like we’re okay and sometimes we’re just really not. We’re really not okay.
Be honest and don’t be afraid to be. Be honest with yourself and what you’re feeling and remember your feelings are valid. You’re not crazy. No matter what you think or feel.
But remember this too :: your feelings are not usually facts. Test them. Fight them. It’s a mind game; this isn’t just a physical battle. Your head is where it all starts.
You need people. Please don’t forget that.
My biggest regret in life so far is running from people. I’ve realized my fear of abandonment is so massively crippling that I either act in a way that pushes people away, or I run first because I’m terrified of being left alone. I don’t want you to run from me. So I run first, to minimize the damage.
But it still damages my heart.
I still carry the weights. I still carry the guilt and wish I did things differently. Goodbyes are hard. I don’t like goodbyes. I don’t think a lot of us do. They seem to be happening a lot in the last few years, especially ever since I started college.
And somehow the Friends theme feels very fitting :: “See no one told you life was going to be this way…”
No they did not.
Also, it’s said a lot, it may be a cliche, but none of us have it all together. Please remember that too. No matter what you see on Instagram. Even on my account. I post photos and write short captions on some nights and you would never know it but in those moments I feel too much and want to crawl into myself and never come out. You would never know that because I don’t want you to know that. I don’t want you to see I’m struggling.
I’m not sure why we don’t want people to see our struggles. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to be transparent. Maybe we’ll never know, maybe that is the great fight of our existence :: to break all of the bonds the world, and really, what is the “world” when we use that phrase, tells us we’re restrained by.
I promise you that you are not alone if you feel that way.
I also promise you you aren’t the only one who feels lethargic, or unmotivated, or completely discouraged and disheartened, or petrified of the future and what it holds and where you’re going and if you can make it.
I ran a 5k on the treadmill last night. I’ve run 3 miles a total of three times in the extent of two and a half months of running. Mile 1.5 to 2.5 is the worst. You want to give up. You feel the resistance in your body and you just think, “Maybe I can just walk the rest of the way.”
And sometimes I do. I’m really trying to listen to my body and know when I’m pushing myself for the right reasons, and when I’m pushing myself out of fear. Sometimes I push myself because I’m afraid of weight. I’m afraid of not being toned or losing my routine or losing the passion for running. I’m afraid of a lot of things, if I’m honest. I’m afraid of losing things. I’m afraid of something going away and not coming back. I suppose it seems my fear of abandonment runs deep, even with inanimate things and abstract thoughts and objects of passion.
But I pushed myself last night. It sucked. I was panting by the end. May have cussed under my breath a few times. And I did make it. I made it to the end without stopping. And in the end, it was amazing.
But it doesn’t always happen, I don’t always push through. But sometimes, sometimes I do, and the endurance is slowly building. It’s a process. Remember that too.
Tomorrow we will try again.
So if you ever question if you’ll make it, I want to encourage you to do something :: go for a run. Even if you don’t run or like running. I get it, not everyone is built to run or has a desire to. But just this once, to prove something to yourself, set a goal that is obtainable but challenges you. Even if it’s half a mile. Prove to yourself you can do it. And when you do it, you’ll see :: the battle is not just physical. It’s mental.
Do you believe you can make it?
Here’s something I learned from failing a class one semester, retaking it, and making a D. I just resigned up for the class for the third. time. How great does that feel? Yeah no, not at all. But here’s something that’s stuck with me :: if you don’t think you’ll make it, you’re not going to.
I thought I was going to fail, and I did. How does that correlate? Because I acted on what I believed.
I wasn’t doing well, so what was the point? What was the point of studying for the test if I knew I was already going to fail?
Mentally, I gave up, and then I dropped everything else.
It’s the same with my relationships. There were a few nights this past week my anxiety was through the roof. I haven’t felt this much anxiety in at least a month, and definitely in a few months. And I was texting her, my best friend of almost four years, someone I’ve been through so many ups and downs with, and I asked her if I was annoying her, and if she was mad at me. Something felt different in our texts, and I was genuinely worried I was going to lose her.
I was asking her, without asking her, if she was going to leave me.
And there it was again, the fear of abandonment. And of course she immediately rebuked it, said there was nothing to worry about, everything was fine. I still doubted her.
My therapist made a powerful statement the other day, though, and it sobered me immediately :: “When your friends say that you don’t annoy them or you haven’t done anything wrong, you owe it to them and yourself to believe them. Because right now you’re assuming they’re liars, and what basis do you have to believe they are lying right now?”
I don’t have a resolution to this; I’m still in the thick of it all. But I’m writing this for you, and maybe more for me than anything, as the quiet whisper to keep going. Keep trying with people, please don’t give up.
Please remember you deserve to take up space and the space you take up matters. It so matters.
Stop apologizing for your existence.
Stop diminishing your role, your voice, your passion, your future.
You have this one tiny beautiful life and you don’t have it for long. Please, please don’t let it go to waste because those voices in your head tell you that you should.
And I can’t fight the voices in your head that tell you to not believe anything I’m saying. I would know, those voices are in my head too.
Again. You are not alone.
This is a fight between you and your mind and the battles are not always won. In the great words of Olan Rogers, “Every fight needs a few good hits.” You have to be the one to strap on the boots and pick up the weapons and keep fighting.
But, still there are people. You’ll need them. You’ll need people to help fight for you and with you. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help.
Hope still exists. Hope still wins.
Why do I write all of this? Because I don’t believe it right now. And I hope that one day, the more I whisper it over myself, and believe it for other people, I’ll start to believe it too.
You’re still here. There’s a second and third chance for you.
Remember this please.