I don’t let what people say
affect what I do.
But the looks on their faces
still creep into my vision
and my imagination
is good at speaking for them.
At night, the images seep into my body,
playing in slow-motion, across my unconscious mind.
And I keep hearing their thoughts,
until they burn through my ears.
The video player of my mind
plays so much, it overheats.
And the words they once said
are branded onto my mind,
like the scars on my wrists,
that were caused by their thoughts
that perhaps didn’t exist.
But their words don’t affect me,
not even a little bit.
And I still don’t look in the mirror.
Because they’d never shut up.
Is there such a thing? I’ve been waiting and waiting for clarity to come, and then I waited some more. When will I figure out what I’m going to do?
Here’s my story: I spent more than two years at a really good college until my mental illnesses and addictions put me in the hospital twice and my college basically told me that I needed to take some time off to get my life back on track. I could come back when I was mentally stable. Long story short, I’m not going back. I really enjoyed what I was learning about, though. I chose the major American studies which is a lot of sociology and psychology and political science and a lot of other things mixed together but focused in America. We learned about hegemonic systems and American ideology and how they got to be the way they are. So just learning bout fucked-up ness and how things got to be so fucked up and how deep the fucked-up ness goes. I loved it. I felt like I was doing important work. But once everything came to a halt and I ended up in a daily therapy program, I got to reevaluate my entire life and find out what I was really interested in. Turns out, I really love art and fashion. Which I always kind of knew because I loved to freak people out and draw attention with my unique clothing choices. But I even got into making all different types of art, getting more into makeup, and even making my own clothes for myself. I also started to really journal in therapy which motivated me to start writing about random things which eventually led me to creating this blog. I started to actually acknowledge all the crazy ideas I have about things and want to write about them. I also got really into yoga which was apart of our therapy program which manifested into its own lifestyle and the holistic and spiritual side of life. I started collecting crystals and meditating to add more to my yoga practice. On top of that, going to therapy everyday for months and confronting the many demons I have helped me to realize how much help I could be to others going through similar issues. I really loved connecting with others in my therapy groups and giving advice, so do I want to be a counselor on top of all of this?
For months my mind has been scrambling to make a decision and actually start down a path instead of just staying stagnant as a 21 year old living in my parents’ house. I always felt like there was nothing out there for me, but now that I have all of these things that interest me, it doesn’t feel that different. The only thing that’s changed is that finding myself through therapy gave me the confidence I needed to actually get into all of these hobbies and interests. I never felt good enough to write or create etc. But I still feel like I can’t move forward. I don’t want to open one door and end up closing all the other doors. Can I just be a full time student as my career and just never stop learning about all there is?
If I want to do all of these things like possibly write a book, work in fashion and even possibly make my own clothes, help people with struggles like me through possibly art therapy, be a yoga instructor and help people cultivate their spirituality, and also pursue social justice in some sort of way, where do I start? Is it possible to combine them all? How do I get into these things without spending my whole life in school? Will I spend my whole life thinking/learning about this stuff without actually doing anything?
I always thought being a passionate person was a good thing and I characterized it as one of my strengths. Is there such a thing as being too passionate? Or is it a blessing in disguise?
Comment back if you can relate. I’d love to hear other experiences.
Young and overzealous<3
I’ve been attending a therapy group everyday for a while now. It’s an IOP group that’s usually used to transition out of a partial hospitalization program to help patients use the skills they learned to transfer back into the swing of things. People come and go from the group all the time and today we had a young girl who had her head down the whole time and never made eye contact with anyone and when our therapist asked her questions about her situation and what she needed, her responses had an immense effect on the rest of the group. See, most of us in the group had already been to the hospital and went through partial; so we had already made a lot of changes in our lives and took long strides to get better. Yet this girl seemed to be at the very first step, which is actually wanting to try to get better, so basically, I began to figure out that she should really be in the hospital, or at least in partial. And I’m sure through battles with anxiety, depression, self harm and other mental health struggles, we all always wanted to get better, we just never want to actually take steps and make changes in our lives to actually change our situation and feel better. Usually it comes to a point when you hit rock bottom when you realize that you do want to change because you can’t take anymore pain. So here was this girl who was very depressed and suicidal, who kept making very black and white statements like “I’m never going to get better”, “None of this matters”, “These programs are a waste of time” and so on. And after a while, other group members were getting very upset with her, because they had already been through these programs and put a lot of work into them. These programs had basically changed our lives and helped us immensely, so many took offense to her saying that it was a waste of time. And those feelings are totally valid; of course I felt that too. But why is it that once we already have taken big measures to reach stability and have recovered in many ways, that we so quickly forget where we came from. I’m sure there was a time that all of us felt the way that this group member expressed. We all felt at one time that we were never going to get better and that everyone that was trying to help us were just feeding us bullshit. And sure, this girl probably made it a bit worse since she didn’t make any eye contact with anyone and didn’t care how she made the other group members feel or try to apologize or anything. But once we make so many changes in our lives, it’s so hard to relate to ourselves months before we started. Does taking strides to lead a mentally healthier life detach us from most other people in the world? Is it that easy to forget where we came from? We started off as extremely self destructive and hopeless people. Is seeing someone the way we used to be so difficult because it shows us that are battles with mental health affected those around us too? Is it too hard to see how mentally ill we were before that we choose to ignore it and judge others’ still in that position?
I found this situation today really interesting. It brought up a lot of these types of questions. I think it says a lot about the way we are quicker to judge others than we are to try to relate to them. Our feelings should be things that bring us together. When we share about them, there’s usually at least one other person to say, “I feel the same way.” Connecting with others is a lot easier than we think. When we make ourselves vulnerable is when we’re able to connect with others the most. And we can’t change people until they’re ready to change. We need to meet people where they’re at, not where we wish they would be.