This is going to be about a topic that I’ve touched on before and after some consideration back and forth I’ve decided to be completely honest and share my thoughts and feelings regarding something that really affected me in the past, in the hopes of possibly being able to help or encourage someone else going through the same thing, or with the same ideas or notions that I had in my teens. And if that is the case, I want you to know that you are not alone. You are always, ALWAYS welcome to reach out to me. I will reply and support in any way that I can, but I strongly encourage you to also talk to your friends and family.
When I was growing up there was a bad situation that in a lot of different ways forced me to grow up very fast, and I remember that I thought then that If I could control myself into being as good as possible that maybe it would be enough to change what was happening. As a teen this progressed onto another kind of desire to be good enough, focusing way to much on the opinions of those around me - pushing hard to get top grades, on having as many friends as possible, and on looking as good as I could. A self hate and desire to be enough grew so deep that it affected everything from how I acted to how I was eating, constantly striving towards being as slim/pleasing/perfect as possible, set on the idea that outside factors such as modeling and/or levels of likeability would make me beautiful or worthy enough at this point also became worse in a toxic relationship with someone that had a lot of opinions regarding how I looked and how I dressed.
As with all fixed ideas and things we don’t do being true or kind to ourselves, this made me stumble over my own mind more than once, with an eating disorder and a heavy depression lurking around the corner. When everything peaked, I was so depressed that I was suicidal. But to everyone besides my closest, oldest friends, I hid this as well as I could, partly because old habits die hard and I was convinced that I was an embarrassment and a failure to my peers and family, and that if I at least could keep up appearances I wouldn’t be a burden to my surroundings.
At 18 and 19, mentally at my absolute worst.
I was so depressed that I didn’t want to live; but also so set on being what I thought was the right thing and set on making what I thought was a good impression that I did all that I could to hide this. Stumbling through “normal” life, mixed with days halfway to school, work or social calls struck with anxiety or a sorrow so deep that I felt paralyzed.
Something that I remember vividly at this point is a conversation over the phone with an acquaintance of mine, and how she during this conversation told me that she was jealous of how perfect my life seemed to be. I remember that I both loved and hated her for that comment, because in one way I had succeeded, and in one way, (the one that I didn’t understand was the one that mattered at that point) I had failed miserably.
The reason that I decided to write about this today, is that I received a very similar comment from a girl that wrote me on social media saying that she thought that I seemed to be living a dream life. It’s easy to hide your negative thoughts, feelings and moments, and even though years have passed since my childhood or my depression and I’m now at 23 in a place in life exactly where I want to be (and with the ability to truly love, and unapologetically be myself including saying f*ck you to both my own negative feelings and people that treats me badly) that has not always been the case, and it’s important to remember that not a single person on earth has a perfect life.
If you’re in a bad place I hope that I can help you feel a little less alone by opening up about my experiences, and If so also by trying to reassure you that life will get better. I really, really promise you that.
I hope that you will live your life staying true to yourself, because the relationship that you have with yourself is the only one you will have to cope with for the rest of your life. Don’t compare yourself to others, or care so much about what anyone thinks as long as it makes YOU happy, and if you’re not in a good place dare to be honest about that too. That is not a failure. Every change in life starts with one, small, first step, and accepting yourself is the biggest “small step” you can take. All roads are different, and as long as yours make you feel good, you're going in the right direction. And if it doesn't, there is NO shame in being open about that. No path is endless and you can always change direction.