What you know about me is my coping mechanism.
It’s the front I put on.
This post is bold and may seem a bit much, but it’s raw – because social media is lame and only shows the front we all put on. I’m sick of it. No one actually sits down and talks about their problems or what is really happening. So for this moment, I want to change that and talk about it.
It probably seems like I am such an open person. A friend of mine told me the other day that he has me so figured out. I just sat there and thought “I don’t even have myself figured out so if you do – please enlighten me.” I understand where he was coming from though, it probably seems like I am so willing to talk about serious and deep topics and give my thoughts of them. Thats just it though, I give my thoughts on them but I never share my experiences. My experiences are too personal, and so many of them I will never share on here and have hardly ever shared with another person.
I have come to this conclusion life is a series of “lost and found” episodes. We have a period in our life where we feel so lost, so helpless and quite frankly depression sinks in deep. And we have periods in our life where we feel so found, so on top of the world, and so so happy.
Hopefully if we get lucky we have more found episodes than lost.
But life is life and you have to learn to play with the cards you’ve been dealt.
For three years of my college career I was completely and utterly lost. It took leaving the country for 6 weeks to bring a sense of found back into my life. The summer following my trip I was found, and on my 21st birthday I told my mom I could feel it in my bones something good was about to happen. That this year was my year.
The summer happened. And then came fall, the first semester of my senior year. And still, I was found. Life was good, I was dating someone I was extremely interested in for the first time in forever. My roommates were my best friends and everything BYU associated was going my way.
But it seems every up is followed with a down and the start of that winter semester my senior year was mine. To be honest, I was now in a different relationship I knew wasn’t going to work for far too long, I was extremely unsure of where my life was going after graduation and had zero confidence in what was and was not happening.
And still to this day I feel I have been in the thick of a lost episode. This doesn’t mean I have spent every moment of my life feeling hopeless, but I do know that genuine happiness hasn’t been a familiar friend.
However this lost episode has been different. In past lost episodes I never realized I was lost. I was in denial and I was coping. For some reason this time around I realize it. And I want help. I want to gather all the fragmented parts of my life I have been neglecting and piece them together. This time around I don’t want to just be happy, I want to heal.
In a conversation earlier this fall my best friend called me out on why I do what I do – why I cope like I cope. It was brutal and it was honest. But she was right. For so long being extremely busy was one of many coping mechanisms for me. The busier I was the less energy and time I had to focus on what was really happening. If I was so consumed by getting an event planned or project done the less I had to actually face the real issues in my life. Believe me, its easy to overbook yourself to the point where you are too busy to even feel or address real emotions – this is what numbed my internal hurt.
So I coped. For years. And I got by.
That conversation sparked a flame though and since then I have really started to look inside myself and ask questions. Being completely honest, the more I search the more experiences I have been suppressing for years have started to resurface. It’s an emotional hell and frankly doesn’t seem like the logical thing to do. But taking an experience, bringing it back to your memory and fully taking the time to address it, feel it, and process it has truly allowed me to let the pain I have been trying to dull be let go and let peace enter in.
So this is what I wanted to talk about. Majority of you would never know that I’ve been struggling like I have for the past year, but thats because through all my adventurous Instagram posts I never talked about it. The dialogue is open now though. Instead of keeping ourselves closed off from others lets open up and be there for each other. Let’s share the little things that make us happy. Let’s be gentler and kinder to those around us. In the words of some Tumblr quote (so basic white girl of me) I saw forever ago, everyone has their own personal Mt. Everest they are trying to climb – why don’t we see what we can do to make that climb a bit easier for others?
As I’ve started to open up to close friends around me I’ve realized we all cope in our own way. Hopefully these words will spark a flame in some of you to start looking inside yourself and address real issues too.
Get quiet and listen.
Slow your life down and allow yourself to finally recognize the fragmented parts of your life. Ask yourself why. Be still and let the suppressed parts of your life finally speak. Do what it takes to piece it all back together. If needs be, don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk about it with someone. It’s scary as ever. But so far from my experience its been worth it.
As I have, genuine happiness has started to knock on my door once again.