It’s not a secret that I struggle with depression and have for a very long time. I may not have written about it on the blog before but it’s not something I care to hide. The past year I’ve been managing fairly well, including my anxiety but following this summer I really started to struggle again. Over a year ago I started working with my doctor to figure out the best ways to manage it with and without medication and I choose to do what I felt was best for me. For the most part, it hasn’t been a problem up until recently. At the end of the summer, Conor started his second year in medical school, I was at a new job, my family has moved away and I just was not able to cope with all the changes. For a while I would try things like meditation, yoga, going for walks and while those are wonderful ways to manage stress and keep healthy, it wasn’t helping like I had hoped.
Since I started recovering from my eating disorder in undergrad, self-care has become a priority for me. I would do research and look into the best ways to practice self-care and I’ve come to realize that the self-care I needed back then is not what I need now. This was also one of the first times that I was able to identify changes in myself because I finally understood what feeling normal was.
At a point, I didn’t know what to do since I felt like I had done everything except for up and leaving to travel. For some reason, traveling is always a big reset button for me. I remember sitting on my balcony frustrated and so tired, I just wanted to be completely alone and secluded. It was a Saturday, I turned my phone off for the day, packed up my computer and just laid on my outdoor couch. Eventually, I did fall asleep and when I woke up I went for a walk. I felt refreshed and honestly, I forgot about my phone until I went to bed which I only used to set an alarm. When I woke up my phone was dead so I had just left it while we went out to run our errands and pick up our groceries. Even though we were running errands, I felt a little better, almost lighter that day which I attributed to taking a nap the day before and getting that extra bit of rest. It wasn’t for a few days that I realized what had become a drain on me.
Perfectionism has always been at my core; I have always felt the need to be the mentor, to be the example, to have all the experience and to have all the knowledge. It was never about competition with others but a competition with myself, how much further I could go, how much more of my life I could mold and control. At what point was I finally good enough? My perfectionism is debilitating.
My phone and social media were exacerbating my perfectionism without me ever truly realizing it. Being in different blogging circles and networks it’s so difficult to not reflect hard on how you stack up, what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. To me, no post was good enough, no picture interesting enough and I just couldn’t create a witty and authentic paragraph for the life of me. It isn’t even about “likes” on photos or posts (I oddly really don’t care about it), it was just purely about how I wasn’t good enough at x, y, and z things.
What is even worse is that we bloggers love one word so much, we repeat it over and over until we’re drowning in it. Authentic. Go to a bloggers instagram account and if it’s not in their bio, it’s either in a post or a hashtag. We are obsessed with being authentic when so much of what you see is meticulously constructed and perfectly framed. Even though I know all the tricks behind the scenes for perfect flatlays and photos, I was still looking at my life thinking that it wasn’t good enough. This isn’t true whatsoever but I just kept thinking it over and over that I’m just not good enough. Being able to wake up at 5am, spend time making breakfast, going for a morning stroll, write in a journal and get ready for work without being late are things that I see others doing and wondering why I just cannot make it all work. While some people do have it all together, social media doesn’t ever show the whole story. We lost the true meaning of authenticity. So to get out of my own head I decided to remove myself from all of it.
I started out by just not posting anything and just enjoying life without having to worry about documenting and coming up with witty comments about what I’m doing. I didn’t have to worry about which hashtags to use, what pods I was in or what the best time to post was. I still carried my camera around with me since I love to take photos but I just left my phone to the side. This slowly led me to just about ignoring every other social media platform as well until I was basically removed from them all for a few months. I haven’t even posted on my blog that is how much of a break I truly needed.
It was weighing on me for awhile that I haven’t been writing but it was ultimately for the best. I now feel so much relief, I feel awake and inspired. It stinks that I took off a few months but I’m more excited than ever to get back to it all.
Oh Darling take care