Growing up, I felt that I was dealt a “tougher hand” than those around me. I was raised in a single parent home. Always struggling to feel “up to par.” I had amazing grades in school, but it never seemed good enough to those around me. I lived my life this way, until freshman year of college, indulging in bad habits (not drugs), unhealthy coping mechanisms, anything to just feel an emotion other than emptiness. I was unhappy. No matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t love myself. I couldn’t find happiness, It just felt that maybe I just didn’t deserve to be happy. I just wasn’t good enough for it.
I became a “robot” version of myself.
I didn’t laugh, or show weakness. I barely ever showed emotion. I kept to myself, I didn’t really talk. I chose to stay busy, and I mean realllyyyy busy. My one job was to be “Tyler’s mom” and that’s all I focused on. I took 6 classes a semester, never took time to go out. I didn’t spend time with friend or date. Never allowed anyone to get close to me or get to know me. They couldn’t love me. I didn’t deserve it…. or so I thought.
It was tough digging myself out of the deep hole of depression I was in.
It took some time, a lot of tears, self reflection and work. But it happened. One day, I sat at the park and watched the water move, the birds fly and people walking. And it clicked, life will keep moving, regardless, of how I feel, if people live or die. Life will always keep going. There was no reason for me to remain in a stagnant emotional/depressive state. I had to find a way to start moving. I had to find a way to live.
Gave myself time.
I had to change my way of thinking. I had to change the way I viewed myself, and learn how to love me. Starting with the parts of me, that I hated. I had to work on my confidence, learn to be at peace and just choosing to be happy day in and day out no matter what. My happiness should not be circumstantial or conditional. It wasn’t the easiest process, but in the end it was definitely worth it.
Looking back, I’m surprised at how much I hid myself from the world. How much I didn’t trust that people would be accepted me for who I was. I didn’t think I could be liked or loved by being my true self. But then again, I didn’t like or love myself either. Or that I would be viewed as “weak” for showing emotion. I hid my laugh, my smile, my life; from the outside world; when I deserved better than that. I learned how to live, stand firm in myself and fall in love with the woman and mother that I was. I learned not to care what others thought. I no longer attempt to meet their standards. I’m happy and at a constant peace, everyday. It took more tears and work to get here, but it was worth the work. I was worth that work.