The emerging blogger series is aimed at community building through giving mental health bloggers who are early in their blogging evolution the opportunity to have their work seen by a wider audience. It’s also a way to introduce you as a reader to some newer members of our community.
This week, we have two emerging blogger posts; this one is by Christie from La Mariposa Maravillosa.
Go Out and Face Your Fears
“Life is like a bicycle- to keep your balance you must keep moving.”
– Albert Einstein
When I have free time, I tend to sit in one spot and ruminate. Think of a stagnant pool of water, that is just there, not circulating, no longer resembling life. I want to be a running stream, and I want to get out my own head; I don’t want to be afraid to start my day for fear of interacting with other people.
Spending time just thinking, by myself, avoiding eye contact, mumbling a few words throughout the day is not the same as living life. So, my goal today is to start a conversation with two coworkers. I can ask about their plans for the weekend, and what they like to do for fun. The guy I liked is no longer working there; I was too afraid, and inwardly focused to take any sort of risk. People aren’t mind readers, and if it looks like I’m hiding, people will usually assume it’s because I want to be left alone.
That’s okay, though. I don’t believe in one-time opportunities, that once you’ve missed the train, that’s it. There will be more trains, or perhaps a bus, or an uber. One opportunity may have passed, but there are different ones, even better ones, which will lead to an entirely new path. One missed chance is not the end of the world. But what if I never find love? What if I missed my chance? There’s always grace. There are second chances. Sometimes people extend grace because they are of good character; other times you must extend grace yourself. As difficult as it is, try not to be too critical of your actions, or inaction.
Can anyone get cured from anxiety and depression? I don’t know. We can find ways to manage it though: when every fiber of your being wants to run away, choose to stay. When you can’t seem to find the words to speak, say something, anything. At the end of the day, instructors and bosses are just people. Try your best to use your voice, because it’s the greatest tool you have.
Whichever profession you are in, speak up. Be your own advocate. My instructor always says, “If you can advocate for yourself, you can advocate for your patients.” Many patients in the hospital have lost their voices, literally and figuratively. It is within my power as a nurse to use my voice to speak for them, to ensure that their needs are met.
Just know that coping is difficult for me as well. I’m not going to pretend that I’ve arrived, but step by step, I am learning to get moving in spite of the sadness, and to show up even when there is overwhelming, paralyzing fear.
I want to let you know that you are brave. You are having to fight harder to reach the same point as your peers because of the hidden battles of the mind. You are carrying additional weights, and I see the fight in you. It’s not your fault. You are not a label, or a diagnosis. You are doing the best you can to stay afloat and to thrive in a world that still doesn’t have enough compassion for these sorts of illnesses. I’ve heard people say, “I did ____, now why can’t you? Just do it.” I think they’re trying to be encouraging, but honestly, this is the worst piece of advice. Don’t you think I’m fully aware of what I’m supposed to do? If were as simple as you say, don’t you think I would have done it already?
If people lack understanding and say things that are unhelpful, just try your best to let it go. No, it’s not that simple, and each time you decide to go out and face your fears, I see you. And you, my friend, are strong in more ways than you know.
You can find Christie on her blog La Mariposa Maravillosa.
Thanks so much for participating in the emerging blogger series!
You can find a listing of all of the posts in the series here.
Every week I’ll publish one or two emerging blogger mental health-themed guest post(s) by a blogger who’s early on in their mental health blogging evolution, with priority given to those whose blog has less than 50 WordPress followers. The focus is on community-building rather than just a one-off guest post.
If you’re interested in being featured in the emerging blogger series, email me at mentalhealthathome (at) gmail (dot) com with a brief description of what you’d like to write about and your blog name/URL. I’m looking for bloggers who have already had some form of connection with me or my blog, who have blogs that are focused on mental health, and who will contribute posts that are relevant to a broad mental health blogger audience. Although I may make occasional exceptions for bloggers that I have an established relationship with, generally blogs that serve a primarily commercial purpose will not be considered.