"Can you pretty please shut the F up"

What do you do when you feel like you're swimming in your thoughts? When you're trying to let them float away but they keep on sticking to you? When you head keeps spinning. When you just want to say to your head "can you pretty please shut the F up!". For me, it use to be easy to block things out and ignore them. Keeping my mask on and continuing to perform for everyone around me. 

Since my recovery began 3 years ago, I now make sure I keep talking. Talking to my loved ones, family and friends. Talking to myself. I think talking for me equals being honest. For years I wasn't honest with myself about what was going on for me. It becomes second nature to respond to the question "how have you been Stef" with the standard "I've been good" or "Yeah, busy". It is even harder for me to answer that question now. Being "healthy" for so long, people forget that I am still living with depression and anxiety every day of my life. I don't want to let them down. I see the panic that comes across their faces when I tell them I am having a bad day or a rough week. It is the same panic I feel inside. 

I have come to realise that if I stop talking, I will end up in the same place I found myself 3 years ago. Not talking means denying what I am thinking and feeling. Don't get me wrong I'd love to be able to just deal with things on my own, without any help. Pretending that I am always "good" is easier for the people asking me and also for myself at the time. Until it isn't. 

What I struggle with now, sometimes I don't want to talk. I can't be bothered with it. I just want to stop the thoughts and step on them. When I was reflecting on this, I figured out what this meant. It's my old mate depression and anxiety telling me I'm not worth it. Telling me not to talk, not to be myself, and to loose faith in my inner ninja. Telling me, maybe my inner ninja isn't alive anymore.

What my depression and anxiety don't realise, is I KNOW my inner ninja is strong. I KNOW I have made it through every other day so far. I KNOW I've got this. Even though moments, days or weeks might be hard. I BELIEVE in myself and I have incredible humans around me, that will hold my hand along the way. We are NEVER alone. 

Live, breathe, embrace. 

Stef

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Tenille Westerhout