Is it possible, to be embracing one’s brokenness while being consciously in pursuit of healing – at the same time?
The last few months have been the hardest period that I have experienced in my adult life. Everything built up so quickly. Here I will share some of the brutal honest truths that I have learned from this chapter of my life:
Firstly, my mind has been tormented with self-doubt for quite a while now. I have not liked the way that I look for almost a year now. I have very few pictures of myself from the last year. I was underweight for a short period of time about two years ago and I knew that I needed to gain weight. And so I did. And it has taken a while to adjust and find my healthy weight.
I also don’t make straight A’s. School is really hard for me in general. I love learning, but I don’t learn the same way as everyone else. I also do not do well with testing mainly because I am naturally a very indecisive person.
Meanwhile, my body has been fighting sickness that I have tried to pretend does not exist. I was drained of all energy. I believe that I may have suffered a minor case of adrenal fatigue. This fatigue crippled me in every way. Basically, I pushed my body to its absolute limit by working 50+ hour weeks, while trying to keep up with 14+ hours of classes and the loads of the homework and studying that comes with that. All while being actively involved in multiple organizations on campus. On top of these – no matter how much sleep I would get, I would always drag myself to the gym before the sun came up. I had no time to cook or prepare enough food for myself, so I was going long spans with no food – adding to the stress that was already overwhelming my body. Then of course, I was trying to maintain relationships with the people that I care about so dearly.
I should not have been so anxious. I certainly should not have been depressed. But I have concluded is that it is entirely possible to have both of these conditions simultaneously, even though they seem to be so completely opposite. Anxiety pushes people to do every single thing, all of the time. While depression weighs down on you so that you have absolutely no desire to do anything useful. I would find myself deeply craving sunshine and physical activity, yet lacking all motivation and energy to actually go out and do those things.
I was giving everything that I had, to others. I had nothing left for myself.
I hit a wall. I hit it going full speed. Waking up in the morning became so extremely hard. Going to sleep was equally as hard. I came to the point at which I could not exercise at all because the simplest tasks took up all of my energy. So, for almost 3 months I stopped exercising completely.
My spirit was crushed. Crushed by the weight of my responsibilities. I just turned 20. I spent my birthday writing papers for school. I didn’t have the time or the desire to celebrate this year.
College is supposed to be the best 4 years of my life though, right?
This is a mess.
This is life.
I am a mess.
A beautiful mess.
I have learned this lesson the hard way unfortunately. I have learned that health is so much more than the food that we eat. As a (hopefully) future dietician and nutrition enthusiast – that is a hard one for me to swallow. The food that we consume is fundamentally important, but mental and spiritual health have their prominent roles as well.
These words are not a cry for help, because I know where my help comes from. (Psalm 46:2-5)
I am making this public for a few reasons:
Firstly, I can only keep all of this bottled up to myself for so long. I cannot handle the weight of my feelings on my own anymore. I need to be vulnerable and I need to share. I needed to write. Writing keeps me sane. I have been quiet about these issues for far too long, and I have not felt genuine in keeping these things to myself.
Secondly, I hope that even just one person may read this, and either a) relate to my season and we can create a conversation about it, or b) learn and possibly prevent from making similar mistakes such as overworking to the point of collapse.
Seasons change no matter what. The equilibrium is always swaying. Balance is hard, especially when one is an extremist such as myself. The person that I know that I am is still within me. I am trying to find her again. I am feeling a lot better now that the spring semester is over. I am feeling inspired again, and I now have the sense to realize that what I was doing to myself- was not fair to my body.
Society today praises such work ethic. Working every hour of the day, and staying up all hours of the night is the trendy thing to do.
That is not how life should be lived.
I am making a conscious effort to heal. To heal my mind, my body, and my spirit. I can see that my next season involves a lot of growth and development. It will be a season in which I learn a lot about myself. And in this season I will also make efforts cultivate more healthy relationships in my life.
Because the only thing that can make a challenging season worse – is to have gone through it alone. I did not tell anyone that any of this was going on.
We were not meant to do life alone. It may seem cliché. But for an introverted person like me, it is a simple principle that is easily overlooked.
I know that I have been a difficult person to love, so thank you to everyone who has loved me through this.
I am stubborn. I am indecisive. I am an extremist. I am introverted. I am quiet.
I am also consistent. I am gentle. I am kind. I am passionate. I am adventurous.
I am all of these things. They make up the essence of my being. The good and the bad. The bad attributes may have dominance in some seasons of life, but seasons change.