Post-Two Week Hiatus

After two straight months of daily content, I took a much-needed break from posting. But I’m BAAAAAAAAAAACK

I’ve been thinking a lot about what type of content I’ll share moving forward. Here’s what I have in mind:

  1. Definitely keep an eye out for more collaborative posts.  There’s no way in hell I’m stopping those. But asking others to be vulnerable and share their words is a delicate process. It takes time. I’m always open for submissions, though! Feel free to contact me at any of the links above if you’re interested. I’ll definitely be sharing guest-written posts randomly here and there, but as for another month-long project, that will take more time.
  2. Back to more inspired-in-the-moment content. I used to write about what I was currently listening to, daily experiences that really stuck with me, and emotions I felt were worth sharing. I’m goin’ back to more of that fo’ sho’.
  3. New stuff too!!!!!! I want this blog to become a cross between activism-driven collaboration, and an insight into my life. From texts that made me laugh, to memes I can’t get enough of. Pictures of weekly experiences, and whatever is on my mind. I’m going to start sharing it.
  4. A new navigation toolbar is in the works. So whatever you come to this blog for, whether it’s the LGBTQ+ content, mental health related posts, guest-written articles, or my random words, you’ll be able to find it and you won’t be stuck skimming through the other shit you don’t care about.

With that said, here’s my favorite text exchange this week. Hopefully it brightens up your Friday:

 

Pride Month: Kevin

Like I said before, this Pride Month project has given me such an amazing opportunity to get to know some really unique, talented, and beyond-awesome people. Going into this, I was hoping for some sort of outcoming like that, but I can assure you that this collaborative experience has become way more than anything that I could have imagined. 

Each person that has been willing to bear a bit of their soul for the purpose of this month has blown me away, and it makes me so excited to share their words each day. 

Today’s piece is written by Kevin, whom I was introduced to by my very great friend Louise. Before I even talked to him, I knew he would be cool. Louise just has this way of gravitating towards people that are worth knowing. Here is how she describes Kevin: 

“From meeting Kevin Freshmen year, covered in highlighter in the basement of Llamda Chi, to watching the soulful, creamii rapper perform live – I could tell that he has always had a gift for lighting up a room. I’ve always admired and loved how Kevin could make everyone instantly feel at ease, no matter the situation, like a friend you have known for years. I’m excited for you all to read on about how he finds solace in being part of the LGBTQ community in the same way in which I, and many of the people that know Kevin, have found comfort in him.

He has more talent than Pablo Picasso, the dance moves of Brittany Spears, and an absolute soul of gold. I hope his story inspires you as much as it continues to inspire me. (p.s. Kevin, ILY and miss you more than DHAWL DASH)”

Check out his words here:

I remember laying in bed at night as a kid, in the late 90’s through the 00’s, worrying about my own future. I vividly remember wishing my gay away as I would try to fall asleep. I had instincts of how difficult coming out would be when I got older. I would lay there worrying about how my older brother would view me — worrying about how my straight friends react. Coming out is very mentally taxing. The process is truly the most exhausting thing I’ve endured, just because of how patient you have to be when you receive insensitive or rude responses after you open up with somebody who may not have ever even met a gay person before. BUT it’s worth it. It feels good.

Today, I recognize that being gay is both electrifying and frustrating. I love the camaraderie I share with my “sisters” and I feel like my truest self when I can say whatever is on my mind, without non-identifying people making remarks or raising an eyebrow. This feeling is something my immediate family probably won’t ever understand. The relationship I have with people who are gay or sexually fluid or trans or queer is something I’ve become quite protective of — it is something that I honestly don’t want to share with straight people. Too often, they just don’t want to hear about what is really happening in our world… they may think they do sometimes, but I’ve noticed that even if it’s through their stiff body language — queer-talk can easily make straight people uncomfortable.

Sometimes I wonder how my parents and brother would react if I talked to them about what I talk about with my LGBTQ friends. I’m sure they’d be super uncomfortable and want to crawl in a tiny hole and die — and that kind of makes me giggle. Just because everyone knows for sure that I’m gay, doesn’t mean they can handle the full experience, and honestly, I’m learning to feel content with that. My immediate family offers me strength through advice and love and concern and care. They are what keep me from not tattooing things onto my face that I’d probably regret and adopting 13 cats… they keep me grounded. Even though sometimes I want to be a lot more reckless with my behavior– my family as a unit is always on my mind during the trials and tribulations of life, which is something not everybody can say, so I do my best to not take that for granted.

Friends can shift. You get into fights, you have falling outs, you say words that ultimately break bonds you thought could never break. But there is always community in being gay. In just 5 years, I’ve gotten to meet some people I never thought I would connect with and the common denominator between us is —– gay. We share a bond that is felt without always having to say what you’ve been through in words. We already know first hand how difficult gay experiences can be, especially when you’re young and don’t have a single outlet to open up to, which is why the common threads in our community feel so special and deep. 

Speaking of special and deep…… Love. If you’re gay, you’ve never grown up knowing what a prototype of “love” is because it is so underrepresented in our culture. It leaves many of us jaded by the mere idea. I like to speculate that if and when LGBTQ-identifying folks DO experience love, that it may be even more special and even more deep than those prototypes that were always shoved down our throats. Speaking of love – ily Samuel.

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Like Louise mentioned, Kevin is an artist!!! 
Check out his work on his website: https://www.artbysabo.com/
(it seriously will mesmerize you) 

You can also follow his work and life on Instagram: @bb_kv 

Pride Month: Jocelyn

I’ve thought for a while about how to appropriately introduce this piece and I’m still at a loss for words, but I mean that in the best way. 

Today’s words are written by my good friend, Jocelyn. I’ve been lucky enough to have known her for a few years now, but I feel like it’s safe to say we’ve grown much closer recently. 

When I say I’m at a loss for words, I mean that I was blown away by how vulnerable, genuine, and honest Jocelyn was willing to be in this piece. These words speak volumes about the kind of person she has become, and it makes me so happy to see how she’ll continue to grow in the future.

I think that, regardless of your sexuality, or where you may be in the coming out process, her opinions and experiences will resonate with you. Not to completely overuse the word “pride” but, I just couldn’t be more proud to know Jocelyn after reading this.

Without further ado, here is a look inside the mind and feelings of Joce: 

Pride To Me:

The word pride can have many different meanings and definitions. For example, The word pride is defined in the dictionary as follows:

Definition of Pride:

  1. the quality or state of being proud: such as
    a:  inordinate self-esteem:  conceit
    b:  a reasonable or justifiable self-respect
    c:  delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship parental pride
  2. proud or disdainful behavior or treatment:  disdain
  3. a:  ostentatious display
  4. b:  highest pitch:  prime
  5. a source of pride:  the best in a group or class
  6. a company of lions
  7. a showy or impressive group a pride of dancers

Although my definition of pride may be a little different from others, I wanted to at least try and articulate the meaning in my own words. In light of this month, I’m going to swallow my pride (See what I did there?) and write a little post about what this all means to me:

I’ve always been, in some way, a closed book, and that’s because of a lot of reasons. I’m someone who has tried to steer away from attention and anything that involves the word pride all together. I’ve never been one to call myself a prideful person because I have spent a great deal of my life putting energy into covering up something that plays such a prominent role in who I am as a person. The world is scary, life is hard, and for so long I was not someone who was about to tell my world something so personal about myself…until recently…. and for that, I am proud.

Like many, I am terrified of being vulnerable and did not want anyone to think of me differently, or any less, after I told them about this part of me that was hidden for so long. When society tells you to be a certain way, it is tough to go against it. For so long, I was actually very stubborn and didn’t think it was anyone’s business to know about my personal life, or who I dated, etc. Granted, it isn’t anyone’s business anyway, but when you date someone of the same sex, it seems to suddenly turn into the topic of all conversation. I slowly, but surely, began to realize that this was not necessarily the case, and there is no shame in loving who you love, and being who you are. I can thank my supportive and amazing group of friends for always being there, and having my back throughout these times in my life.

Pride, to me, is not necessarily carrying a flag in a parade or shouting to everyone in the streets. (For the record, I’m not putting the gay pride parade down in any way because I will most likely be there – It’s just not what I want to make this all about.) To me, it’s not about being proud to be gay, or bi, or whatever your heart desires. For me, it is simply being proud of myself for taking those tiny steps to have the courage to come out to myself, and my friends and say, hey I like women as well. I love who I love, and that’s who I am.

I am not all the way out, so I’m proud of myself for even having the courage to write this post publicly. I still have a long way to go, but having the courage to even take those steps is what pride means to me. I was even reluctant to write this post at first, because who would actually care about what I had to say? But there I was again, caring more about what other people thought, rather than just saying – fuck it, who cares what people think.

Maybe this post will resonate with someone else who is in a similar position as I am. If it does, I’m thankful for that and would like to say to you, please don’t be afraid to take the first step….someone cares, someone is in the exact same position as you, and they are waiting to hear from you. You’re not alone.

Pride is to be free of what society labels you and to choose who you want to be every moment of your life. Don’t forget that there is beauty in being self-expressed, but it is also terrifying. So, take your time, and take pride in your love.

Thank you for reading!

Pride Month: Tierney

The writer of this post, Tierney, is someone I’ve been following on social media for quite some time now. I remember when I first stumbled upon his Instagram, I was immediately in awe of his willingness to be so vulnerable and genuinely himself. My description may not do him justice, but his social media just conveys such a great balance of passion and happiness, mixed with honesty and struggle that I find so real and beautiful.
 
 
Here are a few of Tierney’s posts that I especially love:
 
 
**You can click the pictures to make them larger**
 
 
Regardless though, I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say those posts are probably hard to read as screenshots so I highly suggest following him on Instagram here!!! I promise that you will be captivated too.
 
 
Needless to say, I knew I had to reach out to Tierney to write for my blog this month.
 
 
When I first approached this project, I felt that it was especially important for every collaborator to feel entitled to their own creative freedom. The general idea for these posts, as you will see, is the meaning of the word “pride”. But aside from that, I told each writer that they could express their ideas and feelings in whatever way(s) they wanted.
 
 
Some of these posts, like yesterday’s for example, will be coming out stories. Some will be about feelings or experiences or memories related to the LGBTQ+ community. Some will be happy. Some will be sad. And some of them will be like Tierney’s, abstract and creative, yet all the while, just as important.
 
Check out Tierney’s feelings on “pride” here: 
 
To start this off, I am sort of lost for words on how to describe pride so instead, I’m just going to try to express the feeling of pride.
 
Have you ever stuck your head out the window and closed your eyes, just to feel the wind in your hair? That feeling of just letting go and not having a single care in the world. Like taking that first lick of ice cream on a super hot day; it rushes your body and creates a feeling of satisfaction. Now close your eyes and imagine laying in the middle of a field, with the grass outlining your body, and a very light breeze of wind playing with your hair. All the sudden, a crisp feeling touches your cheek and you can sense that it’s the sun, as it pierces through the clouds and gently touches your face once again to greet you with a hello.  The warmth consumes your body and your breathing begins to slow to make one deep breath. You are finding that peaceful bliss place.
 
This is what Pride feels like to me.
 
It is a very strong emotion and it gives you a sense of strength.  I believe that is exactly how our community works as well. We are a whole, and when together, we create a sense of strength. It can become emotional because you know you will always have someone fighting on your side, regardless of what you believe in, where you come from, or how you identify. It is truly such a wonderful feeling. It is Pride.
 
Happy Pride Month,
 
Tierney

Pride Month: Pidgeon Pagonis

Today is all about being intersex! Personally, intersex is an identity on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum that I still don’t know a whole lot about.

I remember being introduced to the topic as a young kid,  but with the term “hermaphrodite”. It was always, without fail, used negatively and condescendingly. I vividly remember this huge rumor about the singer Ciara being a “hermaphrodite” and how that made her so weird and different???

Needless to say, I, like many, was very uneducated when it came to the term intersex and what that actually entailed. Until I was introduced to Pidgeon.

I first saw Pidgeon in a Buzzfeed interview in 2015. The video did an amazing job at explaining what it truly meant to be intersex and the experiences/struggles that come along with that. Before I move forward, you can watch that video here:

As you can see, not all intersex people are alike. Each person has their own unique experiences and identity.

I then saw Pidgeon again, a few months ago, in a second Buzzfeed video. In this video, Pidgeon interviews different strangers on the streets of Manhattan to see what they know about being intersex. Check it out:

To no surprise, most people didn’t know very much!! I can’t blame them, I didn’t know very much until recently either.

Although, like Pidgeon says in this video, not all intersex people identify as LGBTQ+, I still really felt the need to include it in this Pride Month blog. Like many other identites, it still has a massive stigma attached – a stigma that is mostly perpetuated by a lack of knowledge and information. So, although I am not the most well informed person on what it means to be intersex, I felt it important to share regardless.

Pigeon also has their own Youtube channel! Here are a few videos where they explain, in more detail, what their experience with being intersex has been like. I highly suggest watching. They’re informative and interesting (and Pidgeon is clearly just cool AF).

Being able to put a face and a name to a concept you know little about, in my opinion, also really helps new knowledge resonate with you. I am in awe of Pidgeon’s willingness to be vulnerable, honest, and unapologetically open for the greater good of others. Content like this is so so important, and I’m extremely happy there are people like Pigeon out there willing to create it.

A Cool Announcement (Not Clickbait This Time ha)

Okay so I apologize for mentioning yesterday that I had cool news and then not really acknowledging it at all ….heh. I just really felt like I needed to make that “thank you” a priority because I just CAN NOT get over how amazing Mental Health Awareness Month was and it was seriously all because of you guys. Just as an FYI side note, I’m obviously going to continue to write about all of those things (and I’m going to continue sharing other people’s ideas on the topic too). 

But my big exciting news is: I’m doing a similar collaborative project for this month for Pride Month! 

As I’ve tried to express in the past, my main goal with this blog is to show that we are all just human. We have things about ourselves that make each of us unique, but when it really comes down to it, we all share far more similarities than differences.

I’ve always been taught to have a very liberal and accepting view of the LGBT community (as I believe everyone should). I spent a lot of time assuming that, because of this, I was simply a very open-minded ally to the community. But as I have grown and learned about myself and others, I have come to realize that the world isn’t just black and white like that. People aren’t just straight or gay, or female or male. Sexuality and gender is all a spectrum. There is an infinite amount of people that fall somewhere along the spectrum, and there is an infinite amount of reasons why all of those people deserve equal love, appreciation, and acceptance. 

So for this month, I wanted to do what I can to celebrate everyone that identifies somewhere along that spectrum! 

I’m going to be honest, I don’t know everything there is to know about this, and because of that, I was a little intimidated to approach this project. But the more I thought about it, the more I noticed that literally no one knows everything there is to know. That’s part of the beauty in it. No matter what you identify as, we’re all just figuring it out as we go. 

I’m going to be sharing words and videos by advocates that I find inspiring, as well as content from friends about their personal experiences and beliefs. 

Hopefully this month teaches us all something. Whether it is about ourselves, or someone else, we all have room to learn and grow and love harder. 

If you’re interested in sharing your ideas this month as well, feel free to reach out to me! 

Happy Pride Month & more to come soon!!

MHAM Post #6: Kaley

Sometimes you meet friends who teach you more than you ever expected. That’s how I feel about Kaley. 

In many respects, Kaley has a way of always keeping things lighthearted, but she also has this depth and sincerity about her that you just can’t help but be drawn to. She’s the kind of person that makes it feel so comfortable to connect with her, no matter the scope of the conversation.

I genuinely believe that Kaley’s words have such weight, and I am so happy she agreed to let me publish her raw and honest thoughts.

Here is her personal experience with mental health: 

My mental illness reared its ugly head when I was 18 years old, the second I got to college. Sure, I had some signs when I was little. Like being overly sensitive to the point where my mom actually had to say to me “try not to cry today”. Or like having a scene from a nightmare stuck in my head for days. Or complaining of stomach aches that didn’t actually exist because I just didn’t feel “right”. But when I think back to those instances now, none of them were really cause for concern. None of them were even close to comparable to what I experienced from the age of 18 onward.

The second I got dropped off at college, I started crying for no reason. I started crying, and I didn’t stop (for probably about 5 months). I talked to my mom daily, and she comforted me saying that this was normal and it would soon pass. As the weeks went on, and then as the months went on, she said that I was welcome to come home if college wasn’t for me. This terrified me even more, because I didn’t WANT to go home. What was for me at home? My life was at college – my old friends, my new friends, my classes, my future.

The depression soon developed into anxiety. I now know that these illnesses often go hand in hand. The anxiety, however, was unbearable. I couldn’t sleep, eat, think. All I could do was exist. The anxiety developed into what I now know is called obsessive thoughts. Some examples of the thoughts I wrestled with every second of every day were that I was going to commit suicide, that I was going to hurt someone I loved, and worst of all, that everyone was going to die someday, so what’s the point? These thoughts were not me. I did not believe these thoughts, I did not want these thoughts, and I really had nothing to do with these thoughts. However, my brain had convinced me I did.

Looking back now, I know that this anxiety and the accompanying obsessive thoughts were ultimately provoked by a major change in my life. The only solution was to get comfortable with the change in order to calm my brain down (easier said than done), and/or to turn to medicine for help. In my case, medicine was my answer. Medicine got rid of every single one of my symptoms and allowed me to be the person I wanted to be.

College was not my only rough time. There have been 3 more periods of misery since then due to other various life changes (ex. breakups with boyfriends). However, each of those times, I got back on my medication to fix my chemical imbalance. Then, without the crippling anxiety and terrible thoughts, I could cope and move on. At this point in my life, I have learned and come to terms with the fact that I might need to be on medicine my whole life, and I am completely okay with that. Life is FULL of changes, and with a little something to cure my chemical imbalance, I truly believe I can handle and embrace all of them.

Something very important to note is that, for each of the periods in which my mental illness took over, there was really nothing wrong in my life. This caused me to feel a lot of confusion and guilt. I had SO many things to be thankful for, so why was I so miserable? Even to this day, I feel guilty for what I’ve been through because I’ve been blessed with so many amazing things in this life, while there are people out there struggling for so many REAL reasons. I have to remind myself, then and now, that I couldn’t help it. No one chooses to feel this way. No one chooses to not be able to control their thoughts and emotions.

My mom always said to me, “this is happening to you so that you can someday help someone else”. I still like to cling to that idea to make a little bit of sense out of why I am the way I am (hence why I agreed to write about my story).

The last thing I want to say is that I could not have gotten where I am today without the support of my amazing friends and family. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but I am grateful for them more than they will ever know.

MHAM Post #5: Allie

Usually when I describe joking about my darkest moments with friends, I am referring to Allie (better known to me as Mcveety). She’s the person who always helps me lighten the mood with a laugh. She gets me on a wave length that not many do, and I’m so lucky for that. 

When I thought about making this month a collaborative project, Mcveety is one of the first people I asked to help. Something in me just knew she’d have a good experience to write about.

In her piece she talks about what her diagnoses mean to her. She also shares a harsh wake-up call she recently experienced, and how it has influenced her outlook moving forward.

I am happy to share her words here: 

Anxiety is, two hours ago, having to call your mom from where you were pulled over on the side of the road to talk you off the ledge because you could feel a panic attack coming on. Anxiety is your mom having to come home early from work to find you in the fetal position on the kitchen floor, unable to tell her what’s wrong. Anxiety is, at 7 years old, laying awake the entire night because every single little noise you hear you HAVE to go make sure your little brother is still alive and well in the next room, because you are deathly afraid something will happen to him. Anxiety is having a half hour conversation with a professor and not remembering what was said because you were in the middle of a panic attack and you tend to black out during your worst ones.

I do notice that I referenced my mom a lot. Other than the fact that she is my favorite person in the entire world and I literally couldn’t function on this earth without her (no literally like she fills out my FASFA for me), she has – earlier than I can even remember – always encouraged me to express my feelings. She has always made me feel that my feelings are valid, simply because that’s the way I feel. No other proof or evidence needed. That’s why, growing up, I never understood this unnecessary stigma against mental health issues. I literally came out of the womb with mental health issues. Like I wouldn’t be shocked if I was birthed and looked at my mom and said “girl u fucked”. But my mom never made me feel like it was something that made me different. It was the just the way I am.  And I truly never realized that not everyone else was like me.

Entering my spring semester of my second year of grad school, I slipped into a very deep depression. My grades were slipping, I never showed up to clinic, I was constantly crying. The catalyst was a breakup with a boy I had real feelings for. I couldn’t recognize my self worth. I didn’t understand why I felt the way I felt and he didn’t feel the same way about me (I have now subsequently realized that he MUST be gay, because I am an ethereal goddess with zero flaws). This is NOT an excuse for my depression – it is simply just what set me off. This large event had happened, and I was alone in Connecticut, a place I knew I would not thrive and didn’t belong, and I was just stuck.

However, I had been this low before, so I knew the actions I needed to take. I called my therapist and started back up with my weekly sessions, and I expressed to my primary care doctor that I wanted to start back up on my anti depressants and anti anxiety medication. I was extremely proud of myself that even at my lowest of lows, I took action. I did something to make myself stronger. 

After taking all of the above necessary steps, I also scheduled a meeting with one of my clinical supervisors to explain why I had not been at my best. When I thought I was in a safe, judgement free zone, I explained to my clinical supervisor what was happening in my personal life. I explained in detail what I was going through, how low I was feeling, and that I was finally taking steps to correct it. 

What she said to me next was when I realized that not everyone in the world is as understanding as my mother. She looked at me in the eyes, after I had spent the last 45 minutes inconsolable in her office, and stated, “everybody has mood swings”. Frankly, I was appalled at her behavior. Here I am, genuinely spilling my heart out across her desk, and she had the audacity to equate my clinical depression with MOOD SWINGS. 

Now, I have had my fair share of mood swings before. I am a girl, I have a period every month, I am also a self proclaimed drama queen. Hell, I have fucking mood swings every day when I get slightly hungry. Mood swings are not – by any means in the history of all the world – equivalent to your depression. If you are suffering, there is something that I need you to know: OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT IN CHARGE OF TELLING YOU HOW YOU FEEL. YOUR FEELINGS ARE VALID BECAUSE THEY ARE YOUR FEELINGS. 

My professor’s words were shocking to me. They literally rocked me to my core. But after a long time and a lot of self reflection, I began to legitimately feel sorry for her. And frankly, for her children. I am sorry that your daughter will never feel like she can come to you crying and not know why she is sad. I am sorry that you feel the need to belittle the feelings of others, simply because you do not understand them. I am truly sorry.

In a way, I needed this experience. I needed the experience because it helped me be not only more in touch with my attitude toward mental health, but it honestly and truly helped me be a better friend as well. This woman did not understand what I was going through, so she squashed my feelings like a bug. I do not ever want anyone else to feel the way that I felt that day. Your feelings are valid because they are yours.

Check out Allie on social media:
Twitter: @McTweeetMe
I
nstagram: @mcveetz


MHAM Post #3: One of Many Who Inspire Me – Kelsey Darragh

After a weekend spent feeling unusually low, I wanted to get the ball rolling this week with a little inspiration from someone I have admired for quite some time now.

Kelsey Darragh, if you don’t know her, now you know. Female comedian, internet content creator, and Buzzfeed producer who, for some time now, has been generating some pretty dope and hilarious videos, and a lot of seriously relatable shit too.

The video above isn’t the only one floating around Buzzfeed’s many Youtube pages that features her discussing her mental health, but it’s definitely one of my personal favorites.

I know I say it all the time, but progress isn’t always linear, you guys!! Not with anything in life, but especially not with mental health. Don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’re running in place. Don’t give up if it seems like you’re taking three steps forward just to take four steps back. Change will come. There are people, medications, therapies, resources, out there that will help you. It make take time to find the right combination that works perfectly for you, but don’t stop now.

If you want to check out more of Kelsey Darragh’s stuff you can find her here:


Twitter: @kelseydarragh
Instagram: @kelseydarraghcomedy

And tomorrowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww…..keep an eye out for the first of
many pieces about mental health written by a friend of mine !!!

KEWL HUH? YOU GET TO HEAR FROM SOMEONE OTHER THAN ME FOR A
CHANGE.

K HAPPY MONDAY n shit xo

MHAM Post #1: To Summarize – IDFK

I literally dread seeing my therapist every week. Is that weird???????????? IDFK, OK.

I have this really terrible problem of keeping everyone in my life at arm’s length, my therapist included. Clearly this is not a conscious choice of mine. I divulge my life and emotions on the internet for god’s sake. If I really wanted to keep people from knowing the true me, there is no way in hell this blog would exist.

The distance I keep is just a horrible habit and a defense technique stemming from my anxiety. I feel my safest when I’m pleasing others. I feel my happiest when people are proud of me. How could I possibly let my therapist, or anyone else for that matter, know me to my core?

It sounds crazy, I know. I talk all the time about how important mental health advocacy is. I preach nonstop about being strong enough to be your true self. I literally pay someone hundreds of dollars a week to get to know the deepest, darkest parts of me, yet I still find myself hiding behind a façade.

Sometimes I feel like I’m living a lie. How can I say I’m confident with myself and my life and my mental status if I still keep everyone a comfortable distance away? How can I yearn for that emotional intimacy yet feel genuinely sick to my stomach when I get even mildly close to experiencing it?

The amount of nights I’ve gone to bed alone, feeling broken. The amount of times I have wished someone would just fight for me to let them in.

I wish I knew all the answers. But if I did, clearly I wouldn’t still be wrestling with these problems.

I think it’s just important to remember no matter how happy and healthy someone may seem, they may still be fighting some inner demons.

That’s where I’m at right now. I’m constantly grappling with the inability to open myself up. I’m constantly wondering if I will ever be capable of love. I am constantly fearing whether or not I will ever be able to feel vulnerable.

Yet, I feel happy a great deal of the time too. Happiness isn’t black and white. Progress isn’t linear. But damn is it frustrating as hell sometimes to be stuck somewhere in the middle. Right now I’m somewhere in the grey. Aren’t we all though? Isn’t life just a mix of all the greys? And to go right back to where I started……….IDFK, OK.

(I really brought that one full circle, huh)