Sweater: Goodwill — Dress: Gift — Tights: Hue — Heels: Thrifted (Naturalizer) — Belt: Thrifted — Earrings: Swapped
Hello there, kitty ears! And hello to the rest of you. How are you doing today? I am…middling. I try to keep my posts around here light and cheerful because this blog is a fun hobby for me and I don’t want to bog you guys down with a lot of complaining, but I also like to be straightforward with y’all.
I’ve talked about it a bit before, but for the last few years or so, I’ve been struggling a lot with feelings of anxiety and depression. My tendency towards catastrophic thinking means that when I make a mistake or when things go wrong, my brain leaps to assumptions that everyone will be disappointed in me, I will lose my friends and loved ones (or they never really liked me in the first place), and that I will never be good enough. It’s all tied up in self-esteem issues, feelings of inadequacy, and imposter syndrome–there is a not-quite-constant feeling in my heart that anybody who cares for me has somehow been tricked into doing so, and that as soon as they find out what I’m really like, they’ll sigh, shake their heads, and say “oh, Mia, we were so wrong about you,” and then I will be alone.
Obviously, despite these feelings, I get by–my depression is mild enough that it doesn’t knock me on the floor, I don’t have paralyzing panic attacks, and I still make it to work and home again. A lot of the time, I’m happy! But the negative feelings and thoughts always come back; they affect me in all sorts of little ways that mean I’m afraid to talk to people on the phone, I hate myself when I screw up or fail, and once, in college, I started crying in the middle of the grocery store because I felt overwhelmed at the prospect of buying bananas that contribute to the poverty of people in banana-growing countries. These anxieties and fears have made me divert my life in a bunch of small ways and keep me from doing things that I should be able to do. (I still feel complicated about the bananas.)
One of my goals for this year is to finally see someone about my anxiety. I didn’t do it for a long time for a number of reasons. I’m pretty functional and have gotten off light compared to many people I know (including my father and brother, who have both struggled with heavy, chronic depression for most of their lives); those same anxieties and feelings of low self-confidence and self-esteem that I was talking about circle around in my head and tell me that my problems are insignificant, I have so much privilege, and that to put such weight on my tiny emotions of sadness is self-absorbed and if I can’t deal with it on my own, then I am stupid and pathetic. But dammit, I’m tired of it. I know that I don’t have a right to constant happiness in this life, but this isn’t going to get better on its own–platitudes like fake it ’til you make it and stop being sad and start being awesome don’t actually work when you’ve got messed-up brain chemistry–and I’m sick of that lead ball of sadness and fear in my chest that makes me feel lonely and small. I am going to stop stigmatizing myself, because I would never in a hundred years treat a loved one who had these same feelings the way I treat myself.