It’s a fucking pandemic, man. Like… it’s a fucking world wide pandemic. If you think you’re gonna stay 6 feet away from humans that you used to be able to like, touch with your hands on a regular basis and not worry about it, or if you think you’re going to wear a mask to your favourite bar, or worry for 7 to 14 days after a first kiss with someone you really dig because it literally could give you this invisible virus, and not get a little depressed and weird and emotional about it all, you’re lying to yourself. If you already struggle with mental health and anxiety and depression and all of those big fun words that you hate to say out loud, this pandemic very likely didn’t help you out. But guess what? The more we chat about it, the more we realize that we all literally hate everything once in a while. And sometimes, as shitty as it is, it makes you feel better to know other people feel shitty and weird too, right? So, let’s just have a little chit chat about something that maybe you’ve been going through as well. I know I’ve been taking myself through the ringer these days. I don’t even really know what the ringer is… but i’ve been all about it for sure. I have a little bit of advice for you but it comes at the end of this rampage of a blog post… feel free to skip to the end. Or don't, I'm not your mom.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get to really low points, and don’t even realize how low they are until they’re over. Like, sometimes everything will seem so cloudy for so long that the shade of grey that has overtaken everything in life becomes normal, and you forget you could ever see colour in the first place.
Peaks and valleys. That’s what everyone always says. You’re gonna have your highs and you’re gonna have your lows and you literally don’t have a choice but to ride through it. Like, when you’re in one of those valleys there’s nothing you can do but keep moving forward, even when it’s dark as hell. Even when it sucks literal asshole. I know that’s an extremely abrasive thing to throw into what started out as a wholesome blog post, and mom I’m sorry for so nonchalantly using the word ‘asshole’ but it was necessary in this particular moment. Life can, at times, suck asshole. Okay, I won’t say it again after that I promise.
Sometimes your valley can turn into a peak without you even realizing you were heading toward it. It’s pleasantly surprising. When your brain works the way mine works, you never really know what’s gonna happen. You’re either going to wake up in the morning and feel blessed that the sun is shining in on your cute little face ready to start the day, or you’re gonna slam the blinds shut and close the curtains and curse the sun and wish it were rain so you wouldn’t have to feel guilty for being sad on a sunny day. If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about right now, I’m really stoked for you. If you do, then you do, and I feel you brother. I know that how good or bad the day is, is always a product of what you decide to make it… but sometimes there’s a little bit of a chemical imbalance that you just cannot control.
The point I’m trying to get at here, is that I was in one of those valleys. I didn’t even know I was in it because it lasted so fucking long. Like, a two month long drive down a dark shady street that’s like surrounded by trees and stuff. It’s not a disgustingly ugly drive, or an overwhelmingly depressing scene, but it’s like… dark enough for you to forget what it feels like to be immersed in the sun. It’s not until you get your full dose of vitamin D that you remember what it actually feels like (this was not a sexual innuendo, for the record. Don’t be gross).
The way that paragraph started kind of made it seem like “I was in a valley, but I’m not anymore, and I never will be again”… but that’s not what I meant. Straight up I could wake up tomorrow on the highest peak ever (figuratively because you bet your ass I do not hike) or I could wake up, as previously stated, cursing the sun. You never really know until you open your eyes in the morning. My journey out of my latest dark place, though, was the quickest transition from dark to light I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. It was the craziest thing. I was driving yesterday and my body decided to fucking chill out. Like, I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed my body holds it so hard. I’ll be sitting there and realize I’ve been clenching my teeth or biting the insides of my cheeks for 30 minutes. I’ll like, unknowingly hold my fingers to my neck and feel my pulse out and not realize it until someone is like “yo are you feeling your own pulse?” to which I’ll be like “ew no what? haha” even though yes, I absolutely was because I need to make sure I’m not dying, duh.
Yesterday, I was driving on the highway, and all at once, my whole body relaxed. It was as if I had been stiff for 2 months, and all of a sudden I was able to move again. Like, I’d been swimming in slowly drying cement, and now it had turned back to warm water. I know that’s the most fucking random analogy, but that’s what it felt like. My grip loosened on my steering wheel and I realized that my palms felt swollen and bruised because after a few days of a lot of driving, I’d been gripping the steering wheel so hard that my hands were physically aching. I hadn’t even noticed it. That’s how tense this girl gets. My little world just lit up in a way it hasn’t in actual months. I can’t explain it. You just never know how bad something was until something good happens, or vice versa. Comparison can be the thief of joy but it can also be a saviour - and I can thank a string of really really shitty days for the absolute bliss and relief of a really really good one. That’s the perk of the valleys. The peaks feel that much better.
Guess what? Everyone’s anxiety works in different ways. Mine comes in waves of guilt, and talking down to myself, and being mad at myself, and worrying and making up stories. The list goes on. But, guess what? And this is about to be some advice that I could really absolutely use myself, and maybe I will:
Give yourself some fucking grace, dude.
Cut yourself some slack.
Life has always been hard, but it’s harder right now, and you’re finding your footing in a weird time, like maybe the weirdest time of ALL time, and you’re doing it with some serious composure, even if it doesn’t feel like it. Stop telling yourself that you should’ve done something different. Stop being mad at yourself for not getting enough sleep. Stop giving yourself a hard time for that bar tab you maybe couldn’t afford, because those drinks you paid for fuelled some pretty amazing conversations with some pretty awesome people. Why do you need to hate yourself for that? Stop feeling guilty for having feelings. For meeting new people. For being too much, or not being enough. Stop texting your ex when you’re drunk. Like, if you already did, it’s fine forgive yourself, but leave them alone (this one is for me mostly, if you don’t relate it’s a good thing).
Stop getting mad at yourself for the way you’ve acted, or reacted. Stop making up stories and lists of consequences to actions you’ve already taken. Not everything has a repercussion. You’re doing a really beautiful job of dealing with some heavy shit. Don’t forget to give yourself some credit.