One week into winter break and I can finally sit with myself in silence and not be scared of the thoughts that float in my head. I am glad I waited to write this post because my mental state has changed so much in the past week.
I fluctuated between experiencing glowing happiness and struggling through incredibly low points. My end of the semester was marked by academic stress, exciting events, gut-wrenching crying sessions, and heightened emotions from family issues. I was feeling so much anxiety about the past, present, and future and I felt unable to process any of it.
After the semester ended, I spent a weekend with my boyfriend. That was the turning point for the crisis I was experiencing. One night while we were having a wonderful dinner in a fancy restaurant, I felt anxiety rising in me. I don’t remember what triggered it, but I remember thinking to myself, “Don’t cry over this carbonara!” Once dinner was over and we were no longer in the restaurant, I felt comfortable crying in front of him to release the feelings I was feeling.
I have many thoughts about how I want to be a good partner in this relationship. There are areas where I see the potential for growth, and I am proud of myself because I am already trying. For example, I am trying to be better at communicating my emotions and needs. He is a wonderful person who is committed to our partnership and helping me through my saddest times. Being so vulnerable in front of him can be scary. Sometimes I fear that my emotions will become too much, and I have told him as much. He provides a sense of safety that I am infinitely grateful for.
I am a few days out from that night when I cried to him about my darkest fears. I already have found so much joy in my life since that time when I felt so low. While I know that I cannot solve all of my issues overnight, I find that I do not want to. On the way to lunch with an old friend today, I had a revelation that inspired this post. I want to turn my optimistic mentality towards my mental health. There are many things I want to do to improve my overall well being. I choose where to focus my energy. I am enough, and my perspectives and dreams and opinions matter. I am allowing myself to take up space and gently encouraging myself to not be bound by my anxieties.
At the end of the day, I am the one who gets to sit with my own thoughts. Today is one of my better days, and even then there were parts that I did not entirely enjoy. A day does not have to be perfect to be good. There are so many thoughts swirling in my head that I want to work through. As 2022 approaches, I am excited to tackle the challenges it will bring. For now, during this break, I will take the time I need to recharge because I deserve it. I hope you find a moment to do what you need for yourself, too.
As the year ends, have you taken the time to reflect about your mental health? Who is in your support system? What do you do when you take the chance to feel your own emotions?