Let me first preface by saying that I am not an expert. I don’t claim to have the almighty wisdom. I assure you, I don’t know everything. I do not have a fancy degree or millions of dollars. I’ve never traveled to exotic lands or completed an epic journey. I’m an average Jane with nothing but personal thoughts and experiences.
Here’s what I purpose. I will share things as I can in the only ways that I know how without throwing some Wikipedia/google version of something at you. I will leave the overused material available right where it stays, with Google. I will say what I think and feel, as it is – no filters or editing out something that could embarrass me. I will stand by my words and my followers.
– My goal is to be real,
– To be honest,
– To introduce me,
– And to quite possibly help another.
That being said, I believe that struggles are a great place to start because everyone has a something that consumes their happiness at one time or another. I came across the featured image, and it dawned on me that there is always a struggle for something. I can list, at the very least, ten battles over the past few years of my life. They’re genuine and continue to attack whenever they get the chance.
Why do we struggle?
I’m sure some would say that it’s so that we can push through and persevere. Maybe claim that it’s our way of surviving. Others could say it’s a right of passage that every person must bear to become a unique individual. I’m sure there’s an excellent definition on the web or even in books. Maybe you as an individual have your own answer. Perhaps, this is some sick joke that we’re all not in on. Who knows, there might even be a scientific test on the matter.
Whichever way you choose to look at it, whatever your definition… The struggle is an ever-changing constant. It’s fast approaching. Once you’ve overcome one, another has been shipped. Hidden in a shiny new package that looks enticing, you think it’s safe. But wait! Upon closer inspection, the shiny new package reveals a dark monster from your closet that you have to battle. – Thank you, kind delivery man for this excellent gift. Hope you’re ready because the beast’s been waiting for this all week.
Here is the first part of my struggles. I’m sure I’ll have to post another one someday. Darn those pesky, ever-changing mongrels…
1.) I struggle with people and relationships. I can never get it right. I think I’m on the right track: Being friendly, hanging out, treat people as I’d like to be treated; saying and doing the right things, being myself and Bam! Fate has another idea for me.
I’m the girl that seems stuck up because I’m too quiet and often on the side – alone. When I sit among the people, I observe my surroundings and choose not to say much for fear of saying something stupid. Its as if I’m an animal in primary instinct mode, watching for the hunting predator. Instead of choosing to be more outgoing, I watch how they interact with others and prepare to flee. My mind throws curveball questions to consider, and I’m left thinking what step to take next.
Are they abrasive? Are they friendly? Do they talk for hours? What are they talking about? Do they listen to the other person? Have they participated in the conversation? Are they attached to their phones? What do they find funny? What makes them sad? Are they drinking? Are they seeking attention? Are they judging me? Why is that person scowling at the person across the room? Did that guy just look at me? Do I fit in? Is my hair messed up? That girl definitely gave me a dirty look… Time to go!
Oh but wait, that’s not all. I have deeply-rooted trust issues. Whether accurately placed or not, they’re lurking. Even if I set them on the back burner of life. Sometimes, I convince myself that everyone around me either hates me or will hate me shortly. I expect people to leave, never looking back. It’s like my brain has decided to hold me hostage and for me to escape, I have to tell myself the worst of things. Walls go up and then I seem even more stuck up.
“Why are you doing this to yourself,” you ask while curiously looking at me.
Ah, that is the real question isn’t it, ladies and gentlemen. I wish I knew the answer. I suppose it is a defense mechanism. Possibly a means to cope with something. What I know is that I’m the kid that liked school. I did great and enjoyed my time there. I tried to fit in the best I could but only as long as it didn’t get me into trouble. How that turns into someone who can’t get it right with people, I’ll never know. I struggle with people, and I don’t understand why. I’m hardwired to expect the worst, and until I can see past that – overcome it, in a sense, I think I’ll always struggle with people.
2.) I struggle with confidence. When it comes to others, I know how to motivate. I will encourage you to the best of my abilities. I will do whatever it takes to help you reach your goals and what I can to bring a smile to your face. If you make a mistake, I’ll help you figure out a way to make it better. If you’re sad, I will be there for you and listen or give advice, whatever you need. I will always make sure that -you- are taken care of. When it comes to me? I become the frightened kitten in an unfamiliar land. I am relentless when it comes to myself and mistakes are not an option. Because of this, I struggle with confidence. My standards for myself supersede any example I’d ever hold to a friend, family member, and stranger. Pretty sad, huh…
I’ve accomplished minor victories in my life, yet my twisted brain tells me that I am incapable of succeeding. It’s as if I am unable to do all of the things, really. The vicious cycle of self-image plays a role too. I look in the mirror and see all of the imperfections that society places on a human (boys and girls alike). While the lack of confidence reveals itself to the world, I cower and wonder, “Do I have what it takes? Can I do it?” I’m self-conscious and don’t trust that I’m good enough for the task at hand.
I convince myself that I’m not worth the trouble, or that the thing I want to do is unobtainable. It’s like someone has tied me to a chair. In this case – it’s usually me tying myself up. I tell myself, “Hey Shay, did you know that you can’t do that? You shouldn’t even try.” Then my brain starts finding the connections that prove the thing I’m convincing myself not to do.
When I see someone do something extraordinary, I ask myself, “Why don’t you do those things? You totally could! You have the experience.” Then I quickly remember the lies that I’ve somehow managed to convince myself to believe. The thing I wanted to do is bash rapidly, and the creatively brilliant ideas shatter to pieces. Sounds lovely, right? What a great way to go through life, no? I think it comes down to the fact that most times, I don’t think I can do it or that I deserve to succeed. Seems twisted, I know. Yet every day, I struggled with this confidence factor that I desire to have but lacked in so many areas of my life. One day, I want to be comfortable and content with -me.-
3.) I struggle with depression. Shall we all agree that life sucks? There is always something that isn’t going right, or that could have gone better. Life has its way of really interrupting in the most absurd of ideas. Every day, I fight to find a reason to force depression back in its ugly shell. I imagine it’s like the new cigarette commercials where the alien-like creature lives in the tiny cigarette box. Depression rears its head, and I’m left defenseless.
“Why are you depressed,” you ask. That’s a great question.
I honestly couldn’t pinpoint a specific incident that solely leads to it as there are a few areas of my life that have contributed (more on this another day, I suppose). This battle that I fight is against an unknown enemy most days where something is locked deep down within me. I don’t know its strengths but I know my weaknesses, and I know that my opponent does too. He utilizes these weaknesses with a vicious grin and threatens to take away even the teensiest amount of joy and happiness that remain.
Sounds pretty horrible right? I would have to say that some days aren’t that bad. But then others, it’s like there’s no point in leaving the house or even exiting the bedroom. I know what triggers my mood swings most days and then others, I’m stranded and left feeling like I was hit by a truck, lonely and broken.
It blows my mind how fast the chemicals in my brain work. While I press through it, I know what to do and what not to do. I know the things that bother me and send me spiraling. I understand what leads toward a brighter future. I know the people who help me get better and the people who make it worse. I know “what to do.” But sometimes, it just isn’t enough. Me in all of my complicated glories, folks…
4.) I struggle with writing and perfectionism. I have been writing various novels for the last three years. Some took off, some were tossed aside before ever reaching chapter three. Others never left the idea notebook. Why? Because I am rotten. I consider all of my work at the lowest quality it could possibly be. Now some of it has been great! But (per the previous struggles) I lack the confidence to even share them with others.
I love writing. I love what you can say through writing, how you can make a person feel and experience different aspects or realms. I enjoy the thrill of twisting a plot and wondering how the character will succeed. Yet over time, when I’m powering through those novels, I second guess the content. I edit the words and sentences until I’m blue in the face.
The thing I love is the thing I struggle with every day. Go figure, right? (;
All of this comes down to one thing, struggles are authentic. Each one of us has our own set of dark demons. None are far worse than others because to you as an individual, to me as an individual, it’s essential. To the individual, it’s all-consuming. It’s happening to you, and you know that it’s real, even if it’s not to someone else. It overwhelms the senses and takes over your life.
What I’ve come to realize throughout my struggle, is that no matter what, keep fighting. There’s always -one- reason to fight. If you can’t find the one thing to fight for, send me a message. I’ll help you find it. It might take some digging, but it’s there. I apologize for the length of this post. Seems I had quite a bit to say. If you’re up to it, comment your struggles. What consumes your free time? What overwhelms your mind?
May we one day find a better thing to fight for, choosing life over the alternative – sinking under the watery grave of struggles. Thank you, once again for joining in on my Journey of Chaos.
Until next time, friend. <3