I don’t write nearly as many “progress update” blog posts like I used to so that’s a good sign right? It haven’t stopped trying to ‘better’ myself, it just feels like a significantly leas daunting task now. On occasion if I’m having a hard day, I write out my rambles that are weighing on my mind and then fall asleep immediately after. These words usually never see the light of day because I don’t think those intermittent off days are a true reflection of how I’m usually feeling.
It’s been over a year since I posted, “A Week of Hell to the Summer of Me,” a life update that I posted after a brutal dumping by my ex boyfriend. As a particuarly reflective person and with not much going on, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past year and about how I’ve grown as a person. Reading back through my old post, I was cringing with every paragraph but I saw a meme on twitter recently that read, “cringing at your past just means you have improved as a person,” which was very affirming to me.
It’s not the first time I’ve wanted to fall into a hole after reading my old blog posts, however, as I didn’t know any better I try not to be too harsh on myself. If I knew then what I know now, my previous relationships wouldn’t never have made it past a second date. People who I thought I could trust emotionally manipulated me, and I didn’t know it had happened until it was too late. The ‘Summer of Me,’ attitude didn’t disappear when university started again and it developed into my normal attitude.
When writing the aforementioned AWFUL post, my heart was recently broken and I was probably crying at my laptop. It’s now a funny break up story that I managed to get an A in an exam despite being dumped by text two hours prior? Go me. I broke out the revenge dress and stopped being passive when people treated me like shit. This mantra helped to cut people out of my life that would make me feel worse or try to minimise how I felt. I know who I love and who loves me and those are the type of people I want to be around. Ain’t nothing wrong with wanting to be hyped up by those you’re surrounded by and I try to do the same for them.
It’s amazing what the right people can do for your mental health. The main difference in me is that I haven’t had a single breakdown that has lasted multiple days this year. 2020 was when I shed the skin of the insecure and naive person that I used to be and now I carry myself around like a badass. I don’t think I rely on others to help me feel validated like I used to but my friends do help me when I’m having a bit of a bad day and very much need a hug.
I’ve met so many new people in the past year to the point where my social circles now feel very different. Not many of the people that I regularly talk to now knew the old me that was lost within herself and socially inept. I wouldn’t say I’m completely confident in myself yet, mainly because I’d be lying. I started on medication for my panic attacks over a year ago and I still find them really helpful. My anxiety can crop up in relation to different things but now it’s more likely to be university related rather than “what if everyone hates me?” I’m most proud of tuning out the voice in my head that points out every detail of why I’m not good enough. I no longer attack myself over my insecurities because I’m now more educated on why they exist. Learning the roots of my problems and what triggers them has made a massive difference in my life.
I’ve learned to be with myself in my own company that doesn’t involve menatlly beating myself up about all my flaws and incapabilities. I can spend time alone relaxing and exploring creative outlets or taking the opportunity to discover something I never knew before. I learned that bettering myself doesn’t have to be seven new lifestyle changes that I adopt on a Monday and promise to keep up every day. It can be about taking time off for myself and having space to breathe.
The fact that we’ve been in lockdown for the past few months means I feel a bit stunted in tracking the progress of my mental health because I can’t tell if I’m sad due to my own issues or because I’ve been in my flat by myself for a week. In 2020 I’ve been plodding along with my life trying to be productive where I can but there’s not much of that going on right now. This is the main reason I’m comparing myself to 12 months ago and not two or three because I haven’t had the same lifestyle changes. No more late night walks alone in Amsterdam for me, I’ve come to my senses and how it’s not a good idea…
As restrictions are easing I’m eager to get back out there to explore. Setting myself monthly goals has helped me to keep on track with my life and establish personal milestones. With a new flat hopefully around the corner, I plan on going into my fourth year of uni as motivated as I can be. My recent results from third year have proved to me that I can gain something from this degree even if it’s something that I’m not as excited about anymore. With my hobbies like blogging and boxing, I’m keeping my mind and body active as I face new challenges that are thrown at me and I feel more prepared for the future. It still scares the shit out of me, don’t get me wrong but I’m putting those anxieties aside for now. I hope you’re all doing well and are staying occupied. Highly recommend cross-stitching if you’re bored. Those who follow me on Instagram are in the know.