I’ll admit, I’ve been stuck in a rut pretty much for the whole year so far. I’ve been trying everything in my power to make myself happier, to feel more in control or just to paint the world in a little bit more colour, but nothing seems to be working.
Yes, of course there has been enjoyable moments this past year. I’ve really been enjoying learning Japanese, and watching anime, and actually having time for myself. But, for some reason, even with all this time to work on myself, my mental health seems to be spiralling and I can’t do anything to stop it.
You see, I’m the kind of person who always puts everyone else’s needs before mind, even if it means getting hurt in the process. I don’t care who you are. If you’re a person I barely know, or my best friend. It doesn’t matter how much I bleed, as long as they’re happy.
No matter how much you hurt me, or how uncomfortable and wounded I am, I’ll never say this. I only want to show support and love to everyone I care about because no one deserves to be on the receiving end of harshness and neglect and pain and sorrow. No one deserves to feel like I do.
But because of this, I’m giving away parts of myself to other people until I don’t think I have much left for me. Visually, everything is in colour. The sky is blue, the grass is green, the earth is brown. But everything seems a little duller, muddier. In my mind, the world has faded away to black, white and grey and no matter how much paint I throw at it, it just slides off and the monochrome world is back.
You guys may know that in an effort to improve my mental health, I’ve been seeing a psychologist. And, recently, she asked me to do a little exercise. She gave me a box of sand and a bunch of figurines and shells and marbles and stuff and asked me to build what I think my life is at this point.
And to me, my life is this.
I’m trapped, sinking in quicksand, barely afloat. You can see me just enough to think that I’m okay but really, I’m falling faster than you can ever imagine, each new day pulling me deeper. My “friends” surround me, but, in trying to help, they only push me further in. Of course I have friends who do help, and I love them dearly, but there’s only so much they can do to fend the rest of the world off.
And beyond the horizon, I see the sun. I see the trees and the golden beach and dawn breaks, reflecting the magnificent colours onto the waves. But a storm, a monster, blocks my path, and there’s no way for me to reach there on this small boat I’m on, desperately trying to stay alive.
I was explaining this to my psychologist with tears in my eyes (and even now, as I’m typing this up). I hadn’t expected to cry. I didn’t want to. But the more I talked, the more I couldn’t help myself. It was as if years and years of thoughts and emotions came pouring out of me at once and all of a sudden, I couldn’t stop, because, for once, someone was listening.
She looked at me, and she told me that it’s alright. That it’s time to be strong, to fend for myself, to speak up. That it’ll take time, but there’s still hope in me, and that I haven’t completely given up despite everything my mind is trying to convince me of. That it’s time to break free and be happy.
And it may just be another 15 minutes for her, but to me, it meant the world. That maybe, I’m not that hopeless after all. Maybe I can climb out of this pit and be who I want to be.
It’s going to be a long process to undo the years of damage my mind has caused, but I think it’s time to choose myself.
And that maybe it’s time to take off this mask and to be me.