There is a part of me that wants to let out a waterfall of tears, but life teaches us that crying only achieves so much. I’m an emotional person. A very emotional person. My heart is made of glass, and it doesn’t break; it shatters. Those glass shards flow through my blood and prick me. Eventually, I collect my heart and use up a bottle of crazy glue to put it back together. I’ve always been fragile, but I’m only recently accepting it.
A friend and I were talking about YouTube celebrities recently, and I mentioned admiring Marzia. He asked if I “wanted to be like Marzia,” and at first I thought yes. But I’ve already gotten over this hurdle, and I know Marzia wouldn’t want me to be her (for multiple reasons)! I understand more as to why I admire and am grateful to her: she’s taught me it’s okay to be myself, and even with my strengths and struggles, I will be okay and even thrive.
I’ve always lacked self-confidence, which comes from being shy and having a negative body image. For most of my life, I saw myself poorly, and I even hated myself. My body image has since improved, though it does falter under society’s judgement (besides my chubbiness, I worry about my makeup-less face).
However, I started hating my soft and sensitive side, especially when those around me started saying I’m too emotional. Then I just stopped taking control over my negative emotions (a control I took year and years of practice to build up) and let myself tumble into a depression that has ruined good things for me and revamped my childhood pessimism.
Throughout this battle, I have finally come to accept how I am: sensitive. Although it makes me vulnerable to overreacting and sobbing, my sensitivity strengthens me too. I understand myself incredibly well from needing to work out why I’m truly upset, and I understand other people’s actions and motives better as well. I’m also observant and accepting–there’s a lot of drama in my family currently, and everyone is angry at one another. Though there are sides to technically take, I’m choosing to look at everyone’s perspective and be forgiving. Not to be egotistical, but I think these are nice qualities.
Along with that, I’ve come to accept that I’m possibly a more sad than happy person. This agonized me for a long time, because I didn’t think others, especially one person in particular, would accept me. People would see right through a smile and label me in the self-help article as the negativity that needs to be removed from one’s life. I was terrified. All I could think of was that one day someone would wake up and decide I needed to go; I developed abandonment anxiety. But all that this means is that I have to work a little harder to be happy, and that’s okay.
Like a physical illness, my body and I have rejected these aspects of who I am rather than learning to live with it…
I’m always going to be sensitive and emotionally vulerable.
I’m always going to be susceptible to sadness and even depression.
I’m always going to wonder about my appearance.
I’m always going to be an introvert.
But none of this makes me a flawed person. This is part of who I am.
What I’m doing now is learning to live. I’ve thought and learned a lot this month about who I am, and after a bittersweet talk with someone, I realize now more than ever that I need to accept myself and learn to cope and love.
The USA’s blooming body-acceptance culture is good, and I’m glad we’re teaching women (and men, but not as avidly) to love their bodies. However, I think it’s important that we teach to love ourselves and love ourselves enough to improve. Not change, but improve. If someone is shaped differently, that’s absolutely fine. We’re beautiful, because we have our differences. However, if someone is having health problems due to weight, I want to live in a society that does not emotionally destroy that person or tell them to keep doing what they’re doing. I want a society that tells us to love ourselves and encourage healthy lifestyles (I’m focusing on obsesity as my example, but the same goes for anorexia… we need to create a society that encourages health, not skinniness–I can’t stand fat-shaming or the growing skinny-shaming).
I’ve been excited to return to the gym after a long absence, and never before have I felt closer to achieving a body I am happy with, alongside healthier eating habits. But I don’t want to change myself anymore for the sake of looks and attraction. I want to improve, because I love myself and want live a healthlier life.
Just like our physical bodies, we need to accept and love ourselves enough to improve mentally, and that’s also what I’m working on.
This month, this week, and this day have been up and down, but today was the hardest. I could feel the sorrow, as I’ve grown so familiar with it, coursing through my body like an adreline rush, and as my shoulders sank and my gaze fell to the ground, all while sitting shoved in a corner, I finally shook my head for a few seconds and told myself, “No! You can’t get sad now!”
After a minute or two, the same sorrow peeked in, and I shook my head, repeating my words and springing up to shake my arms wildly! Marching out of the room, I found chores to do and even talked to myself in the mirror. I rarely do it, but I knew I needed to now. I needed to hear from myself that I’m a great person, and “everything will be okay.” That used to be my motto, and I’ve let it grow rusty.
Part of who I am is that I live in my head. When my best friend from elementary school and I fell apart, I didn’t talk and meet a bunch of new people like she did. I withdrew into myself. I made friends with the few people who kept talking to me until I opened up, but I still stayed closest to myself. Positive outcomes did come from this though, as my writing flourished in journals filled by many stories, and I discovered my affinity for anime and drawing manga-style characters. I grew into who I am: an introvert always in her head, who adores storytelling.
Because I spend so much time in my head, I think a lot. And I can think myself into sorrow and fictional realities of every terrible outcome that could happen to me. Very easily I get stuck in there. Listening to scary stories before bed actually taught me a coping method to this.
If my eyes are closed and I start getting scared, stuck both in my head of fictional fears and the tale being depicted by a deep-voiced narrator, all I have to do is open my eyes. If I’m staring in one direction and begin seeing monsters in the shadows of my closest, all I have to do is turn my gaze. Just like when I free myself from a scary story, I get out of my mind’s negativity by jolting myself back into reality – jumping from one plane of existence to another.
To combat any sorrow I feel now, I shake myself out of it. I even slapped my face. Not too hard, but hard enough to make me aware. I am real, the readers are all real (minus any spam bots), and where we are standing or sitting is where we are real and existing. Sometimes we need an earthquake to remind us.
I used to think it was bad that I think so much, but again, this is who I am. I don’t need to change, because that only means abandoning myself. However, if there’s a poison in my mind, I need to evacuate and clear it out. When it’s a safe and happy place again, I may spend time there freely.
I realize what I’ve needed to hear for a long time is that I am going to be okay, and I am not broken, I am not a mess-up, and I am not problematic. Now all but one of my heart pieces have been collected and reassembled, and I finally feel ready to conquer the turmoil. Not with force or fear but love and acceptance. The single shard is, ironically, stuck in this glass heart of mine. It’s an incredibly special little shard, with the power to fuel my every heartbeat or drowned me in tears. Right now it’s staying where it is, though I do hope it becomes part of me again.
The fall of tears is free to come, and I do not want to withhold my allowance of sorrow. However, I want to improve and find the strength to shake myself out of tears and find a brighter side of life. I’m taking it step by step, and when I go into the poisonous tower of my mind, I’ll wave my arms around and free myself.
And someday, that tower will be filled with flowers again.
I already see a daisy blooming.