This post originally featured on ‘My Beautiful Messed Up Brain’, a blog by RLP TIER Facilitator Helen Holt.
I don’t know what to write here. But I know I want to write something. I feel like I have a million things running through my head but I also feel very numb right now.
I’m currently coming to the end of my Autumn semester at uni, which usually brings a huge sigh of relief. But exams are looming on the horizon and I feel like I have mountains of revision to get through. My learning style is complicated in where I feel I need to write everything down but I can’t process it while listening to pre recordings at the same time. So I pause each time I write, meaning a 10min video takes me 20-30mins to get through at best. The stress right now of trying to force myself to absorb this information is taking its toll on me. I know I’m not looking after myself in the same way I would usually. I feel physically and mentally drained and I still have a long way to go. So I took a moment today where I just embraced the fact I was stressed and got angry. FUUUUUUCCCCKKKKKK!!! I screamed at the top of my lungs (sorry neighbours) and felt like having a little tantrum to myself. It definitely helped a little as I got through the rest of my revision I had planned for that day.
I then proceeded to go and do a workout to try and get away from my computer screen but felt so weak today. I had zero drive and I was being super hard on myself because I knew I could do better. This is the problem when you’re a perfectionist. When you know you are capable of more, even when you have nothing left to give. You focus on what you’re not doing rather than what you are still achieving or have achieved. I should be pleased with myself for just showing up to work out but I hate feeling weak.
As I drove home again I started thinking, maybe I just have so much pent up stress and anxiety, frustration and anger that I just need to get it out somehow. I am trying to learn not to get to that point but it’s hard just to “feel” and “embrace” the emotions as they come. I worry about people thinking less of me for showing I’m human and that I am just as vulnerable as anyone else. Honestly, as I am lying in my bed, I feel broken. I feel like I have so much trying to get out of me at once that my brain has just gone “nope!” This is that moment. The moment I need to pay attention to because if I don’t get back on track now then I know it can get so much worse.
I am terrified to admit this but I had such a low moment a few weeks ago that I wanted it to end. I sat and cried in the shower for about half an hour and everything just came pouring out. I eventually levelled myself again and just got on with the rest of my day. I went to my usual pole class that night and no one was any the wiser. And I’m sorry for those who will be shocked to hear this from me in this format. I wanted to tell you face to face (or virtually I guess) but I just couldn’t bring myself to say the words. I did seek help and I was able to get myself back on track.
So even though I feel overwhelmed right now, I know this will pass. I need to be okay with feeling grumpy, emotional, stressed, angry as I’m trying to study. I am at home so much of the time at the moment so I have peace to get it out my system but I need to start remembering to look after myself too. While family and friends have been an amazing support for me at the moment, I know it’s ultimately down to me to make me happy or at least content. I need to sort my sleeping pattern out first and foremost (she says writing this at 11:50pm!) as I know that will help too. And that’s the thing.. I know what I need to do to look after myself but something is stopping me from doing that.
Right now, I blame the stress of exam revision as it feels like I have no time to get my head around all the content before heading into my exams in a couple weeks time. Can I just set up camp in my living room and study non stop from now til then? Probably not a good idea! I need to give myself a break and do the best I can. But being a perfectionist and professional ‘stress head’ makes me constantly feel like I need to keep going. Just keep going, you’ll be free from this stress by the 18th and you’ll have a whole month off! This is the constant battle going on in my head more often than not. I am my worst critic, I always strive for perfection and usually it does me well in life. Although, right now, it is more of a hindrance than a help.
I usually try and finish my blogs off with a positive spin but I am struggling with it just now. All I want to say is please be kind to everyone you meet. We are all going through shit and even the people who you think are so strong and positive have struggles too. I hate letting people see that vulnerable side of me but I know it’s important to be open and honest. I get told I’m so strong and so confident but I feel I have just learned to mask my insecurities more. Although, maybe the whole “fake it till you become it” mantra is a better fit to me. I know I am strong and I know I’m confident and I hope being honest about my messed up brain helps people see me as just like any other human being on the planet. I strive for perfection but I know I’m not perfect. Or maybe I’m perfectly imperfect?
Anyway, I should probably sign off at this point. I hope whoever is reading this remembers to be kind, ALWAYS, and allow themselves to be human! You can’t pour from an empty cup! Look after yourselves, you beautiful souls!