Back in early February I fell into the deepest depression I had ever experienced in my entire life. I had no interest in anything. I felt like I was just waking up everyday and playing a part. Growing up, I had never learned to cope with pain or my emotions and as I grew older and the problems became bigger; I had no idea what to do. Everything felt like the world was collapsing; it got to the point where I felt like I was suffocating from the inside. I felt the most alone and isolated that I have ever felt in my entire life.
I ended up calling my friend Kayley, a sister in my sorority that had quickly become a friend and telling her how I was feeling. How I felt like I was losing touch with myself, how worthless I had been made to feel, how everyone I knew and loved had deserted me in a way, how I felt so alone that I didn’t know if I was going to be okay.
Kayley proceeded to give me the best life advice I have ever received. She told me to stop rushing. A habit I was fairly good at, since rushing into things was how I operated my life. She told me that after everything that happened in my life the past several months, I needed to get back in touch with myself.
With Kayley’s advice, she told me to sit down and write out a list of questions. The questions were supposed to be things that I wanted to be able to answer about myself. The hard questions you try to avoid asking yourself. After that phone call I sat down at my apartment desk and stared at a piece of paper. Eventually, twelve questions landed on it without me even thinking.
It stunned me that there were twelve questions about myself that I had no clue how to answer. As of today (April 8th, 2020 at 10:21 a.m.), this will be the first time I look at that list again.
Q1. Why do I feel like I have to be perfect at everything I do?
Q2. Why can’t I allow people to love me?
Q3. Why does commitment scare me so badly? Aside from growing up in the environment I did and watching my parents not get along very often.
Q4. Why do I crave the amount of attention I do from a significant other/person I am talking to?
Q5. What type of person do I aspire to be and how does that conflict with my current self/what I am doing now? How can I become the person I want to be?
Q6. What do I put so much emphasis on the expectations others have for me? Why do I feel the need to be good enough for other people?
Q7. Why do I second-guess every choice that I make? Why do I seek validation from others that it was the correct choice?
Q8. Why do I have such a difficult time communicating my feelings?
Q9. Why does not having a set plan for the future cause me fear and anxiety? Why can I not be okay with certain aspects of my future containing a question mark right now?
Q10. Think about the last time I really felt like myself. Like I didn’t have to pretend to be someone I was not. Who was I around? What was I doing? How did I feel?
Q11. Why am I so scared of being alone/ending up alone? Why am I not content with being by myself?
Q12. What hobbies do I have that make me truly happy?
Looking back at these questions now, I have answers for several of them. But it took a lot of soul-searching to get to that point. Progress is not made in a day and the difference between February me and the me I am now is simple. Time changes people. Time allows people to reflect on the past and try to make the present better. Time is a magical thing and time is the reason I keep growing.
I’ve had a lot of shit happen in the past several months, but I am watching myself become more me everyday. To me, that’s a victory in itself. Progress takes time, but the best things life have to offer normally do.
You just have to learn to be patient with the process and yourself.
I dare you to make your own list of hard questions. Dig deep. Figure out the hidden truths of yourself. Challenge yourself and your personal growth.
Until next time,