To Myself, with Love

Life has been a mess of colors lately.

No day is exactly the same, but most days for me have ended the same way.

I sit on my bed and watch the sun fade through my blinds, as the lines of light dance on the wall across from me. I don’t think of anything in particular. It’s almost like I’m waiting for something to happen, watching the lines like they’ll suddenly change direction or grow brighter rather than dim and eventually disappear.

Recently I’ve been facing a great challenge. Those closest to me are aware of my struggles and have an inside look at the trials and tribulations that a somewhat grieving individual goes through to feel “alright” with their circumstances. I want to offer an explanation to others, but because of the sensitive nature of what’s going on, I can’t. It’s unfortunate, but it’s necessary.

Stay tuned, and be patient. I’m learning to be patient myself.

I’m also learning that vulnerability is okay. Being vulnerable is one step closer to making positive change. I could use some of that. We could all use some of that.


Jess,

You are so much stronger than your circumstances. I understand that you are feeling overwhelmed, burned out, and less than yourself. I acknowledge that the situation you are facing right now is emotional and raw. I validate your reactions; I validate your concerns.

You are in a position that you, quite some time ago, never believed you would be strong enough to place yourself in. Yet, here you stand. You are anxious and worrisome, but you are also bold and strong. You did not get to this place alone, but you did not have much help making the decision to move forward either. That decision was so difficult for you, but you made it based on the needs of yourself and the needs of others, and you made it bravely.

You feel weak and confused at times, but you are standing across from your demons and you are not backing down. You question yourself and those around you, but you also stand firm and advocate for yourself and your needs.

You look in the mirror and see the exhaustion hanging off of your features, like a warn house full of secrets and forgotten memories, dull, hollowed in spots and blackened in others. I see you, the everlasting foundation beneath the peeling wallpaper.

I am proud of you.ย 

I am proud of you for diving deeper into yourself when you feel unsure of your emotions and regretful of your decisions. I am proud of you for waking up in the morning and taking that first, terrible step out of bed. I am proud of you for speaking up and speaking out.

Be confident.

Be confident in your decisions, in your process, in your life.

You are worth the results, and you know that.

I love you.

With love,

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Fearless

It’s a cycle, this life.

If you pay attention to the minute details, you’ll get a glimpse at the cyclical nature of it all, constantly repeating itself like the falling leaves of autumn, seemingly stuck in an infinite loop until no further leaves are left on the tree.

Are we the leaves, or the tree?


Yesterday it happened again.

I felt the familiar chest pain, digging into my rib cage, settling in next to my tired heart.

I took a deep breath and I moved on.

Then again, on the couch as I studied next to a friend, I felt the familiar warmth creep up my neck as my head began to spin.

Recovering from last January took eight months. I went to counseling. I saw numerous doctors. I was poked and prodded by needle after needle until I feared my skin would turn purple indefinitely. I peeled countless heart monitor stickers off of sensitive skin and placed new ones on top of red blisters and small patches of mild bleeding.

I was terrified then.

Over an eight month span I taught myself that my body is my friend, that I needn’t be afraid of it or its capabilities. I stopped drinking caffeine. I was selfish because I needed to be, for my mental health, for my physical health.

The time I took to recover was so incredibly necessary, but so very time consuming.

I’m a senior in college now, staring my final semester in the face. I’ll be done in six months. That’s it… just a measly six months are standing before me and the end of my undergraduate education.

Yet here I sit, terrified again.

I’ve been feeling this way for two weeks, felt the symptoms start to slowly appear again like they’re as frightened as I am for their return.

Are they returning?

Is this it? Am I damned to live through the cycle of symptoms every year? Over and over?

I’m waiting.

I’m not sure if I’m waiting for them to fully set in, or if I’m waiting for them to fade, but nonetheless I’m present for them. I’m prepared for them this time.

On Monday in class I took a personality quiz that required me to select adjectives that describe myself. I scanned the page, not struggling with selecting quite a few until I came upon the word “fearless.” I paused for a moment and I took in the word, reflected on its meaning. I thought about the obstacles I’ve faced in my young life thus far.

As an eight year-old, I adopted the word “brave” as a descriptor for myself after having broken bones set without anesthetic. After reporting childhood sexual assault to a counselor when I was twelve, I adopted the word “strong.” In high school, I struggled with coming to terms with the sexual assault, leading to promiscuity and a handful of bad decisions related to marijuana, older men, and my academic integrity. I was described as “wild,” “courageous,” and “capable,” because I put effort into changing my habits and turning around bad decisions, so that I could succeed in honors courses, maintain healthy friendships, and continue with my academic extra curriculars.

I circled the word, “fearless.”

Because… why not? Aren’t I?

I’ve been fearful at times, but I’ve conquered so much of that fear with perseverance, optimism, strength, courage, and determination. And, while I’m still not 100% confident that I consider myself completely fearless, it’s something that I’m working up to feeling, believing, and ultimately being.

In the words of Poppy, Princess of the Trolls:

“I’m not giving up today. There’s nothing getting in my way. If you knock, knock me over, I will get back up again. If something goes a little wrong, well you can go ahead and bring it on.”

The cycle continues; overcome and become.

Leaves. Tree.

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ps: Please remember that while your education is important, your health is more important; take time to take care of yourself and focus on your needs.

For more information on Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia, my eight month break, or to see my most recent posts, check out the links below!

Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia

Living with Tachycardia 101

The Reality of Taking a Leave (from Uni)

ย The Fish Bowl Analogy