I’ve always been one to feel A LOT. Overwhelming emotions flood my heart and soul and usually come streaming down my face. For years, I blocked my heart off and wouldn’t let anyone in. I had my close friends and family and they were all I needed. Life has handed me more than a few bumps in the road, and I’m pretty used to people leaving my life. It’s just become so normal to me. And I hate that. Being the girl who feels everything, having someone walk out of my life has never been easy for me to deal with. It’s the absolute worst feeling…to have them involved in important moments in your life and suddenly all you are left with are the old pictures and old birthday cards. I had someone in my life once who I loved like a brother and truly thought of him as one, despite not being blood related. I’ll never be able to fully explain how much he inspired me and how much I miss him. He was the one I never thought would leave. But he did. And so I’ve built up the walls around my heart. Because how could someone you considered family after knowing them for 15 years, simply up and leave. I reached out for the better part of year by the only way I knew I could truly ensure it was him responding…and never got anything in return. I can feel the pain of losing him as I type these words out. Anger, sadness, disappointment but I can’t seem to bring myself to delete the last picture we took together off my phone. We were both so happy. It was like the old days. A picture I will forever cherish. I miss him, wish him the best but know that the chapter of my life with him involved has come to its end.
I have always said that I could never let someone love me until I learned to love myself first. Because it wouldn’t be fair to them. How could I let them in and allow them to love all the things I hated about myself…? I couldn’t do it. I had to re-teach myself to love every bit of me. All the flaws, no matter how much I previously disliked them. Because that is what anxiety and depression did to me. They each turned my brain against me, about everything. They thrived on my insecurities and flaws. I became my biggest critic and held myself to unrealistic standards, until I finally couldn’t handle feeling that way anymore. I got so tired of hating parts of myself. I knew I needed help, and I got it.
I’m writing this to you today, to say that I love myself. Every part of it. Every “hilary-ism”. Sure, I still have days where I want to hide in my sweatpants, with no makeup on and greasy hair all day. But I now allow myself to have those moments and not hate myself for feeling that way. I’m okay with my legs shaking uncontrollably when I’m out in public and the people sitting beside me can feel it. I’m okay with crying in bathroom stalls at sporting events because another piece of my heart was broken. And I’m okay with double checking my make up before leaving to go back to my seat, to make sure I can hide the fact that I was just crying in the bathroom. Because if someone was to ask me if I was crying I would simply crumble right there. I’m okay with crying in the shower, (where I like to tell myself it doesn’t really count as crying because there’s already water running). I’m okay with crying myself to sleep because sometimes life just doesn’t give you want you wanted. I’m okay with feeling everything with every part of my soul. I’m okay to have others pick me up when I fall down.
My mental illnesses have taken so much from me, and made me feel things I would never wish upon anyone. They make me fight for everything, every day. It’s an exhausting battle, but one that I will always fight. I second guess every decision I make. I don’t let people in because they tend to leave. I would keep them at a safe distance. So that when they left I wouldn’t have to pick up the broken pieces left behind.
Loving myself has been a journey in itself. And I’m working on doing things that push me out of my comfort zone. Because I’m tired of being scared of saying the wrong thing, or getting hurt again. I’m afraid of rejection, and the fear of the unknown. But life is too damn short and sometimes I have to put my big girl panties on. I’ve fixed my heart every time it has been broken in the past…so I’m sure I can fix it again. Sure, it’ll never be exactly the same. But knowing I tried, is truly beautiful.
Feelings can be scary and big and complicated yet they can also be beautiful. I used to hate that I always carried around so many feelings, and that my heart was SO big. But looking back, I love that about myself. I believe that I can be someone’s biggest fan because I have become my own biggest fan. I believe I can let someone in again, because I let myself back in. I believe I can love someone, because I love myself…again.