To not be okay.
I don’t know if it’s the low follower count around these parts, and the fact that I feel more safe knowing that if I open myself up to a bit of vulnerability – not too many people will see it…but I’ve been compelled lately to write about mental health. This isn’t a cry for attention, a complaint about our site traffic, or anything of the sort. I’m taking advantage of a quiet time – feeling safe in opening up, because those of you who are here – care. You are understanding, and have invested at least a bit in me and my journey. So here goes.
I had a mild panic attack the day of the Kaplan MD. Lipstick Launch Event. I walked into a gorgeous restaurant, and was instantly surrounded with lovely women, beautiful cocktails and tasty treats. I complain constantly about going out with hubby and wishing we would do it more. Why then, when I get the opportunity to play dress up go out on the town, and meet a large group of my peers – do I immediately want to walk out the door and hide?
Why did a dark and heavy blanket fall upon me as soon as I looked around and saw all of these flawlessly executed outfits, perfect smiles and confidence? I don’t belong here. I haven’t got the following, acumen or social skills to stand with these ladies. I threw on a cute cami and blazer with my jeans, and left the house with the day’s makeup – I didn’t perfectly curate a designer outfit, with precisely paired shoes, bag and jewelry. I do not belong here. I am not one of them.
Reality check – my now rational mind tells me that if you took a photo of all of these ladies, and I was included in it – I wouldn’t stand out like a sore thumb. Sure, I was wearing dark jeans and a black top amidst the seas of spring/summery colors and patterns, but my light grey blazer fit me right into the mix. My long blonde extensions curled into a big floof of layered goodness was slightly less exciting than the fun summer hats and creative braided styles of my companions….but honestly, I didn’t look that different. Why did I feel so different? Why did I turn myself into an outsider? Why did I immediately upon leaving, text my friend and blogging partner, Laura and tell her that I’d be 1,000 times more comfortable if every person in that room was wearing big black boots, band shirts, had rainbow colored hair, and tons of tattoos? I’ve been blonde for the last nearly 10 years of my life. I have one small tattoo and won’t have another because I am too much of a baby, and nearly couldn’t finish my first. at least 50% of my wardrobe is black, but I love to incorporate color. Why do “normal” people scare me when “different” people comfort me?
I am also cursed with a conflicting attitude and awareness of my situation. I had conversations with a handful of people at that event, and was not uncomfortable making conversation. Talking about skincare and lipstick are things that come naturally to me, and I have no issue talking to strangers. I make friends quickly, and have even been told I’ve got a bit of charm. so WTF? Why doesn’t that heavy blanket lift when I break the seal and start chatting?
So many of you have shared tidbits of your struggles with mental health issues. There is so much more going on in my brain and world that I could share – but I don’t want to oversaturate you with my problems. How do you cope with your struggles? Are there any tips or tricks you can share? I literally have nothing but my internal struggle followed by word vomit on my husband or bestie – and that just makes me feel bad for unloading, doesn’t really solve anything.
P.S. Thanks for listening. I love you guys.