Don’t know if it’s put in the right category… feel free to change if needed.
For the past weeks, I’ve been looking back at the last year. Where I was one year ago. And it’s depressing. Last year, I got told that for someone who was almost 30, I really didn’t have anything to show for myself. Did that change? No it didn’t. I still don’t have a degree. I still don’t plan on going back to get that degree, because just thinking about it… gives me an anxiety attack. So… now I’m 30 and I don’t have anything to show for it…
When I told my parents last year that I was going to quit, I got told that my mental health should not be bad, because my life is too good for it to be bad. Do I believe that? No. Do they still believe that? I’m pretty sure they do… because when I can’t put into words what is happening… it doesn’t matter… it’s not real… and I don’t always have the words to explain what happens when I’m going through an anxiety attack or a mental breakdown… so… when you can’t explain it, it’s not real, right? Lastly, there’s the most beautiful sentence that someone has ever said to me: “you’re still single because you have no future”… I’m still single. Yes, I have a job, but I’m still single… So… I’m still broken? I’m still not good enough?
This past year, there have been many moments that I just wanted to end it, but at first I couldn’t, because my grandmother was still alive and I couldn’t do that to her. Then after she passed, I couldn’t do it to the rest of the family because having 2 funerals within a couple of months, that’s “a bit much”. So I didn’t try, but I also wouldn’t have actively done anything to keep on going. I actually started to pray to please not wake up anymore the next day, and tbh there are moments that I still pray for that because I’m in over my head. It’s fucked up, I know.
I do have a job now. I finished the therapy that I was supposed to do and I also made some plans for the future. Heck, I’ve been able to not harm for 47 days. Also because last time I almost lost control and it got really scary, but it still counts, right? Then why do I still feel like the me from last year? Why am I still not okay? Why am I still that broken mess who can’t do anything when depression gets too much? I’m “almost 31”… and I still don’t have a lot to show for it…
Don’t know if it’s put in the right category… feel free to change if needed.
Society puts so much pressure on what we have to achieve and when we have to achieve it by. We see people who work in hospitality even and depending on which place they work we classify them. Fast food, no good, nice restaurant oh that’s better, but still not good enough. The only difference is the uniform really.
The expectations for women are also much higher than for men I find. By the time you hit 20 we are meant to have achieved being financially stable with a house and a husband and a child and an income and a perfect figure and be a delightful host and involved in the community.
When does it stop? Yesterday I walked around the block in my track pants, jacket and wore socks and sandals. That’s what I achieved! I felt good. Is it good enough by society’s standards? No, I didn’t run 10k and not sweat.
It’s what my mental health allowed me to do though.
You reached a mile stone of completing therapy and staying free from self harm. Hell to the yes! I celebrate that achievement with you. Because it’s so hard. We all have our struggles and sometimes those struggles are “I want to run a marathon” and sometimes those struggles are “I want to get out of bed and change clothes”. If we do those things they should be equally celebrated.
I love this podcast called The Imperfects. I will always recommend them to people because they always have such quality podcast and discussions on there. I literally can’t even just pick one because they’re all so good and inspiring. Hearing peoples stories about struggling with self worth or anxiety or depression and how they kept pushing through.
And then I see people on the wall like yourself who do the same thing and it inspires me too. Your story is uniquely yours and is also something that is more than whether or not you have “achieved” what others or even the voices in your head tell you that you should have. The fact is that you HAVE achieved enough because you are here. That’s enough.
It sounds like you have a lot on your shoulders & it would be heavy for anyone to carry on their shoulders. I want you to know that you can let go of having certain expectations of yourself to meet by a certain age. If I lived with that mentality, I would have a different outlook on life as a whole. I am in my 30s & I am still figuring out what I want my life to look like & how I want to live it.
Yes, you might have a life that isn’t quite what you pictured but in the long run…it will be worth it. Take some time to discover what inspires you & makes you want to grow even more as a person. Find something that challenges you. I am SO freaking proud of you for not harming yourself. That’s not a small feat & you should be encouraged by that as well. Keep on going. Find your sunshine. Chase after joy.
You are important. You are valid. You are enough. You matter.
thank you, my friend, for being comfortable here in order to share your story and what all you’re dealing with. i want to jump into this response by saying that even to outside (or even personal) perspectives of life being “too good” to have bad mental health, then that is just an outdated assumption. for example, you can see it even with celebrities where we think they have everything going for them - fame, fortune, status, a relationship/family, etc. - but then it turns out they’re suffering horribly for any multitude of reasons. what you feel is what you feel and it hurts to know you don’t have that understanding from your parents. my biggest hope is that one day they will understand with you sharing as much as you want to about what you’re enduring like explaining the breakdowns and anxiety attacks. the more support and understanding in your life, the better.
i want to offer the biggest congratulations i can on being 47 days clean from self harm. that is a huge accomplishment and i hope you feel as proud of yourself as i am of you. you’ve also taken huge steps in this job you have, finishing your therapy, and even making a future plan of things to look forward to. it’s understandable that you may not feel 100% okay yet but, nyntje, my friend… you have made such incredible progress. put the number of years you’ve been around behind you and look ahead to the ones before you. if we live too much in the past then we waste up our future, yaknow? and your better tomorrow is on the horizon! you got this, nyntje! keep moving forward, whatever it takes!
First of all, congrats on 47 days free from sh, that is huge. Fighting through all the moments where you wanted to give in? That’s huge!! What I love about HS is that so many of the “hidden” stuff - the diagnoses, disorders, challenges, struggles - all the stuff that people never “see” can be safely expressed here, and you’re SEEN here. Seen as a person, not just of what you think you may not have, but loved and appreciated for existing.
I’d like to say that people can put the most random time-frames on stuff sometimes. In my religion, we have folks who lived hundreds of years, and finally finding their mission in life, or the answers to their prayers at advanced age. Age aint really a factor in determining worth or value or even pace.
And that line? "you’re still single because you have no future”? That gave me such a chuckle. You literally have a future because you’re alive in the present that’s how time works, the silly thing. It’s better to be alone until the time is right for a partner. Time spent as a single is useful to get to know yourself, love yourself, so that you know who you are when you do enter into a relationship. It’s important to be single for a bit to know yourself.
almost 31, and you show us every day how to be kind and compassionate, even on days when you’re struggling! You’re loved - and you don’t have to “earn” it by your actions. You’re loved and you matter to us all for just being you
First and foremost, congrats on 47 days, friend. Each day is a victory, and one you’ve earned. Proud of ya. (Insert flex emote here)
Reflecting back can be such the double-edged sword, can’t it? From seeing the lows and struggles you’ve gone through, to the highs and victories you’ve achieved. It can weigh on you when you see and focus on struggles, but it can also pick you up and inspire you in seeing how you’ve grown and conquered the past, and/or the progress you’ve made down your path. What you get out of it may all be in what parts you focus on, and what mindset you take while reflecting on it.
So, you’re close to 30. I’ll challenge you this: What’s special about 30? Whom set that as the “You must have achieved X” marker? You must compare within Y of others? Where do we factor in all of our individual achievements into where we are now in that comparison? A degree doesn’t say anything about your worth as a person; nor does your job title. I’ve seen the good that has come out of you here in this community. You care for and help others with your talents and love. Who knows how many lives your efforts and kindness have improved. Or saved. I really hope you factor that into your reflections.
Please read those last few sentences again.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is to not set your self assessment against what you think others expect of you. Degree, job, relationship status, etc. How you YOU feeling about YOU? About your journey in the last few years? Society may have set out these superficial achievements you were supposed to get by level 30, but there doesn’t seem to be any logic to that bar.
Set that bar against yourself, friend.
I think an unfortunate side effect of peoples ego can be this assumption that they know the “right” way to live a life. I think that couldn’t be further from the truth!
Your post shows a lot of things people have said to you over the past year, and it sounds like what they’ve been saying has been weighing on you. I think it’s important in these moments to take a step back, and reflect on what you consider important in life.
Sure, maybe you don’t have a degree. But I bet there are people out there with Doctorates who feel just as lost. Maybe you’re single, but I can bet you there are people in relationships who have never felt more alone, I’ve been there myself.
What do you think is important? What do you think you should or shouldn’t have at this stage in your life? Nobody else on the planet can truly answer these questions, because nobody else has spent even a day in your shoes.
Life can definitely have its ups and downs, and I think to a degree, every person is a “project in progress”. I think that we’ll all continue to work on ourselves up until the day we can’t anymore, and I think sometimes it’s more about enjoying the journey, rather than waiting for destination.
There is no real timeframe on life except for the one we put on ourselves. There’s no point in life where we’re supposed to have a degree, or a job, or a partner, or anything really. There’s nothing wrong with taking your time, and living your life the way you want to live it. If other people have a problem with how you live your life, they’re just too blinded by their own struggles to provide any good advice anyway.
Be patient friend, give yourself grace to navigate the ups and downs of life, and don’t worry too much about tracking your progress. Take it a day at a time, and do your best to give yourself the life you want to have. One day you might find that all those small steps have lead you in the right direction, and that you’re actually in a place you’re content with
Wishing you the best Nyn,
Thank you for this post, I am going to firstly agree with everything that all our friends have already written (they are so good at this arent they) You know I have spent so many years being worried about how I have not accomplished instead of thinking about the things I can.
But you made it!
These my friend are accomplishments so in my world that counts as better.
Are you cured? probably not, I think most of us reaslise that we have these mental health problems that are gonna stick around, we just have to find ways to manage them and make the best out of it whether its with medication, therapy, self help etc and you have to give yourself a break here, you are doing well, 47 days is brilliant. yes its hard, yes there are some bloody horrible days and they are the days you reach out for others, people like us or use techniques taught to you in therapy. We will always be here for you Nyn. But please recognise your success too. You are awesome. Love Lisa. xx
I know you’ve been given lovely support already, but I just wanted to throw in that all the times you didn’t turn to self harm as a coping mechanism matter. All the times you choose a less harmful way to cope, matters. All of those are successes and deserve to be counted as such.
Depression stops all of us who have it in our tracks when it hits. When this happens it’s completely ok to show compassion to yourself. It doesn’t mean you are broken at all. You can’t control depression most of the time. I have major depression and meds do help, but there are times where I can’t do life because of it and that’s ok.
Your worth isn’t defined by your mental health. You have a job now, you finished therapy and you’ve made plans for the future. Live in the present and be excited for what is to come for you.