I have spent the last several months going to work and going home. Not much socializing. Sometimes once a month I would go out if invited to something. I was trying to save money. And I was trying to work on myself. I went to counseling and did other activities to pull myself out of depression. I don’t have insurance so that was the best I could do. I remember feeling alone often. I looked for ways to stay busy and distract myself from how I felt. I wished I could afford to go out and spend time with even one person.
As I was getting to a better place with my finances, the pandemic happened. Everything shut down. I lost a lot of work. Other than concerns for my income, my daily routine didn’t change much. I couldn’t read a book at a coffee shop, but I could live without that. I had grown more comfortable with myself and didn’t mind the alone time. I still feel alone but it doesn’t bother me as much. I’ve grown to a place where I enjoy cooking again. I read more. I write fiction more. My creative ideas are never ending.
During the pandemic, there were videos of celebrities feeling upset during social distancing. This reminded me of how I felt. I realized there wasn’t anything wrong with me or how I felt. We were all reacting in a normal way to isolation. I hope people are discovering new things about themselves. If you’re bored during isolation, you need new hobbies. If you’re alone and uncomfortable, you need to love yourself and enjoy your own company. We all should set time aside to be alone. It’s important to our wellbeing. Find your happiness in the alone time.
James Pack is a self-published author of poetry and fiction. Information about his publishing credits can be found on his personal blog TheJamesPack.com. He resides in Tucson, AZ.
Social anxiety presents itself in a variety of forms for different people and can be perceived by others in a lot of negative ways. Last week I got called out by a coworker for rarely speaking to the employees on the first floor.
My desk is in the basement along with 3 other workspaces that occupy two part-time employees and one is there twice a week. Most days I am downstairs by myself.
The fridge and microwave are on the first floor so when I arrive in the morning I put my lunch away and come back up a few hours later to get it. In those few moments I am upstairs I try not to make eye contact or speak with anyone else.
What I look like walking down the hallway at work.
Last week I was walking back to the basement after heating up my lunch when my coworker said, “you know you can talk to us.”
I was dumbfounded. I felt exposed as if she pulled back the curtain to see socially anxious little me hugging my favorite teddy bear.
My anxiety has always told me that nobody wants to talk to me or cares what I have to say. It has made me believe that it is best for me to keep to myself so I don’t bother others.
My response was, “Oh, I can? I thought you were all really busy most of the time.”
She said they aren’t then we proceeded to casually chat for a few minutes.
Over the years, I have shut myself off socially at work.
At my last job I kept to myself except for talking to my supervisor. Most of my other coworkers weren’t friendly so I didn’t speak to them unless necessary.
Nobody has called me out on my social anxiety (except my therapist) so it has become a normal way of living for me. It has definitely given me some perspective on how others view me at work. Something to certainly think about.
Do you have social anxiety? If so, how do you cope with it at work/school?
Also what is your current coping method when you’re struggling with your mental illness?
What warms my heart is their lyrics in “Love Yourself” that say, “even the scars that were formed from my mistakes are my very own constellations.” These words are powerful for me because of my history with self-harm.
It is completely acceptable to stay alive for tiny reasons. Because you want to hear your favorite song one more time. Because your pet will miss you if you leave. The moon is just too pretty to never see. The beautiful sunsets are just too precious to never see again. Because you haven’t seen the next season of a really good TV show. Because you want to see the Christmas lights this year. If you are alive, you are doing enough.
So we push, to tear down the walls. Of the box that life has left us in to keep us away. And now we push to stay together. Know that nobody is going to save us from ourselves. The bad memories will knock us down. The good memories will lift us up. If you are surviving, just know that I am proud of you.
Thank you for being with me. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind.
Self love to me is loving yourself, wholly and unconditionally. Loving the good parts of yourself and the bad. It is also taking time to care for your self and to make your self the best you can be.
Self-love is something that a lot of us struggle with, myself included. Loving myself is something I’ve struggled with for most of my adolescent/young adult life. Part of this is probably due to my abusive past relationship, and the rest is probably because of my mental illnesses of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I not only struggle with loving myself as a person, but loving the body I live in as well.
Something that really helps me is reading quotes that are meaningful, and I’d like to share a few of those.
“My first love was some insignificant boy, when it should’ve been myself. “
This one is interesting to me. When I was younger, I sought out validation with my relationships. But, if someone didn’t like me, it made me feel bad about myself as well. I later realized that I didn’t need validation from others, I needed it from myself. How can anyone else love me if I don’t in turn, love myself?
“Get into the habit of asking yourself: ‘Does this support the life I’m trying to create?'”
This is an important one. 2019 for me has been focusing on my own growth. Self love falls into that category. In order to grow and learn to love myself, I want to make decisions that support the life I want. This way, I am actively making decisions to better myself and decisions that make me happy.
Self love can be different for every person. It is basically taking some time to spend with yourself and do something that makes you happy. Some examples of what I do is
take a bubble bath
go for a walk
listen to your favorite song
have a dance party
go for a walk
cuddle a pet
But really, what you do is totally up to you. It is really important to occasionally take time to give yourself love. If you are like me and constantly giving others love and attention, it can be rather draining. So, always make sure you are giving yourself some time as well.
There is no question that life can throw some serious unexpected curve balls, sometimes at your face, that make you truly think about everything that deeply matters to you. Its times like these that have the potential to shatter your plan and make you take a good hard look at your life in a way you never imagined you would have to.
You know the moments, the ones that scare you, humble you and have you bracing for the next pitch. They take your breath away and have your mind racing at a speed that makes your head spin.
Ironically, its in these moments when we feel it’s time to profess our feelings, plan that trip, chase our dream or take that leap of faith we’ve been mulling over for longer than we can remember.
I’ve sat in those moments, one just recently, and I’ve had those thoughts and contemplated my life and all that it has been and all that it could be. My biggest take away from it, was why do we wait until these moments to choose to be the person we long to be?
We can overthink, overanalyze, over dramatize and pretend like we have forever and a day to do or say what’s in our heart, but the truth is, we have these moments, right now, Why wait?
Don’t wait to tell those you love what they mean to you, don’t wait to take that trip with your kids, or follow that dream you’ve carried with you since the first grade. Don’t wait to hit the road for your next adventure, or write that book or screenplay, or go back to school, open a business or learn to sail.
Don’t wait, do it now. We are not promised tomorrow and there is no room for regret. Say I love you, plan the vacation, step out of your bubble, and make that dream a reality. Now.
You have the choice to live this life while you live this life. Don’t wait for the curve ball, live it now and laugh til your stomach hurts, dance til the music stops, sing so the world can hear you and live every second you have – because you can.
Don’t wait to love the beautiful, exciting, incredible life you are meant to live. Live now, live every moment you have, and live it with love in your heart, grace in your step and fire in your soul.
It’s easy to envelop ourselves it what we feel are our failures, mistakes or bad choices. We seem to remember the bad so much more than we remember the good, but what we don’t realize is there is so much more of the good to celebrate 🧡
We triumph small and large unique challenges in our lives daily. We silently carry the weight of the world on the regular, because we are strong and courageous humans, but we forget these incredible wins the moment there is a wrong turn or a missed step.
Today and everyday remind yourself of your wins, remind yourself of the good and remind yourself that you are still standing. Celebrate the good because it surely outweighs the bad 🦋🧡 Have a beautiful day!
Believing in yourself, your mission and your heart is not just a meme we find on social media, but the real deal, and once you commit to those beliefs, you can achieve more than you think you can ~ Lisa J.
I have been pretty MIA from this blog lately and while I’m sad about that it’s been for good reason — pursuing my dream of one day being a published author. I do however, want to express my deep gratitude to James for continuing to allow me this platform, and for all who read. Never give up on you, and never give up on your dreams, make them real by believing in them, and you, everyday 🙂
I had a different post in mind just a few minutes ago, but it’s funny how our paths sometime lead us in a way we don’t even realize. As you may already know, I have started a pretty exciting journey in the world of writing, specifically children’s books. This along with my subject of today, was something I never expected to step into, and while that is a story in itself, it is not the reason behind this post. This post is actually about how sometimes, even when we are confident in our walk, we tend to get distracted by the outside world that, at times, begs the question…Why Me?
This question can rear it’s ugly head in various chapters of our lives, especially during the hard times. We find ourselves asking out loud or in a whisper to our higher power, the universe as a whole or whoever will listen, Why Me? I won’t lie, I have had this question weigh on my heart many times, and in those thoughts the emotions that overtake me consist of mostly anger, the feelings of unjustness, and the repetitive notion that I need an answer.
Unfortunately, even in these low moments, the moments that can break us, the moments that can make us question our faith, our love and even contemplate the reasons behind it all, what we don’t realize, the answer to Why Me is always Why Not?
It feels so harsh, but it’s true, and while maybe I will post more elaborately about this side of things, the above serves as more of an introduction to a more positive point, give me just two more minutes…If this is true for all the times we feel we get the short of the stick, doesn’t that mean it can be flipped to answer the same question in a different context? The answer…Why Not?
That’s where I was tonight. I had typed in a title for a different post altogether when I got distracted (which happens often, ;)) and I found myself engrossed in yet another publisher’s website reading submission guidelines word for word and paging through the bios of author after author. Suddenly I felt myself slipping into that same mentality, “Look at all these crazy talented writers, they’ve been doing this forever, that’s not me, Why would they choose Me?”
I know I’m not alone with these thoughts. Have you ever seen a successful person, or a person doing exactly what you’ve only dreamed about doing, and think to yourself, “Wow, how nice for them, I’ll never see that kind of success, why would I ever think that could be me?” Don’t be shy, you can nod, it’s ok, we all do it. It’s self-doubt, or this insane idea that successful, in every definition of success, people are superhuman not of this earth. What we don’t realize is that the answer is always the same…WHY NOT?
If you really want to dive deep into this subject, I can go on and on about how we may not always be a direct cause for the negative or positive in our lives, but we are absolute contributors, that is not why I write this post. My point and my message to not just you, but to myself, is if we can ask ourselves the question, Why Me, why can’t the answer be the same for both scenarios. WHY NOT?
So next time you catch yourself daydreaming about that dream job, that mountain to climb, creating every day, loving, laughing, enjoying life to the fullest in whatever way is the most true for you, and you start to ask yourself , Why Me? Before you spiral into the ocean of self pity and excuses, respond with the only answer that can set you free from the envy and the anger…WHY NOT? The catch however, is once you answer this question within your heart, the true test is what you do next.
Why Me? Why You? Well, because Why Not? is only the first statement to the story of your dreams and when you believe it in you, what you once thought was impossible becomes more possible than you could have ever imagined.