Lately, I have felt like such a failure. A fraud or imposter. As my BTS Bestie put it so well recently, I feel like I have imposter syndrome. This year has been so weird and I know I am not alone in that feeling. 2020 is like the worst dumpster fire with flaming bags of dog poop and the smell of tires burning. I have not been writing. I have not been even trying. Why? What the hell do I have to write about? I usually entertain you all with stories of my adventures and we all know those are not happening right now. And I really feel like being funny is not what I can do. I feel so many things as I start to write and I can feel the tears threatening to flow so let me explain. Wow. I had no idea this would be this hard. I always pride myself in being honest with my readers and so I need to do this now. I have not kept my struggles with anxiety and depression a secret. But it is part of the reason I feel like an imposter. I talk a good talk a lot of the time, but there are times that I feel like I am struggling more than others. I didn’t even think I should write about this, but three amazing women in my life told me to write it out. So BFF, #soulmate and BTS Bestie, this is because of you.
I guess I decided to talk about what I have been going through this year because someone out there might need to hear it. It might be the lifeline for another. If you read this and it is you, then I am glad. I have tried so hard to be strong. To put on my happy face. To face all these changes in our world with my usual optimistic outlook. But then, one thing happened to change that. My Mommy got locked down in her Assisted Living facility. And then, I didn’t see my BFF for months because she was working with COVID-19 positive patients and did not want to expose me. I started working from home. ALONE. I was alone for months. I had nobody to talk to besides the cat and my Bubby who came over occasionally. I felt like I had no purpose. I had a COVID exposure (I tested negative). My stress level rose higher and higher as the months dragged on. My job decided to bring us back to work in the facility and things got even more stressful. I was grateful for some human interaction, but things were full of turmoil with working in healthcare and COVID. I felt so alone. I didn’t realize how much I looked forward to simple things like movies with my BFF. Or how much I needed a freaking hug. Book signings were canceled. I released a book and it tanked. I felt like writing was the imposter in my life.
It really felt like I was on the worst ride on the playground. A rusty merry-go-round that squeaks and tilts. And there I am, holding on for dear life as someone else keeps pushing it faster and faster even though I want off. I have no control over how fast it is going and I feel like I might hurl. If I let go, then I would surely be thrown into the wind and land painfully with a broken bone or two. To let go seems like the worst choice so I kept hanging on to it and hoping it stops spinning soon. I kept going. I kept riding that damn rusty merry-go-round because I was scared. I sought solace in music. I listened to voices in a foreign language to soothe me because I felt like I was a foreign language that nobody could understand. I started to understand that I didn’t like to be out of control. That my sunny disposition was cracking and some of my darkness was coming out. I threw myself into work but yet every time I opened my computer to write, it felt hollow. It felt like a lie.
Don’t get me wrong now. I did learn some beautiful things about myself being alone. I did learn to love myself and part of that is learning to accept ALL parts of myself, even the dark parts. But to let others see that, this is where I struggled. I tend to keep so much shoved down and locked away that I don’t let people see when I am struggling. And then the other night, I realized I was drowning. I desperately wanted someone to see that I was needing to let go. My façade was cracking. My smile was fading. I felt desperate and started to cry. I realized I couldn’t do it on my own. I wanted off that rusty merry-go-round. I did something I never do. I let go. I let go of that merry-go-round and let myself fly into the air and guess what? The landing sucked. It hurt. I felt broken. But I had three amazing women there to pick me up and brush me off. I reached out to those three amazing women in my life because they happened to be texting and messaging me about other things at the time. I allowed myself to feel. I told them I was struggling. I cried. I listened to music to help soothe me. I watched videos and sobbed. I texted and messaged them through it all and they were there for me. I realized I didn’t have to be strong all the time. I did not have to smile all the time. I did not have to stay silent. That it is ok to be broken. It is ok to say you need help. It is ok to let go of the rusty merry-go-round and take the hard landing. Yes, you might be broken, but you are still alive.
Being alone all these months, I think I thought I had to keep being alone and not express myself to others. Yes, I have never been happier in my life with who I am and I am still learning to love all parts of myself. This includes these dark moments in myself. The dark moments that I normally keep to myself and shove way down so even I do not have to deal with it. I need to love that part of me too. I need to soothe that part of myself as well. And I need to let others in when I need them. I cannot be happy with who I am if I am not honest about who I am. So here I am, pouring it out in words. Putting it out in the universe. Hoping that at least one person who might also be hanging on to that rusty merry-go-round takes the chance to let go. Takes the chance to admit that they too are struggling because 2020 sucks worse than vomiting on the rusty merry-go-round. Let go of the ride. Reach out to someone. Voice your struggles. Do it. The landing might be painful. You might get broken. GET OFF THE RUSTY MERRY-GO-ROUND. Love those parts of yourself even more. In the words of BTS “Sometimes you get to know that broken is beautiful.” (I mean come on…you didn’t think I wouldn’t quote them did you? Do you not know me at all?). So yeah, this is me. Broken and beautiful. Full of darkness that sometimes cracks through my sunshine. This is me saying I don’t want to be an imposter anymore. This is me. I have depression and anxiety. And I love that about myself.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did decide to let go of my rusty merry-go-round and I didn’t die. I am Fat Girl loving that I am broken and beautiful Running. The experiment continues…