Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Let's Talk: Trying to Figure it All Out in Your 20's

I’ve always felt like my life has been incredibly stable and normal. I’ve never had a pet die. All my grandparents are still alive. I don’t know anyone with a life-threatening illness. I’ve never been through a super bad break-up. I've always felt loved and supported. But then my parents got divorced.

I’ve told a grand total of three people about it: my best friend, my boyfriend, and my therapist. So, for all my friends out there reading this post I’m sorry I couldn’t get the words to tell you myself before you found out reading this lousy blog post. I've found it incredibly hard to tell people, I often can't even get the word divorce out and I definitely can't get it out without full-on sobbing. So, there it is. 

My parents told me on my last day of class of junior year a couple hours after I got home for my cousin’s wedding. They told me not to talk about it at the wedding in fear of ruining my cousin’s big day. So, I kept it in. When we got home, I headed back to school to finish off my finals and go to the beach with my friends. These were some of my very last moments with my senior friends, so I kept it in not wanting to be a downer and wanting to enjoy some of my last memories with them. But the problem is I got used to keeping it in, keeping up this fa├žade that everything was okay. When clearly it wasn’t. And anyone who’s ever faked to be happy before knows you can only keep it up for so long before you crack.   

At the time only one person knew about it, my boyfriend, so I clung to him whenever I would get sad or upset. I went to visit him during one of the most difficult weeks, the week my dad moved out. I cried to him almost every night and he helped me through some of my very first feelings of anxiety. Thank goodness for him, he loved, supported, and encouraged me through everything and still does.

But I got tired. I got tired of running and hiding and breaking down and growing distant from my friends because I didn’t know how to even be myself around them anymore. I got anxious, really anxious. I would be nauseous every day, I’d cry a lot, and overthink and catastrophize everything. Everything in my life felt like it was falling apart, and I had no idea how to put it back together. 

I entered a spiral that every time I tried to climb back out of would leave me getting further down. I so badly wanted to fix myself, but I could just never quite get there. I'd heard about how impactful divorce was on other people's lives, but I thought for me it'd be different. I could handle it, but boy was I wrong. As a result, I always had it in the back of my mind that I should talk to a therapist. But it scared the life out of me to have to pick up the phone and call. I knew as soon as I did that my guard would be down. I would have to open up to another person, other people would start to find out and it’d be almost like admitting defeat. 

But then I looked at myself and I said if any of my friends were in the same position as me would I want them to do what I was doing? Would I be ashamed of them going to see a therapist? No freaking way. It wasn’t defeat, it was a victory for me to do what was right for myself and get the help I needed. And that’s when I picked up the phone.  

Part of me never thought I’d write this post, part of me always thought I’d be too scared. But I realized that’s exactly why I should. I think part of my healing is confronting difficult things not running from them. I could keep living my life with my walls up and this pretty facade or I could be real about it. And maybe for you it's not your parent's divorce, maybe it's heartbreak or death or fear of the future. It doesn't matter. Life is difficult and we should talk about that. Mental health is important, and we should talk about that. Things aren’t always easy, but we should still talk about them. 

My life may look picture perfect on Instagram, but I promise you it's not :)
Ashley
instagram: @welldressedash
pinterest: welldressedash