How I Got Friends Despite My Social Anxiety

Social Anxiety is when you struggle in social situations and have a lot of anxiety about what may or may happen, so literally interacting with people gives you fear, stress, and anxiety.

I had social anxiety.

I had no friends for the longest time, I struggled with making friends and wondered what was wrong with me. I kind of assumed everyone’s judgements about me are valid. And turns out, when you are a quiet, shy person with social anxiety, apparently you can look suspicious or you leave people with an open gateway to make up any story about what kind of person you are, when you are literally someone who minds their own business.

Whenever I did try to make friends, I struggled a lot because I would have anxious thoughts that run a million miles a minute. Every interaction, I dissected to make sure that I did not mess up, or there is not some kind of judgement that someone can misconceive about me. That I was my most perfect self.

I was also in a friend group that, if I brought up an issue, I was the problematic one because I am not keeping the peace and I am making issues by bringing up things that bother me. (Which I think is more problematic and quite limits for shallow interaction only.)

Boy, was that exhausting. Made me conclude that I was an introvert because I always had to recover from hang outs with people. Or interactions with people in general. To be your perfect self worried and thinking about all the things that could go wrong drained my energy.

So how do I have friends now? A lot of friends, and how am I able to just meet new people easily and talk to them as if I have known them?

Trust me, this was not easy, I cried very often and had many panic attacks, but lets get into it:

HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS DESPITE SOCIAL ANXIETY

  1. Find someone safe to be friends with.

Make sure this person is reciprocating in friendship. Do not force a friendship. If someone actually wants to be friends, you got to make the effort. If you try to make friends with someone who does not really care to be friends with you in the first place, you are wasting your time and making yourself go through an uncomfortable situation. Then you may think more is wrong with you when in actuality, you just picked someone who was not a compatible friend and was not interested. It’s like forcing a guy who doesn’t like you, to like you, and wonder why he doesn’t like you. He wasn’t interested. Move on.

2. Practice makes perfect.

Interacting with people and understanding interactions take practice. It takes practice to be comfortable, it takes practice in knowing what to say, why people are the way they are, and what you are okay with in your life and what you aren’t. Practicing makes interacting with others easier the more you do it. You will have anxious thoughts, but slowly they will go away. But I’m talking years. If you really want to be comfortable in your own skin regardless of anyone else’s opinions.

That means any uncomfortable conversation. Do your best, stop trying to be perfect, keep showing up and trying again. Worst case scenerio, find another group of friends (if its that bad). But try not to run away if they haven’t entirely rejected you out of their group. Rejection just means clarification of the lack of compatibility. Keep practicing interacting with other people.

3. Take time to understand yourself.

If you take the time to understand yourself, you will be able to take the time to be more forgiving to yourself in your interactions, which also makes you a better person because you tend to resonate with others who make social mistakes and other people are safer to be around you.

4. Know Anxious feelings will come up.

Anxious feelings will reoccur. Remember that they are just thoughts. Nothing more. Whether it is right or wrong, people’s minds can be changed, but honestly, just focus on whether you would be okay interacting with yourself, and if you are, chill out. People are different, the right, long lasting friends will vibe with you. You won’t have the constant push and pull.

5. When you feel comfortable with your natural interactions with one friend, make more.

When you have practiced with interacting with your one friend, make another friend. Interactions become easier and it becomes second nature. Then practice interacting with that person with the variations of the kind of person they are, and just do your best. That is good enough. Then keep making more and more. Keep practicing. Social anxiety will come up. Just show up.

6. Jump in other peoples group conversations

In my experience, people who give you dirty looks for joining their conversation, are the tell tale sign to NOT make friends with them and avoid them. You do NOT want their approval OR their friendship. People (typically) won’t go out of their way for you because they don’t know you. Stop getting offended by it, and just jump in conversations. Ask questions about them, relate to what you are talking about. Then, they have something to talk about with you the next time you see them. You become familiar with them.

There was this one time that I showed up at a social event and turns out, I knew only three people. I wanted to get up and leave because I did not know anyone at that event. My anxiety raised, I did not know who to talk to, but it was way too late to just leave. It would be noticeable.

So I stayed. I jumped in conversations, and by the end of the night, I was able to chat and participate, and not be awkward. Shift your focus on the conversations. Or, just help out with preparing or cleaning if you really don’t know what to do.

Summary

In two years, I went from having no friends, and forcing myself in social situations, driving home crying because I was exhausted from social situations, to being a serial friend maker who killed most of her anxious thoughts and who is filled with the joy of enjoying friends and a good time. Living in the moment rather than living in my head. Its amazing.

Your panic attacks are just triggering your anxiety. Nothing bad actually happened. So take a deep breath, and keep going, because that’s true strength. Try again. Let your body experience the panic attack safely. Your tears, are out of exhaustion. Cry it out, and show up again. You need to cry in the middle of the hang out? Go to the bathroom, fix your makeup, and go back in. You need to push your limits to change.

I dove in the deep end cause I was sick of being alone. I did not want to live the rest of my life alone. So do what you are able to do. But it truly feels so free after all that work on my social anxiety.

Making Changes

When you start healing, whether you have just started and decided to heal and grow, or you’ve been on the long path of healing and it just seems like there is always another thing to heal through, making changes and keeping up those habits sometimes feels like the most difficult things to do.

Making changes – meaning, being kinder to people, communicating better, cooking more frequently for yourself, cleaning up more often, saving money and taking care of yourself.

These are really difficult tasks to manage, but we have been told to force ourselves to do these things to take care of ourselves, and in theory, yes it does help. But let me tell you why it isn’t entirely helpful.

When you are growing and trying to take care of yourself, it takes a lot of will power to get off of social media, get out of bed, start to cook yourself food or clean up. And at times you are not ready to, and sometimes you never will be ready.

We have a tendency to look at video montages of girls glowing up and becoming “that-girl” within a ten second clip, when it took them an entire year, and we force ourselves to be all that, and after a week or so, we get discouraged because we aren’t there yet.

Growing and healing is a long on going process. I have been really good at being social for the longest time. It was a struggle that I pushed myself to do, but this week, I could not handle everyone. I felt like I give and give, and I don’t get back, and people are living selfishly, not caring how they effect others.

I mean, as they should, but it would have been nice.

Anyways, I took this week off of communicating with friends and hanging out with people. (You truly see who your real friends are). And sometimes that will happen. I am really far into my healing journey. And it’s almost been a year. It started when I moved out at the end of July. But healing is not linear, nor has it ever been. And you will have times where you need a break. The break will not be the same intensity as before and the same duration, but you may have breaks. It is completely normal.


So how do you make changes in your life without so much pushback?

I, genuinely, believe that as you work on your inner self, your self esteem, your anxiety, the motivation for the rest will naturally come. The more you self reflect, the more you work on healing your inner child, fighting the depression, shoving away the anxiety, the more you want to do it.

So, one by one, if brushing your teeth is the only thing you can push yourself to do, try to do that consistently for a while until you feel ready to take on a new task. Then after that, start with just making sure your make up desk is tidy at least once a week. Or attempt to make your bed daily. And if you need to keep buying those food deliveries to feed yourself in the time being, go ahead. Is it taking all the possible savings you could have? Who cares.

What kind of life would you even have if you don’t take care of your current self and heal out of everything you need to heal from. Spend that money, go get that coffee until you want to learn to make your own coffee’s at home because you want a new hobby.

Until you have the mental capacity to do it, get the help you need, and give yourself that grace, and focus all your energy into healing your inner self.

If you need to spend money on a therapist but your scared cause it takes a lot of money? Do it. You are an investment, and you are worth the money that is spent. You need to believe that you are worth the money that is spent on therapy. Worth the money to save your mental health now, so that you can live a thriving quality life in the future.

It is a long journey. It is one that needs to be a priority so that the rest of your life can be lived in the way you deserve to live.

Don’t worry if you aren’t “that girl”. You will be “that girl” when your mind is ready for that next step. And that is when those changes within you will truly change and truly stick.

“Tone it Down”

For some reason, this bothered me so much.

For context, let’s talk about what the phrase “tone it down” means. Normally people use this phrase when you are too loud, or too emotional.

In either situations, the phrase “tone it down” is never truly helpful to anyone. Whether you are in a public space or a private space, someone that has a heightened emotional reaction, won’t be listening to “tone it down”.

Now, let’s be reasonable. If you are in a life threatening situation and your hiding, you should probably be quiet, but this is not the case.

Whether the person is validated in feeling the emotion or not, telling them to shut down because they are reacting too emotional not only creates a barrier between you and them, but shows a lot about the person saying “tone it down.”

When you are focused on how loud someone is, whether they are crying or angry, and you’re focused on their reaction and what people will think of the reaction, or if the reaction is making other people stare and, or be uncomfortable, you don’t care. You either:

  1. Care about all the stranger’s opinions that you don’t know and will never interact with in your life.
  2. Care about people that are okay, rather than the person who is actually in pain.
  3. Care about yourself and your self image and how other people see you.
  4. Feel entitled that an emotional reaction means a weak, uncontrolled person.
  5. Are focused on the external factors rather than using your words to help reassure someone to feel the calmness that you are trying to get them to feel.
  6. Are not focused on the actual issue.

When someone is feeling an emotion that needs to be vented out or communicated out, and they are too loud, at that point, you have not been listening, or that person has not been heard. So automatically their natural instinct is to speak louder. If you want to be a safe place for that person, then know that they will tone it down when they have felt heard. If you are in a private space and they are venting loudly, you should identify that volume as the level of pain and grief that someone experiences.

Telling them to “tone it down”, immediately makes the assumption that they are in a superior position to tell you what to do, that you are not a safe space because you don’t care about the issue and the pain, you care more about the environment that you are in and the people in it. Or you feel that the expression of emotion is something to be embarrassed about or it’s an uncontrollable, unattractive reaction.

but it’s not.

Yes, there is a time and place for everything, but there are so many things you can say other than tone it down. If you want to de-escalate an emotion, then you need to show them that you are listening, that you want to listen. And if it is not the time and place, you let them know that you are so sorry about what is happening, and would love to be there for them and ask if there is a time that you both can talk about it.

Not only does that person feel heard, their emotions de-escalate, they feel safe. No buts, no comments saying that this is an “inappropriate place to speak loudly”. Just purely, you wanting to listen, but wanting to find a place that we can safely talk.

So rather than telling someone to “tone it down”, LISTEN. Listen to what that person has to say, feel the emotion and the pain that came from the volume of their voice. Be that person they can feel safe with. And if there needs to be a better place, let them know you want to be there for them, and talk about when you can meet them in a safe place.

There is nothing wrong with your emotion. There’s nothing wrong with being an expressive person. Pick people wisely.

What does “Look for Joy in the Small Things” Mean?

For the longest time, this statement seemed like a useless tactic. Look for joy in the small things. So you’re telling me to ignore the very issue that is creating a whole shift in perspective around me? Nothing is normal around me, and you expect me to just, look at the flower and think, yeah, because that pretty flower exists, I am probably gonna be okay.

It just seemed pointless to me. I felt like, people who say this, must have not had it really badly if they can just say, look for joy in the small things. But that, in fact, is not the case.

What does it mean to “Look for Joy in the Small Things”?

It means that we need to understand that life has its seasons. When you have storms, you are going to have struggles, and they will come and go, but they will come and go on their own time, not yours.

You will be in the midst of that storm and you will feel that storm.

Photo by – – on Unsplash

Now, I don’t want to say all this to make you lose all hope entirely. I say it to validate what you are going through. It is not easy. If it is not easy to you, it is not easy. That is all that matters. So don’t entirely dismiss that. Don’t dismiss it, don’t compare it, don’t undermine it. It is what it is, and it is what you are experiencing.

It is difficult. Nothing that is new will be easy the first time. Especially when you have to do it alone.

When you ride a bike for the first time, you wont be a speedster. When you draw your first picture, you wont be Picasso, when you play your first instrument, you wont be Mozart at it.

When you deal with a negative experience for the first time, you won’t know the best way to react and deal with it. So it is okay that you are not okay, even if it may seem easy to someone else. This is your moment to figure it out and go through the initial hard moments.

Photo by Melanie Stander on Unsplash

So first, be forgiving on yourself. It isn’t easy and it won’t be easy for a while to deal with these emotionally draining situations.

Second, don’t think about the big picture. Don’t think about how to solve the overall problem. This may cause anxiety over the long run of what may happen in the future. Stop it. Don’t think about that. Just think about the next best choice you can make for now. The next best choice, the next right step you can think of in your current state.

Photo by Jukan Tateisi on Unsplash

Third, this will be a trudging time for you. It may be hard to keep your head up. The end of the tunnel may feel too far. But just find joy in the small things. A laugh with your friends, a beautiful flower that you have never seen before, your dog curling up next to you on a quiet Sunday morning, support of people you love, or maybe a hobby that gives you joy. It can be any of these. But taking time to appreciate the small things that make you happy is like a little less weight on your shoulders.

And I want to make this very clear. I am in no way saying that you need to be grateful for the little things, or you need to be more positive, or you are missing out whats good around you because your so focused on your problems. That would be toxic positivity. Just trying to control your behavior rather than actually getting at the root of the problem and fixing it from the ground up.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

You are allowed to feel sad in the situations you feel sad in. You are allowed to feel like you are struggling, and you are allowed to validate your struggle. But when it gets too heavy, remembering the joy in small things helps you make it to the end of that tunnel. These small “pick me ups” are exactly that. They are ways to pick you back up and give you some small strength to keep going for an unknown amount of time.

Because remember, it is a season. Time will keep going with or without you. People around you will talk with or without you. Life will be unpredictable with or without you. But you can take it step by step, and just like long winding stairs, or a long race, the end of it has to come one way or another, and the season will pass. Your job is to keep those legs moving and do what it takes to keep walking.

You got this.

Check out my podcast “Mentally Okay” or Anchor and Spotify!

How I Furnished My Dream Apartment for $510

As an Asian American woman that had parents come from Korea and started their lives from the ground up as adults, we did not value interior design. We would collect furniture off the street, or get the cheapest things purely for function. As long as we had something to put our clothing in, and a place to sleep and study, it really did not matter what it looked like. That being said, I have grown up believing that decorations were a waste of money, and as long as your furniture works, that is all you need.

Because of that, I have never put value in putting time and effort into your environment.

To give a preface about me, I tend to need obsessions time to time, and my obsessions change. I tried to change this about me, but I have learned that this is just the way I am. So I have decided to manage my obsessions in a way that is not damaging financially, wasteful to the environment, or damaging to myself in any way. Hence, furniture shopping seemed to be the safest obsession. Sounds expensive, right? That is where our creativity comes in.

Decorating your apartment to fit how your mind functions, really helps your environment at home (so get to know yourself). I love color. I used to love the beige and white aesthetic, but it was too dull for me. I needed mental stimulation. Some people love the clean beige, white aesthetic, and that gives them their satisfaction. Let me emphasize that everyone is different. For me, the colors give me happiness and safety for some reason. When I switched up my environment, it went from being a storage place where I just sleep and do things, into a safe place that gives me peace and joy.

I am telling you, there is power in interior decorating.

Furnishing your apartment the way that you like will always be a long term game. Whether you are buying everything new, or getting it already used. Every single piece that you buy is going to be a hunt. Which comes to my first point: to furnish your dream apartment, you will need patience.

1. Patience

Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

No matter what, you need to be patient with all your finds. Do not settle. You may feel like you want the perfect aesthetic place asap, but if you want to save money, this has to be a long term game. It is a search. You paying full price, is you paying for time. So pick your battles.

2. Places to Shop

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Stop going to furniture stores and seeing their sales. If you want the nice things for a discounted price, you need to go to thrift stores, facebook marketplace, Mercari, and yard sales.

Thrift Stores: There are stores that sell furniture at discounted prices. These wont be as modern and new, but you can paint over it with a 6 dollar paint can from home depot.

Facebook Marketplace: You need to go on Facebook Marketplace as if it is a social media platform. There are rich people who have clean and new stuff that just want to get their stuff out of their house ASAP. Those go out fast. You need to make a list of what you need, and watch it religiously. You can find some really decent things for cheap prices, but you need to move fast.

Mercari: Very similar to Facebook Marketplace

Yard Sales: These can be really great or really bad, so you gotta just find your charming treasure pieces from yard sales. It doesn’t hurt to check it out!

3. DIY Projects

If you have a couch that is sold cheap because of a stain, go for it and invest in the furniture stain cleaner.

I have this one. It is definitely a little expensive, but in the long run, is way cheaper than buying a brand new piece of furniture. But make sure the furniture you are getting isn’t so bad that its going to waste a lot of your time cleaning it.

Paint your furniture! You don’t like the color? Get some wall paint and gloss, or get some acrylic paint to spice up your furniture. Many wooden pieces are free, and you can just paint over it and save so much money instead of paying over a hundred dollars for a furniture piece.

4. Cheap Decor

You guys are underestimating Five Below. The amount of solid decor from Five Below that is new, is surprising. I paid $20 dollars for each of my couch pillows (paid a total of $120), and then I found perfectly good pillows from five below (cute and aesthetic) and could have gotten a ten dollar bag of cotton and just shoved some more cotton in it to reach my pillow standards!

My Experience

With all of these tips, I got a

  1. L-Couch for $80
  2. Brand New Ottoman for $30
  3. Modern Blue Dining Chairs for $125
  4. Brand New King Size Mattress for FREE
  5. Wooden Dining Table (That I repainted) for FREE (Paint and supplies is +$15)
  6. Bought a NEW Bed Frame for $100
  7. Dresser for $20
  8. Big Floor Length Mirror for $20 (Acrylic Paint for $1)
  9. NEW Couch Pillows for $120

Which comes to a total of $510. Which is less than the price of the couch in it of itself. It just takes patience and work, but your wallet will thank you in the future, and your mental health will also thank you in the future.

Let me know how your furniture scavenger hunt goes!

Lifestyle

Life Style

Table of Contents

Your lifestyle contributes a lot to your mental health. The way you spend your days, feed yourself, take care of yourself, really affects the way your brain responds to life and your perception.

The slightest thing, such as sleeping too late at night, or forgetting a meal, can really affect your brain and you may not even realize it unless you really take an intentional effort you observe yourself. 

This category called life style helps you maintain your mental health to live the most effective lifestyle that works for you. Not one that has been working for other people. Each individual person is so uniquely different and we need to find out what works for us.

Not everyone is like this, but many of us are, and with some guidance, we can be self aware and help maintain our mental health by also adjusting our life style in order to be the best versions of ourselves.

 

Exercise

Exercise contributes a lot to your mental health. If you are some what at least a little unstable, or you have some kind of mental illness, exercise is a great start for you. It isn’t therapy, but it is a great way to stabilize your emotions in the time being. It is also very good for your physical health.

But when you struggle mentally, exercising is not the easiest task to do. Here, you will be able to read encouragement blogs that help with an exercise routine, or something that may work best for you. 

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Home Life

Home Life is very important. Your home should be your safe space. That means, in your home, you should feel comfortable, at ease, safe, and happy. 

This means that attention would need to be brought to home decor, gadgets that may be helpful for you in the kitchen or around the house, routines that may keep your space clean, and more that will improve your safest environment.

Just having a safe space that makes you happy, will help you feel at ease in dark times. The power of your home environment can change your energy, your perspective, and your happiness. 

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Diet

What you eat is so important for your mental health. Food directly affects how you feel and how your brain will respond. Whether it is an obvious difference or not, just your diet alone can change your mindset.

When you struggle with your mental health, cooking in it of itself can be a struggle. 

In these blogs, I will share my recommendations that work for me, or trends that I discover for easy healthy cooking, or healthy discoveries. In no way am I saying that these would work for everyone, but these are ways to stay healthy even if you struggle to make food at all. 

I will also share other strategies for those who struggle to cook and feed themselves, or stay healthy because of their mental health.

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Social

The social part of your life is so important. I know so many of us have given up by now and feel like they would rather go through life alone, but community is so important. But if you are someone who struggles with social anxiety or depression, where would you even start to be social and find a good community?

These blogs will explore and share different ways to get your fill of people but also cherish your peace and your “me” time. How to navigate through social situations, what places to go, what communities to join, and much more!

There are terrible people out there that will weigh down even more on your mental health, but there also also people who will help lift you up, and these are the people you want to surround yourself with.

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Summary

Aside from understanding yourself, it is very important to make changes in the physical space around you. Change your life mentally and physically to make the biggest change and impact in your life.

Mental Health

Mental Health 

Table of Contents

Mental Health has been a trending topic these days, and Gen Z has definitely been a big factor in recognizing how to take care of yourself. 

Just like Physical Health and how we need to take care of it with what we put in our bodies, our Mental Health is something that we need to take care of and be mindful of what we put in our minds. 

You become and are affected by everything that you let your mind take it. To the last drop, taking care of what you put in your mind is very important for the overall well-being of yourself. The people we surround ourselves affect how we talk to ourselves in our own mind (friends and family). The things we watch on media affect how we view the world, and the attitudes we consume around us create our own.

In this category called Mental Health, it is split into six different sections. Anxiety, Relationships, Depression, Self Acceptance, Emotions, and Growth. This category was created to practice metacognitive thinking, which is thinking about your own thinking. 

To fully understand yourself and your own thoughts and reactions, is to be able to give grace to yourself and maneuver the world in a slightly more manageable way. 

Let’s get a little deeper in each section.

Anxiety is when you are constantly worried about the future. It can take a toll on your every thought and leave your mind constantly running. With Anxiety, you may never live in the moment and enjoy today because you are constantly worrying about the worst case scenario.

In this section, there will be many blogs about the anxiety you may be battling and different ways to help get through it. Different tactics or perspectives to help you get through each day. 

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Depression is something that many of us battle. Or maybe it just seems that way. Depression is when you are stuck in the past. I tend to live in the past to consistently punish myself or try to strengthen myself by re-traumatizing myself. It makes no sense now that I have healed through it, but it made every sense at the time. 

You are constantly living the past, you cannot take in your current life because you cannot get passed whatever has dragged you down in the past. 

This section will guide you through your depression, of how to manage it, what happens after you heal, and everything in between. These are things that people don’t talk about. They only talk about the pretty moments of glory, but the triumph does not feel like triumph most of the time.

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We all go through relationships, and all relationships are so difficult. Navigating what you think is supposed to happen when you have a million opinions surrounding you can be overwhelming. 

Relationships can be either between you and a spouse, significant other, family member, or a friend. 

All of these relationship dynamics are not easy because everyone is so different. Where do I stand in all of this? Who am I in all of these relationships? What are my boundaries, and what pushes my boundaries?

These are some questions that will be explored in this section.

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I cannot express how much I realized how important it is to accept yourself, and what a difficult journey it is. 

Self Acceptance is the biggest part of your journey that you need to focus on in order to grow in the way you want to grow. Without true self acceptance, it is hard to make any real change in yourself.

In this section, there will be many blogs about how to accept yourself, and why it is so important to love and accept who you are first, before you decide who you want to be.

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Growth is my favorite part of mental health. Any small change is a victory because it is one step forward to who you want to be. When you grow, the long lasting change is the ones that take a while, and it’s the ones that you need to battle for and really be challenged for. 

In this section, I write blogs of growth. How to challenge and push you mentally. How to change your perception of reality or introduce you to a different perspective that will help you get back up on your too feet. This section is when you are ready to get up and keep going. 

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Emotions are the most complicated parts of ourselves. Many of us mistake our emotions as definitive reality rather than just a momentary perspective because of an unhealed trigger that we never addressed. 

Reactions and emotions from ourselves and others are so unpredictable, and can be very unstable, but the more you understand and learn how to regulate your own emotions, the more stable you become. This also comes with Self Acceptance.

In this section, there will be blogs to help you identify your emotions, deal with your emotions, or just manage your emotions and understand them. Understanding ourselves helps us understand others even better.

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Summary

There are many parts of mental health that can be addressed, but this blog will mainly focus on getting through the day to day. From Anxiety to Growth, these blogs will encourage you to keep trudging your feet until you are able to sprint again!

Back to Blogging (3 Month Hiatus)

I am back to blogging!

So those of you who may remember me, I am a lifestyle blogger that aspires to help many people, and I wanted to make this blog my whole life. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay the bills, and I was discouraged from the success of this blog because I was focused on surviving, rather than making this blog a creative space that will be able to help others.

After a three month hiatus, I got a job (operations manager – for right now I have just been content creating a website for a startup company, which has been amazing because the only real experience I have in that area is building this blog and website), My mental health has increased and I have learned to manage myself rather than change myself (another blog to come) and I learned a lot about what is important in creating a safe and happy space for your mental health.

That being said, my website is finally up, new and improved with a different look, and I am no longer scared of color! Yes, I know that sounds weird. I am no longer obsessing over niche but sharing overall advice that I have learned over time, and I can do it freely because I am financially supporting myself at the same time.

If you are seeing this post and you’re like, who is this random person, I don’t know when I followed them. I ask that you give me another chance, because I have so much to share, and if you need encouragement and guidance, this blog is made for you. I know my blog is called the feminine pages, but if you are a guy. These can be applicable to you too!

This is Liz Masu, Season 2.

Growth isn’t aesthetic

I have always been told to do my best, be my best, and when you hear everyone’s growth stories, you see people rise out of the ashes to become some beautiful strong swan from the trenches of darkness.

That’s what it looks like.

But you miss all of the in between stuff. All the behind the scene stuff.

I have grown so much and I have had so many people change their minds about me and admire the growth that I pushed myself through in such a short period of time.

To them, it seems inspiring,

To me, it was a dark dark constant messy loud battle that I sometimes concede to, but end up getting back up and trying again.

I’m fighting thoughts in my mind, I’m talking to myself the whole time. You learn to recognize all your failures, insecurities, and weaknesses. Usually people can see them more than you can. And you face each one of them head on.

And you fail. You will. Don’t ask me how I know. You just will. And you will again. But you get back up, screaming in your own head louder to drown out your thoughts.

You keep going even though you don’t believe the change in decision is actually going to do anything.

You keep going and keep making the decision to take every next step no matter how much you think it wouldn’t work. No matter what anyone says about you. Because people don’t understand the steps your taking.

Because people only think life is one step. Before and after. So they don’t see the turmoil that you go through to get to point A to point B.

So they will see it. They will see you make decisions, and make conclusions, and change your mind, and make new conclusions and new hypothesis about life, until you see yourself as the person you always imagined yourself to be.

And even when you get there. Your still gonna fight battles. It’ll look strong to other people because they aren’t doing the work. They aren’t the one making the hard decisions to stand up again.

The strength is to keep going even though your mind feels like it’s hopeless.

When you reach the beautiful point you have always wanted to be. That strong person, it doesn’t mean you are never afraid anymore. Yeah, you may be able to endure a lot. But you are still fighting a difficult fight. Your just able to last through the turmoil and the storm and make it out the other side when it finally passes. It doesn’t mean the storm is any less strong.

Just know, being a beautiful strong person in the end can be great, but not always a free easy feeling you thought it was going to be. Expect that you will always have to get back up again, and last through the end. It’s being able to emotionally self regulate. It is to find hope even though it feels there is none. It’s to recognize that life is just a series of stories. That’s what makes you strong.

See yourself through. Just last through this story. Until you get to see and experience the next one. You don’t have to like this story, but you can use it to define who you really are in times of trouble.

It’s not easy for anyone. No matter how it looks.

What Happens After Depression (When You Heal)

Depression can take a hold of us for so long. It takes over our lives and almost feels impossible to get out of. It becomes everything you know. Especially having dealt with it a long time, you lose a sense of who you are because all you do is cope.

That being said, what does it look like when you are finally healing out of depression? Here are a few things that are normal and something to expect.

You will:

  1. have ups and downs as you heal

Healing is not linear. I will always say that because people glamorize healing. You may feel that you are taking ten steps back when you just took two steps forward. That is okay, that is normal. You are constantly fighting and struggling what you have known this entire time, which is depression, versus the new reality you are trying to live, which is a healed fulfilled life. Something you probably have not known what is it even like.

Striving for such a life, when you have been depressed for so long is difficult because you do not even know how to get there but are doing everything you can do get there. You are fighting with your very own thoughts, but what is important is that you don’t stop fighting and struggling to get there. Your old self is going to fight back and there is no question that that will happen. You just need to fight back and understand that you have more waiting for you when you heal.

2. have flashbacks of your trauma, but your response will be different

You will start to remember the very things that hurt you, that brought you into the deep depression that got you here. But that will happen. The very trauma that your mind blocked out may come back up again. It may come harder but understand that your mind is different. You have come ahead whether it’s big or little steps. Your mind will respond differently.

Notice how you respond to memories. How different you react to them. The more you face them head on when you are ready, the more you heal and grow stronger past those memories, ready to move on.

3. need to find a new personality

When depression is all you know, you spend all your time either trying to heal from your trauma. You may make jokes about it, or just revel in your sadness, because thats all you really know.

When I was healing out of my depression, I realized that I lost my entire personality, but it has been so long that I do not even know what my personality even looks like. I started letting myself be free to laugh, free to discover what hobbies interested me, and what my boundaries are. I had to find out who I was before I was depressed.

4. need to accept that you are not who you were

This is easy to logically see, but hard to accept. You may always feel like the little girl (or boy) that you have been. Trying to figure out the world. People will only know the version of you that they met you as, and it will be hard for them to change their perspective of you, just as you of yourself.

Know that you are not what you were. Life has changed you, and you have changed you. You are stronger than you were and you need to remember that. You have reached a different chapter of yourself. You need to identify with the new version of yourself. Who is that? Who are you now?

You are allowed to have a past. You are allowed to change your future. You are allowed to be different.

5. be okay with a new direction of thoughts

Sometimes, depression can seem familiar. When you live in it for so long. It becomes comforting to be sad. Because that is what you have known for so long. Happiness can be scary and unknown. You don’t know if it will be fleeting.

It is okay that you are happy sometimes and sad others. It is okay to be happy. It does not mean that something will have the opportunity to ruin your happiness, but it means that you have the opportunity to decide whether you are going to be okay or not. You are in charge of whether you want something to destroy you, or whether you will take it as an opportunity to be a stronger version of yourself.

Conclusion

If something scares you, don’t wait to feel ready. Just do it scared. You will never be ready. Or you will wait a long time to start your life. It is perfectly okay going into new situations (that will enhance and fulfill your life) scared. And just keep breathing through your emotions, and go for it.

Starting your journey of healing through depression may be even scarier than being in depression, but it is all worth it.

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