Dear readers, I haven’t been completely honest with you. You see, I talk a lot about practicing self care and living happy, but truthfully, I haven’t quite been taking my own advice.

They say crying is healthy. It releases stress & gives the body a natural relief of sorrow & frustration. It also lowers your blood pressure, which can be beneficial to your heart. Now I cry a lot more than I care to admit. I cry at least once a day, and that isn’t an exaggeration. I cry mostly out of frustration, but sometimes it’s stress or sadness that get me too.

But crying makes me feel so weak. Both emotionally and physically. It takes so much of my strength. I try my best to be strong for everyone around me. I am the friend that everyone reaches out to for venting purposes, I am literally like a sponge for other people’s emotions. But even a sponge can only take on so much. Then, it’s heavily burdened. And it’s bound to spill over & become a mess. That’s how I feel tonight. I feel like I’m a mess. I’ve spent a lot of time dedicated to helping other people, I rarely stop to take care of myself. I let myself get caught up and avoid my own strung-out emotions until I basically explode.

Tonight, I feel numb, have a huge headache, and literally feel sick to my stomach. I spent hours crying for what felt like absolutely no reason at all. I shook with frustration, unable to even form words.

And that is what my life is like more often than it is not. I put on this mask and try to live my life happy, hoping that one day, maybe I really will be. I have more blessings than I can count. I’ve got a roof over my head, food, a job, an incredible boyfriend, loving family and friends, and yet, I am still miserable.

I had a doctor diagnose me with anxiety several years ago, and I refused to believe it at first. How could someone as outgoing and happy-go-lucky as me have anxiety? And then I realized that I really am not as “okay” as I chalked myself up to be. I tried a lot to self-medicate with alcohol and lots of it. Most of the time, that only made it worse. Nowadays, I refuse to reach for it when I feel this way, and instead, I go and exercise. Today, though, was different. Today, I just laid in my bed and I cried. And that’s okay too. Because I’ve learned that my anxiety is not my weakness, but the tears are the weaknesses leaving me. Taking on my anxiety mostly unmedicated has taken a lot of strength. I wanted to tackle it alone. I didn’t wanna be strung out on pills or become someone I wasn’t. I just wanted to be me, I just wanted to be normal. So I put on this mask and try to be a better me in hopes that it helps someone else to better themselves. But you all must know, I’m human too. I fall down a lot. I am not always happy. And that’s not to say that taking medication makes you worse than me. No, that’s totally fine! If that’s what helps you, by all means, do it! Find what works for you! It’s important to take care of yourself by any means necessary. Just never forget to stay true to you.

Maybe putting on this mask makes me a hypocrite, but this hypocrite is finding more beauty than ever in the breakdowns. I refuse to let this keep me down. As many times as I fall, I want to keep rising higher than before. I will not lose.

*disclaimer/fair warning: I wrote this mid-attack while standing under a hot shower, so this is raw, unedited writing. Please excuse any mistakes or lack of flow. Also, thank goodness for water-resistant phones.