The other day a friend of mine tagged me in something on facebook. It was a shirt that said “Be you. Relentlessy, Courageously, Authentically, Unapologetically. Be you.” It got me thinking. Two years ago this was exactly how I lived my life. It is how I teach my kids to be. I shout it from the rooftops to every single one of my teenage daughter’s friends. I tell them no matter what happens just be you. If you are too much for some people then they are not your people. Never change yourself to make other people comfortable. And never apologize for who you are. Because you are absolutely perfect and beautiful the way you are.
But depression and anxiety changed me.
I haven’t been confident in my skin in a very long time. My mental health issues have made me smaller. They have made me more scared. They have made me second guess every single thing I do. They have stripped my confidence. I feel overwhelming guilt all the time. I apologize for every single thing I do, sometimes even the things that make me me. I assume that literally every bad thing that happens is my fault. I have not been the real me in ages. I have been something less than. A sort of smaller more blurry reflection of Beth. In fact I had almost forgotten who I was. When my therapist asked me to start making a list of things that make me Beth, Beth things, I had a full blown week long anxiety attack and went into a full-on crazy-spiral.
But lately that spark that makes me Beth has started to return. Instead of acting like everything is ok when it clearly is not I decided to start talking about it and that has helped immensely. Because how can you be authentically you if you are pretending a huge part of you doesn’t even exist? This is who I am. This is what I struggle with and I know I am not the only one. So why hide it? People say it takes courage to talk about the hard things I talk about but really it is just me being unapologetically, authentically me. I am a messed up broken person but that mess and those jagged edges have made me what I am. They have helped refine the best parts of me. They have helped me to understand other people’s struggles, to love them even more than I did before. Without judgement. To realize that we are all struggling with something and doing the best we can in this moment. All of this has helped me to just be there for people. The good in me sees the good in you y’all, even if you can’t right now. And I will try like hell to help you see it, too, because that is what my people have done for me. They have reminded me that the Beth I loved is still in there, I just had to do some searching. And even though she has changed a little she is better than ever. I am ready to be me again. I am ready to stop apologizing and get back to just being that person that I used to love so much. But a little bit new and improved.
So join me. Be you. Relentlessy. Courageously. Authentically. Unapologetically. Be you. Whatever that looks like. Because you are pretty fucking awesome. Just like me.