Sometimes I feel you don’t even see me
You walk around with your nose to the ground busy on the grind when I’m screaming at you to look up.
But all you want is to avoid me
So I create pain
Small cuts at first
But you seem so use to this
That I’ve had to dig deeper
And when it stings just enough
That’s when you see me
You look up from the fog of your own bullshit just long enough to witness me in your eyes one more time
But then you cough and choke down the tears as if it’s a muscle memory
And I disappear
Last year when covid hit Australia, I was scared.
Very very scared.
I was watching people die in China on these horrible videos and I didn’t know what to make of it.
I was panicking.
Then my dream job came to an end.
Because my company was also panicking.
They needed to show profits.
I get it.
So I lost my job.
And then lockdown hit.
So I was isolated and jobless.
I’m sure you can imagine what kind of thoughts this sensitive, anxious, over thinker had.
It wasn’t good.
I lost my shit.
I became very depressed and anxious.
More than normal.
I was lethargic, moody, challenging random social norms in my head and trying to find my purpose in life.
I was in a shit sandwich.
And you know who pulled me out of it?
My dream father figure reached out to me in one of my darkest times and asked if I wanted to help him in the lumber yard.
He then spoke with me about my childhood trauma I was reliving and told me how one day I would see my shit turn into gold.
I honestly didn’t believe him.
But here I am a year later and I’m actually seeing it.
I’m seeing my self care practices paying off.
I’m seeing my purpose in a whole new light now.
My purpose is to bring awareness to mental ill health through my writing.
And I’m doing that now.
And I’m doing it well.
And I’m proud of myself for the work I’ve put in and the shame I’ve overcome so far.
I’m really proud of myself guys.
Because this brain of mine is hard to live with some days, but it’s worth it.
Because if I save just one life from feeling alone, I know I’ll have fulfilled my purpose.
When I was a kid, my anxiety was managed through control.
I controlled my room, my performance at school, my hair, and eventually my body.
I believed the more structure I had in my life, the less uncertainty I had to face.
And it worked for a while, except if I lost my spelling book for example, I would have a full blown melt down.
I would become out of control with fear and stress that if I didn’t find my book I would fail my spelling test.
Yes, my friends, I was growing up to become a class A perfectionist.
As many of you know, perfection doesn’t exist. But in my dad’s mind, it did.
So I tried to be perfect. Again and again I studied and got good marks, but this didn’t improve my self worth.
Every validation I sought for was matched with “you could do better” or “your sister did better than you in this subject”.
And part of me believes he had good intentions. He wanted us not to settle for sub par. He wanted us to reach our full potential. And maybe that’s true, or maybe he felt so insecure of not reaching his own potential in life that he had to live vicariously through us.
I’m not sure. I’m not a parent.
All I know is this:
The idea of perfection will hold you back in life because
It makes you hyper critical.
It makes you less creative.
It makes you constantly compare yourself to others.
It makes you desperate for affirmation that “you’re enough”.
And it doesn’t exist.
Perfect is not real.
I woke up to the flame
The fire dancing between your fingers
You giggled as I stared
Scared you would burn
But you never did
You and him
Always knew how to play between the lines
How to push boundaries
You both laughed in the face of danger
But I never did
Instead, I was your Zazu.
Scared of getting caught
Scared of getting burned
I toed the line
Until one day the line burred
And I became the flame