A year back, I had a gut feel that changing things will result in a predicament but I ignored it. I should have followed my instincts. I could’ve have stayed where I was planted but I took a chance. Entirely unaware, because of my decision to stir things up for my own growth, I found myself walking on eggshells. Alas! the consequences of my life decisions broke my capacity to holistically cope.
In a nutshell, this year has not been great here in the UK. My personal problems took a heavy toll on my mental health. I am plagued with fear, depression and anxiety. I am homesick. I struggled to get out of the bed and go to work. I cannot sleep properly. I binged eat and feel guilty after. I find myself calling my mother at 3 in the morning like a little boy crying for help. I was afraid. Afraid of everything. My mind was constantly working. In fact, writing this right now gives me the shivers inside. A negative monologue builds up in my head… Maybe my words will be interpreted differently and be twisted against me. Maybe people will think that I am seeking attention. Maybe somebody will take a screenshot of these words and use it to cause more trouble. Maybe somebody will hurt me. Maybe I am Insane. I was drowning with toxic thoughts, fear, self-doubt and self-pity… I was in a crisis… and it caused a strain in my marriage.
With everything that happened this year, I blame myself. I am not writing this event in my life because I want to tell people that I am a victim but, instead, this is my attempt to heal and take responsibility with the choices I made in my life. One facebook post I read recently said…
“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.” – Other Perspectives
Today, on my 33rd birthday, I choose to fix myself and be strong. I remember somebody telling me straightforward,“You know what’s wrong with you, you want to please everybody.” I didn’t get how these words relate to my situation that time but, little by little, I clearly understood what she said. I am a victim of my own decisions in life. I have the habit of pleasing others and choosing them over what is best for me. You see, I am a type of person who becomes indecisive and paranoid when I see that others are unhappy with my decisions. I punish myself mentally. I overthink.
In my workplace, a colleague shared a story, a father once told her daughter,”My child, you can always agree and choose to follow people telling you to lay on the ground and let them step on you but you will still hear them complain that the floor is not flat enough.” This made me realise that I keep forcing people to like me. I try so hard to be somebody’s ideal close friend. I try so hard to become an ideal employee. The funny thing is that these ideals are just my own assumptions of what the other party will “accept and like”. I keep trying. It is exhausting.
As a gift to myself, I need to stop pleasing others.
It is easy to write and say I wont please others but the challenge of behaviour change is very tricky. It is like telling an alcoholic to stop drinking or a smoker to refrain from smoking. It is not complicated but it is hard. So, I did the best I can to survive in a crisis. I prayed a lot, I wrote a bunch of stuff, I tried to dance and exercise like I used to and I read a few books. Those things helped but there are moments when my mind haunts me without mercy for a few minutes and torture me with horrible mental situations. These moments are very crippling. Again, this is not me telling everybody that I am a victim. It is a way to cope with the bad decisions I made in my life. Hundreds of people may be suffering far worse than me. This is just a way of killing a monster in my head because I chose to please other people.
The problem is that I looked at the world as a terrifying place because I situated myself in a position that I will be terrified. It made me unhappy. I read the book The Courage To Be Disliked and it introduced me to adlerian psychology.
“Adler believed that no experience in itself is a cause of our success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences but instead we make out them whatever suits our purpose. We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give them is self determining.”- Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
When I read this, I was sure that it is only myself who makes things heavier and difficult. I should not bombard myself with regret because I initiated to eat a slice of cake before others. In this circumstance, it is inevitable that there are people will feel entitled to eat the cake before me. Because I took the first bite, despite knowing that everyone will be given a slice, it was considered as some sort of an interpersonal felony. I guess that is human nature. We see things in an angle, judge it as unfair and everything is screwed. This made me accept that I cannot please everyone because whether I took the first or the last bite, someone will still react sourly. In the book, it was mentioned that “A man of perfect character could come along, and one would have no difficulty in digging up some reason to dislike him.” We are all guilty of judging other people and all of us have been judge as the bad guy.
As previously mentioned, it is my birthday. I want to fix myself.. to heal myself. In order to do that, I decided to celebrate it with the Teleology concept, which means that I have to decide what I should think, feel and how I breathe right now. That should be my goal… my purpose. I need to imbibe the idea that I have the power to change my mindset. If I want to be happy, I can be happy. I should let go of the cause and effect ideology… If I am miserable, it is because I chose to be miserable today not because I was bullied, mocked or belittled before.
To remind myself of this new mindset, I made a short video. I called it “Teleology 33”. It was something I wanted to do last year but I was hesitant of what others might comment or say, so I wasn’t able to do it. Basically, the video is just an edited video clips of me and my environment. Interestingly, it reached more than a thousand views… Probably because it’s my birthday and everybody was commenting on the post. Anyway, I’m proud because I was Brave to post it.
I had to find COURAGE. I had to start somewhere. I posted the video on social media and I gave no care of the people’s reactions.
In order to supplement this courage, I prayed to God and I focused on the Happy Souls in my life. I keep making it a habit to talk to Him because I feel no fear. I know that he is powerful and can change everything that hurts all at once with just a blink of an eye. He keeps me sane and provided me with enough courage to face the demons in my head. I am lucky because He gave me a family who supports me in this difficult time. I am grateful for His blessings.
“In our relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” – Philippians 2:5
To sum up everything, even though it shameful to admit, I am dealing with a mental crisis because I have the habit of giving care to the opinions of the people around me. I please them to the point of compromising my own happiness. Life is too short to make it miserable. Although it is important to be responsible with all the decisions I make, I need to prioritise my responsibility to protect my health… My holistic self. Not all people will be happy with all my decisions and that is the reality. One of my friends said that whether I like it or not, whether I decide to do something great, heroic or awesome, there are individuals who will always see you as the villain of their lives. However, we should not forget, there are also people who are grateful for the good things we do or even by just existing in their lives.
I look at the Life of Jesus Christ. HE DECIDED TO SAVE US. He lived on earth for 30 years, in his time here, he was judged, ridiculed, mocked, insulted, persecuted and crucified. Little did we know, experiencing all of it was His purpose… His Passion.
Maybe God has a plan for me. Maybe He is preparing me for something great but, at this time, I need to focus on healing…. I wish to heal soon. Healing by focusing on my goals, my purpose, my relationship with the people who reciprocate my love and to Jesus Christ – the source of my strength and courage, my guiding light to make better decisions in life, my friend, my Saviour.