"I'm OK but struggling..."

Posted by Alina Liao on

Take a deep breath in…

…And release…

How are you?

I don’t like that question because I can never answer it in one word.
So, don’t feel compelled to have a clean, tight answer.

I’ve been struggling but OK / OK but struggling this past week.

I’ve been going through my to-do list, having positive interactions with people, but struggling with that heaviness inside.

That “one misstep from cracking” depressed.
That “don’t ask me if I’m OK because I’ll break” depressed.
That “let me scroll on Instagram to prove to myself I’m a failure” depressed.
That “it’s easier to go dead inside than cry it out” depressed.

As a new business owner with depression, I’ve been working on my healing while working to grow my business. I’ve come a long ways in my healing. But something about this moment got me back in a funk. It’s not the lowest I’ve ever felt but it’s lower than I’ve felt for several months now.

In my Custom Wellness Journal, my first prompt in my daily cycle of prompts for my self care journaling is, “What am I feeling? What’s driving my feelings?” I’ve been using this space to journal and write out my negative self-talk.

With the end of Q1 and official end of winter, it feels like I’m supposed to have made things pick up by now. By this time, I’ve gotten enough feedback to know that Zenit is a good idea and our custom wellness journals and self care journaling workshops are making a real difference in people’s lives. So, with slower than desired sales, “the problem must be me.” 

It’s a little scary, putting down and seeing the harsh words coming out of me towards me. Words like “I’m a shame to my family.” “I’m a nobody.” “I’m the worst kind of failure — I’m a joke.”

I worry, if I write them out, will it drive me further into the darkness? Will I get stuck?

In my cycle of self care journaling prompts, I have one page for, “What I am I feeling? What’s driving my feelings?” Then a half page for, “What do I want in my heart?” Then a half page for “What’s my wisest self saying?

Eight pages of journaling later, I haven’t gotten to “What’s my wisest self saying?” I’m still writing out the negative self-talk. I don’t feel ready to shift to my wisest self yet. Yet, I already know what my wisest self says — that this is my depression talking, that while I may feel it’s true, it’s not going to serve me… But, I’m not there yet.

I’m still in the cycle of, “I know this is my negative self-talk. But what if my negative self-talk is the truth and my positive self-talk is delusion? Well, that’s my depression talking. Well, it’s how I feel…”

Still, at least seeing “What’s my wisest self saying?” as I scribble past it in my self care journaling is a light reminder that my wisest self is there, waiting for me, and that I need to move there eventually. 

Until them, I’m finding some release in journaling out my raw, honest thoughts and feelings. I figure, well, these thoughts are already in my head, so instead of ignoring them or letting them sit and fester, I might as well get them out on paper, the satisfying scratch of my pen doing the yelling for me.

Self-kindness isn’t just taking bubble baths. It’s also honoring your true thoughts and feelings. It’s giving yourself the release you need, with love and grace, through your self care journaling.

However you are feeling, breathe slow and deep, and allow yourself to be honest with yourself.

If you’re feeling happy, at peace, motivated, inspired, joyful, smile, laugh, say it, shout it, celebrate it, enjoy it. You absolutely deserve to savor it.

If you’re feeling heavy, low, not enough, frustrated, despairing, allow yourself to be honest. Write out what’s in your mind and heart, with deep breaths. 

And remember, gently, without judgment, that your dark, scary thoughts are not the truth. That’s self-kindness too. It’s OK to have them, and when you’re ready, your inner loving, kind, wisest self is there and ready to hug you and love on you. Finally, know that you are not alone. You’re in community. Shoot me a note. We’re in this together. I love you.

depression guided journaling healing journal mental health mental health journaling self care journaling wellness wellness journaling

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