We Heart Life Guest Post; Building on Happiness.
A few days ago, I submitted a Guest Post for the fabulous blog We Heart Life. It was my first submission and I was so nervous about writing something for such a popular and exciting blog. We Heart Life is a blog that shares exciting, fun, inspiring and enjoyable posts about celebrating life, embracing the everyday and basically, loving your life! To me, I always see my life as pretty okay, but after going through a few emotional rollercoasters in the past few months, I knew I needed to share my experiance. I would have never posted something like this a few months ago, but now that I have let it out in the open, and people have read my personal experiances, I feel open to expressing myself further. For this reason, I’m reposting my Guest Post here on Closet Confessions. You can find the original post here on We Heart Life.
When I think of happiness, it reminds me of warm, Summer days and sitting in the passenger seat of my father’s car as we sped along the dusty roads into rural NSW. It reminds me of the simple embrace a mother can offer after a terrible day and the warmth of a pair of flannelette pyjamas on a cold winter’s night. But happiness is an elusive thing. Everyone wants it, everybody craves it, but it sneaks its way out of your life like a match burning to the end if you don’t take hold and make it part of your life.
To me, happiness is like the last piece of mud cake at the birthday party. Its delicious taste still floats around in your senses, and everyone looks over longingly at it, even for just a quick glance. But no one is game enough to take it and gobble it up. No one wants to look selfish, like a pig, greedy for the last piece that seems too good to be true. Sometimes, when the last piece stares up at you, time stops and you think, ‘maybe I’ve had enough’ or ‘someone else deserves it more than I do’.
I used to always sit in that mind set. Happiness came second to pleasing everyone around me. I was constantly wearing myself thin trying to impress and work miracles for people who expected more. At 20 years old, I’d come home from work feeling deflated, flat and broken. I’d been emotionally beaten down by demands from customers and I’d constantly be working to get people want they wanted. To be honest, I haven’t really been happy for years. I’ve been working to make other people happy and faking it to make other people comfortable. Who hasn’t lied when someone asks how you are? Who actually wants to know how someone is when they ask? A simple question that is sterile from meaning was the downfall of my wall. I got over saying “I’m fine thanks, how about you?” and instead I’ve started being honest, “You know what, I’m not fine. I’m emotionally on edge, thank you very much.”
My name is Caitlin Bradley and I am a variety of stereotypes. First, I call myself a 20-year old student who’s currently studying visual arts teaching and practicing printmaking at the College of Fine Arts. Secondly I’m an educational minded person who also studying a Diploma of Tourism at TAFE part-time at night. Thirdly I’m a retail worker in a family operated business who, at times, is on the edge of breaking when the telephone rights. And finally, I’m a plus-size blogger who just happens to enjoy a spot of window shopping from time to time. Closet Confessions is one of the reasons I’m starting to relax into happiness. Blogging and positive thinking, that is.
Months ago I wouldn’t have dared write this post. I wouldn’t have volunteered myself to writing something that people across the world would read. I wouldn’t be sitting at my computer, feeling comfortable in writing the things that I couldn’t possibly say to my best friends face. There’s just something about blogging that makes me feel like myself; comfortable, relaxed, happy. I blame it all on a close family friend who bravely told me about seeing a counsellor. I was literally shocked when I heard the stories he had shared with someone unknown to them. I had always seen counsellors as the people you went to at school, who had sympathy faces and nodded simply while writing copious notes.
“Maybe you should speak with her.”
I felt as if someone had hit me in the face with a speeding truck. Was the facade of strength and positivity I’d practised to an art form really that transparent? Had I shown a crack, a weak point? Was I exposed? A knee jerk reaction caused me to reject any possibility of needed to speak with someone, let alone a counsellor whose glossy business card said the simple words Counsellor & Hypnotherapist.
I went on for months with that business card sitting on my desk, and every time I sat there, I hid it with a piece of paper, or threw it in my drawers. I was anxious, stressed and losing sleep. Honestly, my hair was falling out in chunks and my skin was freaking out. I would scream and yell at the most simple things, cry at anything and be unresponsive in a room full of people. I’d never been so down, so flat in my life. One night, when I was unable to sleep, I wrote a letter to explain how I felt. It sounds cheesy, but it was the only way I could express myself. I couldn’t form the words, I couldn’t say them out loud, but on paper I was fine.
My parents called an intervention. Letter in hand, my dad called the business cards number and made an appointment. I didn’t sleep for days until the first appointment. I was anxious, couldn’t eat and soon I found myself sitting across from someone with eyes that made me comfortable and relax instantly.
I took three sessions with Linda. She made me cry, remind myself of experiences I’d just brushed off but I always left feeling relieved. The sessions swept fast in time, but I always was left refreshed at the end of the hour, and driving home I didn’t panic in traffic, rather I relaxed, stared simply at the road ahead and took whatever came at me.
Now you’re probably thinking, why would she be telling me all these in depth rubbish? Or, why should I care about her seeing a shrink? But the reason I wanted to share my experience, is that it isn’t healthy to keep everything bottled up. It isn’t a burden on someone to tell them how you feel. You shouldn’t feel guilty for sitting down for an extra 10 minutes after work and contemplating your next move. But most importantly, you shouldn’t hide who you are, because who you really are is a beautiful soul.
Learning to embrace who you are takes time, and you can’t just switch of being someone you pretend to be over night. So me, its going to take some time to stand up and say “you know what, No, I’m not going to do that for you. I need time for myself” and learn to respect myself. But I know that every step I take towards that goal is going to make me a happier and healthier person.
Thankyou to Sassbee and the team at We Heart Life for publishing my guest post and accepting my story to share with your readers. It was a wonderful experiance to share my story with many others and be proud of my life. You can find out mor about We Heart Life by clicking here!
Categories: My Life