When I decide to take a break from something, I normally don't say anything about it (unless of course it concerns the wellbeing of others). However, I feel like I need to talk about it this time even though it terrifies me to do so. (Like seriously, terrified to the point that I don't know if this list will even survive the night.)
  1. Did you know that while the rest of the world sleeps, I lie awake at night with the demons and darkness, allowing them to tear and gnaw at me?
  2. Did you know that I can't even remember the last time I got a full night's sleep or the last day I had when I didn't end up in tears and/or curled up on the floor of my closet, wishing I didn't exist?
    To be clear, I don't actually want to die. I mean contrary to what my teenage self believed, I actually have a very strong aversion to that, thankyouverymuch. Still, I would be lying if I told you that I didn't find myself wishing that I could curl up into a little ball, growing smaller and smaller until- *poof* I was gone.
  3. No, you probably didn't because a) I've been on this app for less than a month and b) that's not a part of me that I really like to share with others.
  4. It's the same as when I used to not tell people that I was diagnosed at seventeen with anxiety and depression; names finally given to the lingering sadness and loneliness and nervousness that I've carried with me almost as far back as my memories seem to go.
  5. Why?
  6. Because I thought it would make me less in their eyes- less fun and creative; less smart and trustworthy; less of a friend and maybe even somehow less deserving of love.
  7. So crazy, right?
  8. I mean just because I deal with depression and anxiety doesn't mean I'm less. It doesn't mean I have to suffer or feel shame. They don't define me; they're merely two pieces of the thousands and thousands that make up who I am.
  9. I know this and yet that's exactly where I found myself drowning again this past summer.
  10. I was depressed and raw and broken and anxiety-riddled, but instead of talking about it- and I mean *really* talking about it- and dealing with it, I tried to hide it away under a rug of positivity and forced smiles and I'm okay's.
  11. And foolish girl that I sometimes am, I believed my own bs to the point that I thought I had conquered or- at the very least- regained control over it.
  12. However, a weekend of little sleep, many tears, and anxiety attacks that made my rib cage feel like a heart-crushing, lung-suffocating vice grip has forced me to face the ugly truth that I haven't; that I'm still walking around with a brokenness that threatens to devour me completely unless I do something about it.
  13. So I am.
    I'm going to read and paint and take too many pictures of the things I find beautiful. I'm going to wear out my running shoes and work on perfecting my tree pose and force myself to learn to sleep again. I'm going to hang out with the people who love me even when I'm ill or sad or hitting the button to replay "Landslide" for the 14,246th time and I'm going to take my dog to the park. Maybe I'll even take a road trip or screw around and finally finish the second draft of my passion project.
  14. Mostly though, I'm going to talk...and talk...and talk about my feelings and fears and worries and failures and flaws, and I'm going to (hopefully and with help) take those shards of brokenness and rebuild them into the heart of a girl who can love herself for who she is and see her own value and place in this big, wide world.
  15. I think a part of being able to do this though means having to make the difficult decision to take a step back from the social media world.
  16. And when I call it a difficult decision (one of many, I'm afraid), I'm not doing so to be polite or nice. I'm doing it because it actually *is* a difficult decision. Why? Because believe it or not, I've come to really like the people who fill my timeline here.
    I like reading your lists about your favorite songs and the adventures you take. I like seeing your pictures and the projects you're working on. I like reading about your triumphs and your breakthroughs, your introspections and memories, and even your nothing specials because I've grown to like this group and the community that's been built here.
  17. You all are so much smarter and funnier and creative and inspiring than I could ever hope to be, and I'm really going to miss the facts and absurdity and humor and heart y'all bring into my timeline everyday.
  18. But as much as I may not want to, I know that I need to cut down on some of the chatter- especially the kind I can control- in order to more clearly hear what my heart, mind, and soul are trying to tell me.
  19. Ugh.
  20. This is starting to sound like a goodbye, isn't it?
  21. That wasn't what I wanted AT ALL because this isn't goodbye; more like an I'll see you when I feel whole again.
  22. In the meantime though, take care of yourselves, okay?
  23. And be kind, both to yourself and the others around you.
  24. And if you read a book you love or hear a Fleetwood Mac song or see a sunset that takes your breath away, do me a favor and send a good thought out into the world because....well, because.
  25. With love, hope, and a talk later
  26. - K