Recently I felt like the walls were closing in. It wasn’t just the quarantine situation… it was everything. It was a year of loss and heartbreak and feeling lost and a little broken and putting on a brave face because I had to, but also because I thought that was what was expected of me. And I broke. I was having panic attacks I didn’t realize were panic attacks, I was channeling all this frustration into being productive for the sake of being productive, and I just felt out of my body. It all ended up coming out during a therapy session where I cried until my therapist finally said the words I’d been dreading to hear: you need to ask for some help.
I feel like part of this time we’re all collectively going through is learning how to live in an honest, authentic way. When we’re stripped away from all our distractions and have to turn inwards, we’re able to prioritize what really matters. We’ve all been asked to slow down, but that also means we have more time to sit with our feelings and take the time to process them. As a result, epiphanies can occur at a breakneck speed and feel overwhelming at times. But we have to stop and listen. We have to be open to change and we have to expose ourselves a bit. And that is scary as fuck.
Asking for help and being vulnerable is especially terrifying for me. I’ve always felt I needed to be the reliable person in everyone else’s life, and part of being that dependable person is being the one to not ask for things, even if I’m struggling. It’s so ingrained in my personality that admitting something is wrong makes me feel like I don’t have a purpose anymore. And if I don’t have a purpose, then what? But, I did ask for help, and to my surprise, life suddenly became a little easier. And even more shocking, being so honest about my needs lent itself to being honest in other areas of my life. Areas that I’ve closed off for a long time that I never thought would reopen.
It’s amazing when we put ourselves out there in a real and authentic way, how the universe delivers almost immediately. I had this sudden epiphany about myself and what I needed, and something quite magical happened. Not only did I feel more present and connected to the people closest to me, I felt connected to myself in a way that has been buried for a long time. Being vulnerable is scary, but it’s also kind of wonderful because you’re in your purest form. And if you’re lucky, someone might recognize that pure form and give you everything you need and have been looking for. Like I said, magic.
What the world is facing is unsettling and scary because we’re all being forced to be vulnerable and see parts of ourselves that might be tucked away. That’s okay. Because when all the distractions, to-do lists, emphasis on productivity and vanity and walls are broken down, life can become quite simple. I hope this simplicity and authenticity is something we can carry with us when we return to whatever the world looks like on the other side of this pandemic.