Last resort

I was looking for a quote about force vs. flow, but I can’t find just the right one.

Maybe because what I’m really looking for is a reason to come back. A reason to write this blog post. I’ve been missing, you see. I was convinced, as I sometimes am, that talking about my mental health and what could be considered my personal problems was problematic and inappropriate. Oh, and my favorite – immature. Did anyone say those words? No, not so much. But I heard them nonetheless. So I did what runners always do and I ran, but I didn’t find what I was looking for when I was hiding. Sometimes I find a degree of peace when I’m alone, but often I stretch it out longer than it needs to be. Or maybe it doesn’t need to be at all? Could I be forcing my own isolation? I’ve pushed worse on myself.

As I dip my toe back into the online world, I’m hyper aware of places I fit in and places I’m trying to force. My balance is sometimes off. I push myself into myself places I don’t belong, then run from places I shouldn’t. Following your instincts can be a real b*tch, especially when your eyes are opened to old patterns. Why did I spend so long contorting myself to fit in? Why did I spend so long pretending to be someone else to please everyone and keep the peace? Why did I stay so small?

Because I was afraid to be alone.

But by doing that, I was isolating myself even further. I always considered myself the last picked friend – you know the one. The one who’s a great listener but doesn’t talk. The one who’s always on the sidelines. Who people think of last and only because there’s no one else around. No wonder I was expandable. I had no opinions or personality except what I reflected. I had no color. Why would anyone choose to hang out with me except as a last resort? I didn’t even want to hang out with me. I sold myself over and over again. I didn’t stand up for myself. I made myself as small as I possibly could until I almost disappeared.

Sometimes, in order to face your fears, you have to meet them head on. That’s not what I was doing by running. I wasn’t embracing my fear of being alone, I was numbing it by being in the wrong places with the wrong people in order to reinforce that I didn’t belong anywhere. It’s a b*tch of a cycle, I’ll tell you that. And guess what? Being alone would have been preferable. I’m aware of the irony, though I prefer not to call it irony. I call it growth.

And I’m still running sometimes. It’s a hard habit to break. But it’s broken, I think, by people who remind me that I belong here, on this platform. That my words have meaning. That I have meaning. Maybe that meaning is what I’m running from sometimes? Or maybe it’s just plain fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of being myself. Fear that I’m not plain good enough. I’m not sure how hard and fast you have to run from that, I only know I’m tired of running. Maybe it’s time to turn around and face it.

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