"Walking around on eggshells trying not to offend people is a waste of time. It's easy to get caught up in trying to please others that it takes away from being ourselves. You aren't going to be perfect or loved by everyone. It's so much more gratifying and purposeful to just live your life and learn from your mistakes so that you don't have to go through them again."
- Demi Lovato, Staying Strong: 365 Days A Year
This really got to me today, I think because I can relate so strongly.. sort of. I feel like with certain people, I am constantly walking around on eggshells to an extent that pretty much drives me insane. Around these types of people, I get so wrapped up in trying to be exactly what they want, that I completely forget about my own needs. When I stop to think about it, I realize that I've thrown away all these significant parts of myself just to try and please someone who can't be bothered to take the time to even realize it. I tend to lose sight of not only who I am as a person, but who I want to become, in those relationships.
I don't want to be that person who is constantly trying to achieve perfection and be loved by everyone.. but I also fear that that person is exactly who I am at times.
I'm trying to realize that perfection is literally not possible. And not everyone is going to love me or appreciate the person that I am. And more than that, I'm trying to realize that that's okay. Much easier said than done.
As for learning from mistakes, well, to be honest I feel like I've spent years repeating the same mistakes.. over and over and over, to such a point that it's just exhausting to think about how much time and energy I've wasted on the same bad habits. But hey, most bad habits can't be broken easily.
I've made a lot more really huge mistakes than I'm willing to write about tonight.
Honestly, though, I think I'm learning.. or at least possibly starting to. The same cycles that I've been going through for years, I'm now able to recognize. I know now that when I sink into an episode of depression, it isn't going to last forever. I've honestly been trying to think about it in a less negative sense lately.. I mean, I can tell myself that "it always comes back to this and therefore there's no point in continuing my life", or I can tell myself that the fact that my depression comes back does mean that it always goes away.
Episodes of depression (like the one I'm dealing with right now), despite happening over and over, I know that they do always end eventually. They don't last forever. And knowing that these feelings aren't going to last forever, even though that knowledge on its own won't make the depression go away, it does give me a little bit of hope. I think, maybe, that tiny bit of hope is making me feel a little bit stronger this time.
I read another quote tonight.. "Change your thoughts, change your life." I've heard it about a million times before, but I think it's actually starting to make sense to me. I think changing the way I think about my life, and all its ups and downs, really does have the power to change my life. Again, easier said than done. I know.
But.. as I've realized with these episodes of depression. That one little change in my thinking about it, although very small, has the power to give me that little bit of hope that I so badly needed to get me through it. Knowing that my survival rate for these episodes is 100% is a pretty damn good reminder that I'm going to get through this one just like I have all the others. And if there are more in the future, I know I'll survive those too.
This is all a process, and lately I've been reminding myself of that about a million times. There are going to be good days and bad days.. sometimes even good weeks or months and then bad weeks or months. Mental illness or not, those ups and downs are all part of life.
And part of this process of recovery, for me, really does mean a huge learning process.. (finally I might actually get back on topic here). I need to learn that I just can't please everyone. I can't. It's that simple. There are specific people in my life who I have literally driven myself insane trying to please, and I just can't continue doing that if I want to stay on this journey to recovery. I need to focus on living my life, the way I need to live it. I need to focus on keeping myself healthy, and focus on my own needs.. that's the only way I'm going to recover from this roller coaster I've been trapped on for the past decade.
Because yes, I've been to hell. No, I don't want to go back.