A girl with too many thoughts...

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Things 2016 Has Taught Me

Congratulations to all of us for making it to the end of 2016! Although many people will probably be glad to see the back of this year, I thought now would be a good time to reflect on some important lessons I've learnt and will take forward with me into the coming years. Brace yourselves, this is probably going to be my longest post yet! So, without further ado...

1) Everybody is fighting their own battle.


Where to begin! One thing I've learnt this year is that despite what they choose to reveal, everybody has something going on in their life. Often people like to give out the impression that they've got their shit completely together and have the perfect life, but this is very rarely the case. When I started university I felt like I was the only one dealing with 'issues' and isolated myself because of it, but as soon as I started speaking to people I quickly found out this wasn't the case at all. It seemed like everybody else was having fun 24/7, but who was I to know what they were dealing with behind the scenes. Just because they chose to put on an act most of the time, didn't mean they weren't going through stuff. 

In 2017, I will continue to remind myself of this. For one, I shouldn't be so hard on myself and fear that people will think I'm 'weird' once they find out my insecurities, because it is more than likely they are too busy dealing with their own to even notice. But, at the same time, I will be careful not to judge others too quickly, because I have no idea what they might be battling.

2) Some people are really good at masking their true feelings.


This kind of leads on from my previous point, but something else I've learnt this year is that some people are really, really good at hiding their feelings. That's why it can be so difficult to tell when somebody is struggling. Personally, it's really obvious to others when I'm not quite right. I'm no good at putting on a face and pretending things are okay when they're not, but this isn't the case for everyone. Sometimes you need to look out for subtle signs that something is wrong and put in a lot more effort to get somebody to open up to you about how they are feeling.

3) I'm capable of more than I think.


I have the tendency to put myself down and instantly think 'I can't do that' whenever I'm met with a challenge. However, if 2016 has proved nothing else to me, it has proved that I CAN challenge this self-doubt. I AM capable of things that I always assumed I wasn't. This year I got my A-levels, I moved out and went to university, I met new people and made new friends and I spoke on live national radio, all the while telling myself I wouldn't be able to achieve these things. 

Don't put yourself down so much, you are capable of so much more than you know. 

4) You can often find a positive within all the negative.


Sometimes it seems like everything has turned to shit and there is no way forward. I've been there. A year or two ago I was convinced that life and everything in it was meaningless, and that I would spend the rest of my days living at home too afraid to do anything, with my Mum still caring for me at the age of forty. I mean really I could look at the past few years and say that nothing positive came out of any of that, but I would be wrong. 

If it wasn't for 'the great nervous breakdown of 2015', I would not be sitting here writing this on my blog right now. I would not have started up my Twitter account which has led me to so many inspiring and strong individuals. Reaching that low has made me realise what I really want to do in life, and that is help people who are in a similar place to me and share my experiences with mental health. I never used to know what I wanted to do with my life and now I feel like I have some idea, and that's something I've come to realise in 2016.

5) I'm my own worst enemy.


The only person putting me down is me. I have a lot of support around me, whether that is from my family, my friends, even on Twitter, and yet I continue to put myself down and basically think I'm a piece of crap. People in my life are having to repeatedly encourage me and remind me I can do things and yet I never listen, I constantly feel worthless. A lot of the time I try and convince myself that it's other people that don't believe in me, other people hold these negative opinions of me, but I realise now that it's not. It's me. In 2017 I really want to work on my opinion of myself and stop disliking myself so much, blaming other people for my insecurities isn't going to help me, it's time to face up to my worst enemy (i.e. myself). 
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