This Is What I Am

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I have a habit of identifying solely with the mental disorders that I have, as well as what has happened to me in the past. I essentially introduce myself as “Hi, I’m Lauren and I have an anxiety disorder, a history with depression, and I am an abuse victim and previous self harmer”. I put those things first, and then include my good things. It should be the other way around.

I do this because those things are all I have known for a very long time. I don’t necessarily know what else I am. I feel like a hazard, like a complicated person so I give people a heads up, but that is not fair to me.

So I’m going to make a list, I don’t know how long, of all the things that I am. Well, at least all of the things I can think of at this point in time because this is something that I struggle with and am currently working on.

  • I am a survivor, first and foremost.
  • I am loyal to my family, my friends, and anyone else who happens to make their way into my life.
  • I am giving to those who need it, and even those who don’t.
  • I am a writer of many sorts, but my natural ability is in lyrics/poems and academic work.
  • I am an artist, whether I believe that all of the time or not.
  • I am intuitive, which likely stems from my love of psychology.
  • I am kind to all living things.
  • I have a heart the size of Jupiter.
  • I have an eye for nature photography.
  • I am smart and I enjoy learning about health and wellness.
  • I love to sing, although I do not feel I am good at it.
  • I am dedicated.
  • I love kids.
  • I love music of all kinds, but I am definitely a rock and roll girl above all.
  • I am passionate and romantic, but not in the stereotypical sense.
  • I like being different, but I hate being the center of attention if I am not in control of it…I’m a little bit of a control freak actually.

So that’s what I have right now.

But as I’m writing this, I was just told by one of my closest friends that I need to stop trying to identify with things and just “be Lauren”. Drop the rest and just be me and people will form their own opinions.

I do like his advice and his take, but that is difficult for me and that is something I have always struggled with. I label myself, I always have, I don’t really know how just say, “Hi, I’m Lauren”. There’s always more and it’s always, “I’m hard to handle, and I have quite a rough past” while also saying, “but I’m totally cool and worth having around”. I’m never just me because I have never done that. I’m human, we identify with things because that makes us who we are, but maybe I am putting too much emphasis on it.

 

Face It

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wallpaper-butterfly-photography-depth-of-fieldTo all of you out there who are in the middle of fighting off relapse…stop. Stop fighting it and start facing it.

I’m not telling you to give in. I’m not telling you to relapse. I’m telling you that sometimes, fighting the thing that’s bullying you, doesn’t solve the problem. Sometimes, you have to stop fighting. Let your addiction bitch at you all it wants. And just stare at it until it shuts the fuck up. Because it will shut. the fuck. up.

I’m not telling you this is how it works for everyone, but this is how I got through my first urge post my last relapse. I stopped trying to push it away from me because that showed I was scared of it. That showed that it still had some form of control over me. So instead of pushing it back, I stood still. I let the negativity surround me. I let my addiction yell to me and fill my head with thoughts that weren’t mine. I faced it.

And I continue to face it every single day, but I haven’t given it back the control. Because that night I learned something.

I learned that if I just keep facing it. Staring at it. Eventually, the thing that’s been controlling me becomes just another object in the distance.