I had lunch with an old friend today and we talked for hours. We caught up on each other’s lives, gossiped a bit about people we went to school with, and talked about our mental health and goals. I found, I was saying things that surprised myself. Things that I know I’ve thought and felt, but when it came from my mouth, it somehow felt knew and different to me. Then after lunch I starting thinking about that. I think it happens way more often than I realize, speaking truth to what has not been real to me before. Don’t get me wrong, I express myself a lot, and I’m comfortable being very self-aware. This was just different. I’ve been isolating myself so much lately, that I’ve forgotten to communicate with me! When words are spoken out loud, they carry so much more meaning and depth. Hearing myself speak opinions and aspirations that I’ve only thought in my mind, that was extremely powerful. I came home feeling motivated to create and push myself. I think it’s not necessary to only dream and plan, but we need people in our lives to listen (without judgement) as we speak our truth and hear it for ourselves. There is progress in having to put together your thoughts coherently enough to be understood by another person, it’s almost a forced progress, but progress nonetheless. This week I am challenging myself to think about my goals, come up with a plan, then speak the words so I can hear myself and claim what will become of me this year. Words have power. Dream big, take chances, and speak your truth to whoever will listen! 💚 #LoveAndLight
Today I woke up not sad. I spent some time with my niece and helped her with some vocabulary. We discussed what synonyms were and I gave her some examples, then I told her words and asked her to think of synonyms for those words on her own. She did a great, fantastic, and excellent job! I however, can’t identify with any synonyms for happy so I have to simply find triumph in feeling “not sad.”! Now I know what you’re thinking, I’m being very glass half empty and I need to change my mindset, don’t focus on the negative, get out and fake it til I make it, pray about it. These are all things people advise me to do, and I’ve advised others to do too. The problem is, from those perspectives, “not sad” is being seen as a failure rather than a success. But my mindset is to grow and be better every day, I am the most glass half full person I’ve ever been, I constantly focus on the positive, my fake smile is on point, and I pray all the time. It doesn’t matter what I do or say, to people who have never felt this way, the comprehension of being “not sad” is difficult for them.
What people fail to realize is that I started at suicidal, crawled my way back to self-loathing, fought myself to get back to depressed, and settled into a feeling of emptiness. So, waking up today and looking in the mirror to say to myself, “I am not sad,” was actually such a victory.
Please celebrate people’s victories with them, even when you don’t understand. It may be the best day they’ve had in a very long time.
I have anxiety. This causes panic attacks and sometimes is the worst enemy of my depression. I try my best not to post to social media too much about the depression side of things for fear of it being “too real” and causing people to be overly worried about me. I stay in bed and scroll through my social accounts trying to find uplifting stories and things that help me see the light in the world. Often times, this does not work. The result is sometimes anger, I find myself being angry about how happy and well my friends lives look. It’s the facade of Facebook. I then get more angry with myself for having ill thoughts towards my friends. I begin to tear myself apart for being human and having these thoughts and emotions. Life is abundant and grand and I’m choosing to stay in bed with resentment, anger, and judgement. What’s wrong with me? Why am I like this? I just need to go back to sleep, I’ll feel better when I wake up. So I sleep. I wake up and try the day again, this time I decide to pretend. I pretend to be happy for my friends who can’t handle my emotional baggage in addition to their own. I pretend I am happy for people on Facebook and make a conscious effort to “like” as much as I can to keep up appearances. I pretend that I don’t feel like I’m drowning with every smile. I don’t want to pretend, I don’t want to be angry, but I don’t want to smile. Maybe I’ll just take a nap . . .
My name is Justin Walker. I am a 32 year old gay man, Zumba Instructor, and am perpetually poor and depressed. I wouldn’t call myself a creative writer, but I do pride myself on my transparency with my weight loss journey and my struggles with depression/anxiety. I lost 100 lbs doing Zumba over the last 6 years. It’s been an amazing journey of self-discovery that I hesitantly discovered through fitness. I am currently at a middle weight, as I like to call it, between what I used to weigh and what I weighed at my thinnest. The uphill battle of weight loss/gain has had a tremendous impact on my mental health, not always in the best way unfortunately. I’m not much of a blogger, I do a lot of videos for my clients and share what’s happening in my life to help spread awareness for mental and physical health. I hope this turns out to be another great avenue for me to pursue. Maybe some people will enjoy reading it along the way as well! 💚