Support our Nonprofit Magazine!
Before you start reading... There has never been a time when our community and content was needed more. Unlike other sites, we don't publish sponsored content or share affiliate links. We also don’t run ads on our site and don’t have any paywalls in front of our content–-anyone can access all of it for free.
This means we rely on donations from our community (people like YOU!) to keep our site running. We want to be here to support you all through this pandemic and beyond, which is why we are asking you to consider donating whatever you are able.
A single (or monthly) donation of just $5 will make a HUGE difference and will help keep our nonprofit running so we can continue offering peer support for mental health through our content.
Everyone has a place, an identity–and it’s not in the shadow of others.
As humans, it’s natural to want close-knit relationships. Significant others, friends, and even at-work relationships become a daily necessity to feel fully interactive with the world.
When I first started my own healing journey I had a tendency to depend highly upon the judgment of others.
Simple choices would take a good twenty minutes to sort through. I couldn’t allow myself to wear particular colors unless I had someone’s approval. Lying was a daily vitamin I’d swallow; if a group of my friends talked about funny family memories of past camping trips, I’d compensate by storytelling. I’d give them evidence of our similarity.
Fast forward three years, and you’d see me crying on the bathroom floor wondering where things became scrambled. The thing about most people is they can sense artificial behavior. Conforming is such a common behavior, and most of us fall into it. By playing this role, a person’s identity is placed in the corner.
In a noisy world, quiet time is a solution.
It was only when I faced my fear of the silence my voice started getting stronger. Quiet time can be anything from sitting in the bathtub, to playing music while you pay attention to breathing.
Silence was a hurdle for my recovery.
My destructive behaviors made me manic, an insomniac. So one day I sat down, took out a napkin and started writing. There were words–some fragments as well as doodles. Following this stream of consciousness helped me start weeding out what was bothering me.
It wasn’t the solution to everything, but it helped me start recognizing what it was I needed.
In quiet time, I had to think about where I was in the now, instead of in the fantasy world I constructed.
My voice was angry, sad, and confused about why it was mute; it challenged me to speak instead of reciting what had been prepared by well-meaning family, friends, and society.
My big tip is to start small; set a timer for five minutes and do something you enjoy.
Maybe you want to knit a sweater, or meditate, or maybe you want to look up at the ceiling. Whatever it is, those five minutes are your time to be you. In that time, the masks come off and the script can be thrown in the garbage.
Maybe writing or scripting is up your alley, maybe coloring in a coloring book helps let go of the tension.
When you start to dedicate quiet time, bit by bit your voice becomes more pronounced–not held down by all the other voices.
Going forward into relationships (friendships and significant others) will be a smoother transition because you won’t be constantly switching roles.
Sometimes, even now, I have to remind myself to listen to me.
People love you, and care about you, but they can’t be the ones who write your life story. Only you know what it sounds like, and only you can see who you truly are. Let that person show.
The world needs more real people like you. You have important things to say.
Share this post:
Kira, recent graduate of Coastal Carolina University (B.A English), is a self-proclaimed bookworm. In 2012 she realized her anxiety was more than a phase and sought out counseling. Through journaling, she learned the value of art as a coping mechanism. Kira continues filling sketchbooks, journals, and bookshelves with inspirations and stories. Rough days come and go but she remains positive and hopes to share this with others who may be struggling to find themselves.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.