Of course i chose "Day 1's" blog topic to be a tricky one.
Let me see.
Almost 16 year old Haley to almost 18 year old Haley.
When i think back to my 15 year old self i immediately think of: energy.
I was excited, hyper, optimistic, and just overall full of life.
It was so easy for me to make people smile. My energy effortlessly filled a room, and i could tell people enjoyed having me around.
At that time in my life..things were not as happy as I had presented them to be. Though i would come to school with a silly story and a smile on my face, my friends had no idea I had been crying the night before.
My parents were going through a divorce. I never wanted to be home. School was my sanctuary, my safe haven. I could isolate myself from the negative energy that filled my household.
At that time, everyone in my family complimented my strength. Everything seemed to be crashing around me, yet i did not feel like i was losing anything. I had faith that everything was happening for a reason and we would all be in a better place. It was not "work" for me. I effortlessly chose to wake up and view each day as a new day and trust that i would be okay.
2 years later:
I am a senior. This is the year I was supposed to be waiting for, right?
It was not how i imagined it to be. It was quite hell. I put myself, and my family through hell. As i was struggling with my mental health i found it very difficult to look back at my 15 year old self and recognize that she was/is a part of me.
This year, things have ripped me to shreds. I have fallen apart, and reached my breaking point numerous times. I didn't trust that everything would be okay, because i didn't believe it anymore. I didn't believe that things would get better for me.
It seems as though this year has changed my mind on my so-called "strength."
Perspective is key, and though i have felt an incredible amount of weakness, this year has changed me in the best ways.
Lying to myself and hiding my feelings caused for things to catch up to me later, much much worse.
So now, i am recognizing every emotion, every feeling. I am viewing each feeling as valid, and i do not let my feelings define who i am no matter how difficult it may be. Instead of hiding, and putting things on the back burner, i am allowing myself to feel whatever feel. I am learning to accept the unpleasant instead of hating myself for it.
This takes progress, and a longer process to heal.
But a more successful one.
So how have I changed in 2 years?
I am now giving full attention to the fact that I am beautifully broken. It takes strength to hide your pain, but that doesn't make you strong. I am being outwardly vulnerable, and leaving my comfort zone.
I may be living in my head, but paying attention to the little things has given me a greater insight and perspective.
It goes to show you:
at 15 i thought i was at the top of the world. With happiness, it can be great to "fake it till you make it" but you shouldn't do it to the point where you are lying to yourself.
I have changed because I am now viewing everything as a learning experience and viewing new perspectives, instead of feeling as though i have to get it right all the time.
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.