Can anyone see me?

I used to ask myself this when I was in the darkest of places. 

Can anyone see me?

It was prompted by a desire to be known. To mean something to someone. To be present. 

For it to matter if I was gone. 

And it was prompted by a fear that I was meaningless, invisible, worthless. 

I like to think those days are behind me. But every now and then the thoughts creep back in.

Can anyone see me?

The question goes around and around in my mind. 

I used to be known. I used to have friends who knew my heart, my dreams and my fears. There used to be people who could see me and know what questions to ask. I used to have people who would challenge and convict me, who would help me grow into a better person. 

But something changed.

Time. Distance. Life. 

Me. 

I don’t know what it is now. 

I have friends. 

But I feel fractured.

This group gets work me. 

This group gets fun me.

This group gets serious me. 

What group gets all of me?

Who really knows me? 

In high school I was an expert at putting on a face. Of being the person people expected me to be. Of being the person people needed me to be. But it was at the cost of my own identity.

Sometimes I worry that that is happening again. 

There are different versions of me and beneath it all I wonder who am I? 

And I know, I know who I am. But does anyone else? 

I walk into a room and I wonder does anyone notice? 

And more importantly, would anyone notice if I didn’t walk in that room anymore? 

And I wonder if I matter. Or am I just a presence? Here today and gone tomorrow.

Or was I ever really here? 

I feel broken and fractured. I feel like I want something and don’t know how to obtain it. I want to be vulnerable and real with someone. I want to be known. I want to be here. I want to matter. 

I want to be seen. 

And right now, all I can do is ask myself can anyone see me? Does it matter that I am here? If I disappeared tomorrow would anyone notice? 

Can anyone see me?

It’s Okay to not be Okay¬†

I remember watching a commercial, years and years ago, about depression. 

It was probably advertising some kind of drug but the part I remember was the question it asked:

Who does depression hurt? Everyone 

And now I’m realizing how true that is. 

I’ve been depressed before. And I wonder now how much it hurt the people around me. How much it hurt them and I didn’t even realize. 

But I know it did. It hurt them. Perhaps changed them irrevocably. 

Friends who tried to help, and I pushed them away. Or ignored their suggestions. 

I wanted to suffer in silence. To hold on to the pain like a shield. To dwell in my misery because it was easier than searching for a way out. 

I eventually found a way out. I found light in the darkness. I found myself. I found God. 

But there was a lot of misery before that. 

If I could do it all over again, I wish I would have gotten help. I wish I would have seen a counsellor. I wish I didn’t stay alone in darkness. 

At the time it felt like a weakness to admit to being depressed. It felt wrong to tell people what was going on inside of me. It felt like that would define me forever. 

But the truth is, if I had seen someone, I would have gotten through it faster and stronger. I would have had coping mechanism to prevent it from coming back. I would have been able to let it out instead of holding it all inside of me. 

I wish our society didn’t think it was wrong to let it be known. 

And I wish I had been brave. 

I hope the stigma is going away. Although I don’t think it has. I think there is still a fear of coming forward and speaking out. A fear of getting the help that is needed. 

And honestly it is everything that is wrong with our society. 

Here is what I would say to my younger self, and to people now, if I could:

It’s okay. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel pain and darkness and fear.  But you don’t have to suffer alone. Ask for help. From friends, from family. And keep asking for help until you get the help you need. And don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to say the words. Don’t be afraid to let people know. Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. Be vulnerable, be real, be you. Even when it’s hard. Because it’s okay, it’s okay to not be okay. 

Tomorrow


Tomorrow. 

It’s an elusive thing isn’t it?

Tomorrow I will work harder. 

Tomorrow I will finish that thing. 

Tomorrow things will come together. 

Tomorrow I’ll be more motivated. 

Tomorrow I’ll have that conversation. 

Tomorrow I will succeed. 

The problem is there will always be a tomorrow and tomorrow will never come. 

What will you do today?

Indespensible

My boss told me once, on one of my first days in my position, that I was not indespensible. 

Which sounds harsh. But it’s true, even the most valuable employee is not indespensibe. 

People quit, or are let go, or go on leave. And the company or agency goes on. Those individuals are replaced, the work continues, and while those people are missed things go on as if nothing has changed. 

What my boss meant by those words, and what I mean, is that no one is indespensible and so work cannot be everything. He was encouraging me to have a work-life balance, to have a life outside of work.

I’ve known a lot of workaholics. My dad was one – always working, long extra hours, always on the phone or checking emails. Some of my friends are. And for one, it cost our friendship as she was working too much to have time for relationships. Another friend over worked herself to the point where she was breaking down every night. 

I think the truth that everyone needs to know is the bit of wisdom my boss imparted on me: you are not indespensible. 

For me, this means I do my work and I do it well. I work the time I need to work, and occasionally a bit extra. But then I leave work. I go home and I have my life. I leave work behind and focus on myself and what I want. 

Because my life is mine. It will not be replaced. It will be what I put it into it. It is based on my choices and my actions. My life is important. 

And work is an important part of it. But it is just a part. The other parts are just as important. My friends, my family, my God, myself. 

It all matters. Every piece of it. 

But work is replaceable. Jobs can be changed. Work will come and go. 

I only have one life. And I will live it to its fullest. 

The Power of Positive Thinking 

Lately this blog has been a bundle of negativity. 

Everything my fingers type is negative after negative after negative.

They are the thoughts in my head, they need to come out somewhere, and this blog seems to be the place it happens. 

But negativity breeds negativity. And the more I write about the negativity the more I feel bad about myself. The more negative I feel. 

I’ve always been hard on myself. I’ve always been my own worst critic. My own worst enemy. Aren’t we all at times?

But at some point I have to let it go. I have to trust myself. I have to not live in this place where everything is awful. 

It seems stupid. I feel like I am telling myself to think happy thoughts. 

But I guess what I am really telling myself is think positive. Let go of the negative. Fake it till you make it. 

I don’t want to live in a cloud of negativity anymore. I don’t want to feel this way about myself anymore. 

I want to move on. To move up. To grow in confidence. To grow in skill. To feel good about myself. 

So here we go. The power of positive thinking.

I think I can do this. I think I can do okay. 

I think I will be okay. 

Beauty in the Ugly


This was my day. Or maybe my week. Ugly upon ugly upon ugly. 

Mostly self inflicted. Things that maybe don’t appear ugly except to me. 

And where is the beauty? I am struggling to find it any where right now. 

I need someone to point it out to me. Where is beauty? 

Where is the beauty in the monotonous work you do but that never seems to make a difference? Where is the beauty in the to do list that never gets shorter? Where is the beauty in angry people demanding things from you? Where is the beauty in the stressful moments where nothing is going right? Where is the beauty when mistakes are adding up? Where is the beauty in the quiet moments when all you can see are the things that went wrong? Where is the beauty when you hardly sleep at night? 

Where is the beauty?

It’s up to me to find it and right now I can’t. 

All I see is ugly. 

Sleep Fear

I can’t sleep. 

It started a week ago. This inability to fall asleep. This inability to stay asleep. 

I’ve been waking up around 5am. And be done with sleep. No falling back asleep. 

My mind turns on and it doesn’t go away. My thoughts start racing. About today, yesterday, tomorrow. 

I try everything. Counting. Deep breaths. Focusing my thoughts. 

And still it continues. 

I know the cause. 

It is anxiety.

Anxiety about my job. About what I’m doing or not doing. About whether I’m even cut out for this job. 

It’s anxiety about me as a person. Judging myself. Judging my life. And finding myself lacking. 

And it’s anxiety about sleep. I am so anxious about my need to sleep that I don’t sleep. 

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

I go to bed expecting to wake up at 5am. And, shockingly, I wake up at 5am. 

But I need to let go. 

Let go of the anxiety.

Let go of the fear. 

Let go of it all. 

I am in control of my life. 

And sometimes I will be hard on myself. 

And sometimes I will fail at my job.

And sometimes I won’t sleep at night.

But I’ll be okay. 

I’ll learn. I’ll grow. I’ll develop.

There’s no where to go but up. 

And now, good night. 

I hope you all sleep well. And that I do too.