Red is my mother's favorite color. A vibrant hue that screams confidence, curiosity, and fearlessness. That's how I've seen it my whole life. But lately, when I think of red, I think pain, confusion, and that flustered feeling that you get when anxiety comes knocking at your door and won't take no for an answer. My last blog post was in February, and when I say that it has taken me four months to build up the courage to write a new one, I mean it. Even the day that I took these pictures, until the very last minute, I was considering just hiding in bed instead. People say they feel blue when they're feeling low, but I associate blue with the ocean and calm. So instead, I feel red. And it's been quite the red four months.
I moved out to San Francisco in the beginning of this year and I won't say that it hasn't been a blessing, because in more ways than one, it has. This was my dream for as long as I can remember. My parents would bring me to the city and the vibes would bring me such a thrill. I knew then that this is where I wanted to be, and where I would thrive most. But my transition wasn't as seamless and life changing as I had hoped. Going to school, working, and battling with life outside of those things has been extremely challenging. I constantly find myself feeling like I'm drowning in a darkness that's so hard for me to explain. I've managed to tire myself out to the point that some days I don't even think about much more than the fact that I'm tired, and that I need rest. I've been working hard on prioritizing my rest when I can, and letting myself feel red when I do. My motivation to do anything has been pretty much nonexistent but I haven't been hard on myself because sometimes, we have to put that desire to always be on our toes away, and come to terms with the reality that not every day or week or month will be a productive one.
I also have a chronic pain condition called Fibromyalgia which I don't really like to showcase - but it is one of the main things that makes me feel red. Helpless, frustrated, and irritable would be a start. I was diagnosed with this condition a year and a half ago, and I still haven't completely figured out how to battle it. Fibromyalgia is a widespread muscle pain that can affect any part of your body, and feels as though your veins are being tugged. Almost like a blood test. Mine is chronic in my arms. Which makes me unable to perform even the simplest tasks on some days. I can't properly drive, or write, or open a jar of peanut butter on bad days. It drains me of my strength to the point that it feels like the only option that sounds feasible is hiding in bed all day. It's also completely non-existent to the human eye - so from the outside, my arms and hands look completely fine. That in its own has been a battle. I don't want it to be visible so that I can get some sort of sympathy or recognition, but here and there, it would be nice to feel that people actually see what I go through on a daily basis. Like I said, I don't like to mention or "act" like things are wrong, and in the process, even my close ones forget that there is more than meets the eye. It makes me feel like there aren't many I can empathize with, and again, I feel red. At the end of the day it's something I have to battle on my own, and I'm trying to find as many coping mechanisms as possible.
Along with fighting this condition, and the stress that inevitably comes with school + work, I feel that my anxiety also plays a huge part in how mentally drained I feel. The smallest things will get to me because I think too much and analyze too much and feel too much. And when you're already feeling red due to a million reasons, it's easy to go over the edge over silly irrelevant things. Anxiety is real, and a curse. I don't think I've figured out a way to get rid of it, because I feel that it'll always be a part of who I am, but I've been trying to reason with myself in my head that half the things that I worry about aren't worth it, and aren't even real. If you suffer from anxiety - here are some things that help me:
- Working out: because it literally does release good endorphins and makes you feel like the weight of the world isn't on your shoulders.
- Eating Healthy: I know that sounds so damn cliche, but I cannot stress enough that the better you treat your body, the better it will treat you. Eating foods that make you feel sluggish and uneasy will ultimately result in you feeling that way mentally too.
- Sitting down, and watching a show that you like: I've never really been a TV person but lately I've been finding solace in it because it distracts me when I'm
particularly anxious or confused.
- Writing your feelings in a diary: This helps because I feel that more than half the times, when I begin to write what I'm feeling, I realize it isn't a big deal in the first place and instantly find clarity.
- Going on an adventure by yourself or with a friend: There's just something really nice about going somewhere new and experiencing something different. Let yourself have that moment to get away from your thoughts.
As much as everyone will tell you that talking to someone is also a cure, lately for me, it hasn't been. No one will get it half the times. And you'll feel like you've drained yourself just by trying to explain it in the first place. No one can help you better than how you can help yourself, so invest in finding things that make you feel better because relying on others is old and never really works any way.
My goal in the beginning of this year was to focus on bettering my health and it still stands. I'm trying to be positive and tell myself that all this red will start to become blue when I feel better physically and can do more of the things that I love without feeling like I'm dragging myself. Hoping to come back with another blog post with some progress to report back. I decided to make this post a little more personal and casual because I felt that sharing what I'm truly feeling and going through was something I had to do. It's almost as if this is my online diary, and it feels good to let it all out. I'm finally on break from school for a little bit so I'm planning on simply trying to feel a little better every day. Sending you good vibes. Thank you for reading.