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Who Are You?

You would think that when you have been alive for 28-years, have an established career, a family, home and you are surrounded by friends you have carefully chosen and who chose you back – that the need to ask this question should no longer be there? That happiness and love and all things glittery should be your daily normal.

 

Who are you?

 

I am a mom. I am a blogger. I am a wife. I am a fashion designer. I am a friend.

 

Who are you?

I don’t know.

 

I have been on this earth for 889,021,782 seconds; 14,817,029 minutes; 246,950 hours; 10,289 days; 1,469 weeks; 338 months; 197 dog years and 2.82 decades – yet I still look at the mirror sometimes and I don’t recognize myself. Who are you? What do you want? What is your purpose?

 

Obviously I love my kids and being their mom is my greatest purpose of all, I love my husband, I love our family and I am good at what I do. But when I think of the future I feel sad, I feel heavy, I feel anxious and angry. I have accomplished so much, but at the same time I have accomplished nothing. I used to love my job, but in the past few years the love has fizzled out. The passion for the career I spent my whole life chasing is fading faster than I want to admit to myself. I love what I do, but I don’t want to do it anymore. The reason? I have no idea. The fact that I basically never take or fetch the kids from school, that by this time of the year I am usually burnt out and on the verge of a nervous breakdown, or  that I am too busy or tired to be the mom my kids deserve plays a major part in it. But I feel like I have no choice. I feel trapped. Like many South African households, we need my salary in order to survive. No amount of downscaling is going to change that. I don’t even know if quitting my job is the answer or if it is the fact that I am trying to be too much… I do however know that my job is a massive trigger point for my anxiety. I cannot go a day at the office without taking a mixture of calming medication to see me through.

 

Being it all… a portrayal of perfection that I can’t seem to escape from. Isn’t that what we all do? Hold yourself together. Be everything to everyone. Do it all. Be it all. Make enough money. What a crazy. never-ending whirlwind I have gotten myself into… I am so busy trying to achieve these things that I do not know the woman looking back at me in the mirror. Throughout my life I have suffered from anxiety and depression, bipolar disorder. I have trained myself to hold it all together until it was safe for me to fall apart. I am actually damn good at it. By focusing and working so hard to silence my illness, to stay strong and not make people feel uncomfortable by trying to explain feelings that are unexplainable I have let myself slip away. By wearing a mask of perception I have lost myself. Who am I?

 

This morning I posted the below selfie on Instagram. The comments made me feel good about myself. I look good, I feel terrible. As I write this article I am in the midst of a severe and almost debilitating bout of depression. It makes me a little sad that no one notices the slight droop and glassiness in my eyes, the set of my mouth – because I have started a new round of medication that makes me tired and numb, leaving me with no energy to fight off my demons. That is always the case with these kind of medications. Trial after trial until something sticks, something works. After a few months or even years they stop working and you go through the vicious cycle again. Everyone is wired differently, so nothing works the same – something that makes one person feel deliriously happy might make another feel aggressive, etc.

 

But I am grateful for the beautiful comments, because most of these people don’t even realize that they are my anchors.

 

 

I have been at home for the past few days because my body just could not take it anymore and I got really sick. Sinus infection, glandular infection, heart palpitations and high blood pressure left me in bed for the greater part of it. But I did realize something about myself and as soon as I get over this hurdle I know I am going to need to do something about it.

 

Who am I? I’m not sure, but it is going to be one hell of a journey finding out. I know that with my husband and kids by my side I can do anything. Every day I learn to love myself a little more through my brokenness. I am sorry, I know this post is quite dark and not what you want to read on a Saturday night. While I do not shy away from talking about mental healthy issues, especially not my own – I don’t do it frequently. I am afraid people will feel sorry for me, or worse – be afraid of me or even for me.

 

I am grateful every day for the opportunity to try again. To forgive myself for not being whatever it is I think I’m supposed to be, even it is harder than you might think. I know that I do not have to have it all together all the time, yet I still try. Someone once said that I am on a different journey and it is not my job to judge myself or measure myself by standards based on anything other than what I want for myself and for my children in this life. Isn’t that just the most simple truth you have ever heard?

 

I don’t always know what version of myself I will wake up with in the morning, and it frightens me. Still, every day I try to remind myself I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be me, whoever that might be.

 

So… a reminder to myself that it is just a job, the kids won’t die from having ProNutro for supper, I need to write more, I need to help more, I need to start painting again…. and I need to travel. I need to grab the opportunities that are scary, because they might just save my life.

 

If you are having a hard time, don’t silence yourself. Talk about it… and if you have no one to talk to – talk to me. I get it.

caffeineandfairydust@gmail.com

 

 

 

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15 thoughts on “Who Are You?

  1. Sharna says:

    This may just be my favourite post of yours. I know the demons you speak of. My husband has bipolar disorder and even though it’s not me, we’re a unit so I see it and live it with him. I love that you’ve taken responsibility for your feelings and emotions. I love that you are aware. I love that you took that pic and looked so gorgeous, because I know that in a depressive state that was probably the last thing that you wanted to do. Keep on keeping on Maz. Keep these real and raw posts coming. They’re much more relatable than the posts where we’re trying to pursue perfection.

    • Maz says:

      Thank you Sharna, I really appreciate it. I feel so bad for my husband, but there has not been a single time when he has faltered and not been there for me to help me get back on my feet. It cannot be easy for you guys. Thank you for your comment, and for the encouragement!

  2. Ella says:

    I live with depression and anxiety… Dit is ma soos dit is… Ages ago I stumbled on an article you did where you were so open about mental illness, it gave me the guts to be a little more open about what I was going through. I felt like: if this beautiful successful woman could admit to needing meds, me time and not always having her shit together then maybe it was okay for me to need help to. Without knowing it you have given mental illness a different face. An optimistic warrior princess face and I will always be thankful to you for that

    • Maz says:

      I read your comment the day you posted it, and it made me cry. I just have not been able to reply because I am just starting to come out of “my episode” as I call them. Thank you… really, thank you. It helped me push through the last day or so and it is helping me feel stronger again – and for that I will always be thankful to you for.

  3. Debbie T says:

    It’s such a difficult space to be in. When it feels like no aspect of your life is getting ‘enough’ of you. Not your job. Not your kids. DEFINITELY not your husband. I have felt like this before. And when I feel it coming, I try to stop and lower my expectations, so to speak. Just get through today – if supper is 10 minutes late because I am sitting on the floor playing with my kids (and catching my breath after coming home from work) then so be it. Take each situation or moment at a time and do that until I feel like I have a better handle on things. Because ultimately, you are enough all the time. You are enough Maz. You are just stretched thin. Give yourself some time and let us know how you are. xxx

    • Maz says:

      Thank you so much Debbie. The worst is I know all these things, but depression is manipulative and it is a liar… constantly whispering the opposite in your ear. I am feeling much better today, and I do think the amazing support I received from here has helped a tremendous amount. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your comment. It made an impact on me.

    • Maz says:

      Thank you Chev, it means a lot to me coming from you – as you always write so beautifully and honestly. Thank you… I feel like I am finally coming out of the darkness.

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