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There’s something about the way emotional pain permeates through every ounce of your body. It weighs heavy in your chest; while stretching out your heartstrings like elastic bands. It tightens your joints and makes your stomach a sea of nauseous waves.

Yet on the outside, I smile and repeatedly recite “No worries” or “I understand” as if I have an insertable voice box from Build-a Bear. The catch is- I’m not a stuffed animal filled to the brim with fluff. I’m a person, stitched together with feelings..and many times I truly do not understand.

I don’t understand why I think “Next time will be different”, when it continues to stay the same. Why do I keep willingly giving so much of myself, despite knowing better? Why do I stay in unhealthy environments that are psychologically unsafe for me? Why do I feel guilt in situations where others have no remorse? Why do I make myself readily available, yet tend to find myself waiting? Why, despite trying so hard, are my efforts not hitting the mark?

I fail to understand so many facets of life lately and the weight of trying to comprehend them is slowly filling my lungs. I wish I could stop feeling so deeply, but it’s so much easier said than done. There are mornings where the idea of starting the day feels like an insurmountable climb. I’m actively fighting daily to reclaim my joy and be the woman I believe I can be. Even with going to therapy each week and overcoming massive obstacles. I still feel like an anchor is tied to my feet. There are days where I’m legitimately drowning in my own private battles, yet still trying to put everyone else’s life vests on before my own. Trying to be the ideal daughter, friend, partner, employee and insert every other title we carry. Watching as others float on the surface, while I slowly submerge into my own plunge.

As much as I try, it never quite feels like enough. Not to mention, already battling with guilt that my struggles don’t compare or aren’t equally worth expressing out loud. The more those days appear, the more guarded I become. Frustration becomes the palette of my thoughts and coils my intuition. The less I want to be open and vulnerable with people in my life. The more I want to shut out the world and build up my walls like I’ve done time and time again. Sitting in silence, but raging within.

However, this is the moment I choose to swim back to the surface.

I will not drown, because I have too much life left to give.

I know the love in my heart and kindness I have to give does have an impact. The levels I want to reach and places I dream of are still accessible. I believe there are still spaces where I can thrive and be supported. My mistakes do not define the scope of my future, but instead are helping me forward.

Maybe this isn’t your typical inspirational PSA, but it’s real. I haven’t written a blog like this in so long, but I also understand I’m probably not alone in these feelings. I don’t have the answers and I’m nowhere near perfect. See my life on social and take it for what you want, but recognize the beauty in your journey too. We’re all doing our best with what we can. So, I’m here to simply remind you it’s okay to feel as if you are caught in-between two worlds. It’s okay to be both excited and terrified of the future. It’s okay to feel like you’re just scraping by. Because you know what? That also means you are alive.

There are people who woke up today and will not live to see tomorrow.

So day by day, If I have breath in my lungs, I will wake up.
I will choose to find and cultivate my own joy in some capacity.
I will fight my way back up to the surface.
This plunge will not defeat me.

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