Down Time + Breathing Space: A Life Update

Down Time + Breathing Space: A Life Update

It’s been a rough week over here in my little neck of the woods. I’ve hit both my highest highs and my lowest lows, all within the span of a couple days. So I took a break from life and detached, something I’ve become very good at lately. I guess it worked, somewhat. But I’m back to feeling numb again, which is never a good thing, even though feeling numb is what works sometimes.

I guess it’s worth it to let go of all the rigidity in life and just go with the flow. Even if it kicks up my anxiety a couple notches. Breaks are good for the soul, and for the mind.

I Need to Learn to take a Break

Sometimes I feel like if I don’t do something 100%, I’m a failure. Like I’ve given up on something or that I’m just incapable of doing whatever it is. But I’m learning to move past that mindset, even though it’s hard sometimes.

I’m learning to be okay with taking breaks. There’s a big difference between taking breaks and giving up.

It’s healthy to take a break every now and then and recollect yourself. It’s good for you to step back and let yourself breathe. When running this blog became more of a chore than it was a hobby, I panicked and stepped far away from this blog. But now that I’ve had a nice break, I’m back and ready to keep going.

It's okay to give yourself some breathing space. Not everyone can function at 100% all the time. Breaks are necessary and important.

So to give myself some peace of mind and a chance for reflection, here’s a quick recap of all the things I’ve done in my (week long? yikes) break:

Good Things

  • My organization has started it’s campaign for Mind, Body, Sole. It’s a 5k run that benefits mental health awareness and suicide prevention, two things very important to me. And I’ve become the graphic design chair for it! I’m also running it’s instagram (@amsa_mh!! come check us out!! we follow back, because I know that’s important to you millenials lol)
  • I passed two of my exams with high marks!
  • I’m almost done with my sorority initiation requirements, which is wonderful because, as fun at it’s been, I’m exhausted with everything that’s been going on.
  • I’ve never really realized how important family was to me until I left to college. And never to the extent that I do now. I’ve always been an independent soul, and I’ve never really relied on my parents for much of anything, let alone life advice. But the saying is true, I suppose. You don’t really know what you have until it’s gone.

Where else should you spend you break???

  • I went to Disney this past weekend! Definitely expect a spam of photos and probably a gushy post or two about how excited I was to go. And if you’re on my instagram (hint hint @joannemae), definitely expect a picture spam.
  • I finally worked up the courage to call the Counseling and Wellness Center to book an appointment. I’ve been silently struggling with all my mental health problems for a long time because I’ve never felt like it was important enough to worry people about. But it’s important because I’m important, and I need to remember that always.
  • And something silly: I reached my highest number of Instagram likes recently, which is always nice to look at.

Bad Things

  • I failed an exam. Badly. Like, I can’t even describe how awfully I failed it. And it’s completely devastating because I studied hard for this exam. I don’t think I’ve ever put any more effort into something than I did this exam and it just didn’t work out in my favor.
  • Because of that failed exam, I’m going to have to drop organic chemistry. I don’t know what I was thinking in the first place, taking three sciences all at once. I  feel like a failure, which is normal, I suppose.
  • I’ve been reverting back to my old mental health issues. My eating habits are getting disordered again and my anxiety is back in full swing. At least now, I’m taking strides to actually fix myself instead of wallowing around like I used to do. Things are bad, but they’re not as bad as they can be.

Everything Will Be Okay

I find myself having to say that a lot, lately. Sometimes, I wish that everything could be easy so I don’t have to worry about anything. So that I don’t have to stress. But my parents didn’t raise anything less than a trooper. As cheesy and lame as it sounds, it’s our struggles and how we overcome them that define us.

Boy, have I had some struggles. I’m overcoming them, one day at a time. It’s a slow process, but I’m trying my best. And I can’t wait to see how this defines me. Hopefully, it’s in a positive light.

My favorite quote from Doctor Who, back when it was my favorite show ever, was:

The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant.

Doctor WhoDoctor Who 2

When I was in high school, I’d rewatch this episode over and over. It was the Vincent van Gogh one, where he was insecure about his talents. They tried their best to show them that every negative thing he’s experienced isn’t a roadblock– it’s just an obstacle.

Nothing resonated with my little angsty teen soul more.

To this day, watching the clip still leaves that warm feeling in my chest. A feeling that let’s me know that maybe everything will be okay.

I’m glad that I have a bigger pile of good things than bad things during my break. And I’m glad that I can now recognize when good things happen to me. When I was younger, the bad things used to feel too overwhelming and all-encompassing. They were all I could focus on. But I’m a different person now, and I’m happy to say that I’ve had the chance to grow and change as a person.

Even though I’m not really ready for what life has to throw at me, I know I’ll survive it. That’s all anyone can do, after all.

I’m not strong yet. But I’m getting stronger.


Published by Joanne
I'm Joanne, an eighteen year old college student living in rainy, rainy Florida. On this blog, you can find a collection of all my random thoughts and maybe some actually helpful college advice here and there.

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