Doing Your Best Isn't Working Until You're On The Verge Of A Mental Breakdown

March 14, 2018

Jolien Nathalie

I recently came across this tweet saying 'doing your best isn't working until you're on the verge of a mental breakdown'. That is something I need to remind myself of every single day. I'm one of those people that tries too hard. To the point where I just go crazy. It's one of the reasons why I've been inconsistent with blogging lately. It's taken me some time to understand my boundaries and to be able to think rationally, to distinguish what I'm feeling from what is reality. I realised how much time and effort I put into actually wanting to feel good. How careful I am, how I force myself to listen to my body. How many rules I set so I can simply take a deep breath and tell myself everything is going to be okay.

If I don't have breakfast in the morning I easily starve myself until noon - so every day I wake up and my boyfriend brings me tea and a yoghurt. I could say that I'm spoiled, but I could also say that my partner simply wants me to be healthy and start my day off right. If I don't eat the yoghurt, that bathes in cinnamon and turmeric, I get issues with my digestion or a metal taste in my mouth. If I don't drink that home made juice with fresh cucumber, ginger, spinach and a splash of vinegar I could find myself with an emergency appointment at my gynaecologist's office. Pelvic pains are a bitch. I can't drink too much coffee or alcohol, because it irritates my bladder, it induces anxiety and the alcohol hangovers are usually fuelled by lots of guilt the morning after - which in turn punches my self esteem in the face just a little bit harder. I need to make sure my lunches are packed with legumes, as they improve my mood tremendously, and when I still have a hard time feeling good - I better take a vitamine C supplement or things are bound to go downhill fast. It gets really bad when I'm sick and from what I can tell, I get sick more often than I would like. A simple cold can get in my way pretty easily. I was never allowed to get sick, you know, when I was a child.

Jolien Nathalie

My mother always proudly told everyone how 'her children were never sick' and yes I only did get the flue for the first time at 19 years old but I remember telling my mom about those stomachaches I had for one whole summer and how I almost always had a sore throat... nothing was ever done about that - so I think I'm catching up on everything I wasn't 'allowed' to have. I'm catching up on sleep, I'm catching up on doing 'nothing' and I'm catching up on choosing for myself, choosing for what I like and what I don't. Choosing used to be done for me, and I used to just go with it, also when I stopped living at home - but today I'm proud. I'm proud of myself because for the first time I finally figured out I actually like French pop and French rap music. I figured out I don't like to hoard stuff, that I like to follow home decor trends, hair trends and that I like having super long nails and pile on tons of makeup. I like to shower every day, spend lots of time on my cellphone swiping through apps and listening to podcasts. Getting to know yourself is hard work, which is why I don't really understand this 'just be yourself' quote type shit. Not being in touch with your core identity doesn't mean you're being fake, life is a journey and finding yourself requires a lot of patience sometimes. It's really not that simple.

It's true that it doesn't have to be that way - that doing your best shouldn't mean you reach the point of a nervous breakdown - but letting it all out also helps and, for me, accepting that this is a part of the journey will only mean that I am improving. That I'm getting better at this thing called life.  It's all a matter of when. One day you will be able to let go and one day you will be able to do all this shit without sobbing.


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