Midterm Blues

So, it’s that time of year again.

Halfway through the fall semester, the holidays are coming, and stress is raging.

I have tons of tests and projects due, I’m trying to keep up with the difficulty of even just the general coursework of my classes, I’m about to start rehearsals with the pre-professional dance company that I’m a part of (woo!), it’s time to make course selections for the spring semester, I’m trying to find time to spend with my boyfriend, and oh yeah I’m also trying to breathe.

On top of this all, this past week has been a huge struggle for me emotionally and mentally.

I struggle with anxiety. Lately, my anxiety has been at an all-time high, and I’ve also had a lot of very low moods. I cried at least once (usually twice) every day in the past seven days. I can see where the anxiety is coming from (well, at least some of it. There’s some of it that just pops up, and that’s a whole different story), however it is difficult for me to accept it nonetheless. It is also becoming increasingly difficult for me to accept my low moods. For the longest time, I’ve been brainwashed into believing the idea that everything always needs to/should be okay, crying makes you weak, and you shouldn’t share the sad/low parts of your life. However, I’m learning that this is completely false.

All emotions are valid and important, even the painful ones. Without sadness, we cannot know happiness. Without fear, there’s no excitement. We have to feel the negative in order to feel the positive. My therapist is working on showing me that “good” and “bad” are words that really have no meaning, especially in the realm of emotions. All emotions are valuable, and if you suppress any, you suppress them all.

So, while crying on the train for “no reason” yesterday may have made me feel silly, it’s a completely normal expression of emotions. There’s no reason to apologize for feeling, ever. Never let anyone tell you your emotions and feelings aren’t real or aren’t valid because you are the only one who can know how you feel, and you are the only one who gets to decide that.

I’m still annoyed with myself for how I’ve been feeling lately, however I’m trying to just accept it and move on. Life has all sorts of phases, and we need them all to discover who we are. I may be going through a rough patch, however it will only serve to make me a stronger person.

So, today I challenge you to be okay with how you’re feeling. I’m not asking you to love it, praise it, or rejoice in it. I’m simply asking you to be okay with it. Sometimes starting out small is the best way to get into something because easing into things can feel much more natural than diving in head first with no life vest.

Embrace all of your feelings, because they are all so valid and important.

xoxo Colleen


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