I AM MORE than the negative thoughts that wash over my mind like a wave consuming my entirety.
I am more than the struggle to find motivation to get out of bed. The impossible task of stepping my feet onto the bedroom carpet and lifting myself up to start the day.
I am more than the streams of tears that fall down my cheek, drenching the pillows, tracing my jawline, landing heavily onto my collar.
I am more than the doubts that fill every empty space in my thoughts; that stray me away from my true identity, from my true personality, from my own morals and beliefs.
I am more than my heart plunging into my stomach, pounding against my ribs, spinning, beating, pushing, all because I have to go somewhere new.
I am more than a fear of failure; of heading towards the finish line but not being able to move my feet.
I am more than scratching at the surface of my skin to distract from the whirlwind in my head; of damaging what’s there to protect me.
I am more than feeling numb. Of waking up, waiting. Waiting to see how I will respond to the day ahead. Waiting, but feeling nothing. Emptiness. A blank slate. Nothing.
I am more than feeling an emotion so deeply, so low, so intensely that it puts life on hold. To feeling there isn’t an escape from it. To the questioning of whether I’ll laugh until my cheeks hurt ever again.
I am more than clinging to a moment, for the worry that it will soon be over. For the nervous enjoyment of a day, in fear that there won’t be another one for a very long time.
I am more than the worry of my friends and family. Of the reassurance that ‘I will be ok, I’m just struggling’.
I am more than just getting through the day. From waking up, to climbing under the duvet, breathing a sigh of relief that I made it in one piece; awaiting the anticipation if I can do that for another day, another week, month, year, decade.
I am more than that. I am the freckles on my face when the sun has shone down and tinted me with it’s wonder. I am the music that I listen to, when I’m blasting it through the speakers of my car, singing at the top of my lungs, catching the glances of other drivers. I am my name, which makes me a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a friend, a best friend, a teacher, a cousin and a niece. I am the creases in the corners of my mouth when I smile, when something in this world has allowed me to react with joy. I am the strops I throw when something doesn’t quite go the way I intended it to. I am the determination I put forward to finish what I have started. I am the love I pour into other people to create relationships stronger than an anchor diving into the ocean. I am every emotion I have ever felt. I am the experiences that I have had and the experiences yet to come. I am an ambitious actress. I am a future mother and wife and Nanna. I am a product of my environment, of my own personal path. I have been influenced in so many ways that have made me the person I am today, sitting in my boyfriend’s bed, writing this post, on a cloudy Sunday morning. I am all the times I have had too much to drink and become completely lost in a new world, a utopia. I am the girl who can spend an entire day getting ready, looking glamorous; but I am also the girl who will order in a box of 20 nuggets, whilst in my unicorn pyjamas, watching Netflix. I am a result of all I have been taught, by my parents, my teachers, my friends, counsellors, boyfriend and ex-boyfriends, bullies, managers, colleagues and strangers. I am the books that I read, the pieces that I write, the make-up that I wear, the songs that I sing, the clothes that I wear, the sense of humour that I have, the spectrum of emotions that I feel, the colour of my nail polish, the grades I have achieved, the scars that I have, the bruises that I find, the hair that flows to my waist, the positions that I sleep in, the runs that I take, the movies that I watch, the people that I talk to and listen to, the opinions that I have, the perfume that I wear, the jewelry that I put on, the advice that I give, the honesty that I feel, the pieces that I perform, the food that I eat, the drinks that I let slide down my throat, the dreams that I have, the regrets that I have, the dances I do, the tattoos that decorate my skin; I am more than just an abstract concept.
I am all that I have done, and all that I will do. The places I have been and the places I am going to go. I am not defined by my mental illness. I am defined by the detail which lies within the construction of my entire being. I am defined by everything in-between. I am defined by my willingness to carry on. I am defined by so much more than a doctor’s diagnosis.