I am clearly in my Folklore era.

What can I say? I saw The Eras Tour in Arlington and I am not exaggerating when I tell you it helped lift me out of a deep depression. Or it was some weird coincidence that I saw her show at about the same time that my intense therapy and modern pharmaceutical kicked in.

I don’t want to get into too many specifics except to say that I know I am not alone. The more I opened up about what I am feeling, the more I realized that everyone is going through their own absolute shit show behind the scenes.

For me, like many, it started during the pandemic. I am not saying I was fine until Covid happened. I knew I had shit to deal with, but I was able to fake it until I made it, pushing the negative down and burying it under the bustle of modern life. When you have lunches to make, laundry to do, a job to get to, and a family to nurture, you just don’t have the time to stop and think long enough to get pulled under.

“They told me all of my cages were mental
So I got wasted like all my potential
And my words shoot to kill when I’m mad
I have a lot of regrets about that”

Then Covid put our lives under a microscope and any cracks in the foundation of my own mental health were magnified to the point they could not be ignored. As life opened up, I tried to push past what I was going through with a very typical, “I’m fine. It’s fine,” but my inability to fake it til I made it was apparent to anyone around me.

It manifested itself here in promises to blog and post more that never actually happened. In person, it was someone who wore the same clothes for a week and went even longer without showering or even brushing her teeth. I didn’t tell anyone for a very long time because I thought if they knew I hadn’t cared about basic hygiene for such an extended amount of time, then they would think I was gross. I thought it would make them no longer want to be my friend, rather than trust they cared enough about me to see it for what it was – a cry for help. All I felt at the time was extreme exhaustion at even getting out of bed with an overwhelming sense of what’s the point if I did. So, for a long time, I didn’t.

So now, here we are. I do not want to gloss over the work I did or make it sound like I just snapped my fingers and l was the old me. I plan on blogging more about the why, the how, and the who in a future post, but one of the ways I am finally getting through my depression and anxiety is by both refreshing my coping mechanisms and developing new ones.

Now that I am able to, in a nutshell, I acknowledge the problem and then break it down into chunks, rather than succumb to the overwhelming thought of fixing everything all at once. I do not need a full content calendar with multiple shoots in the bag or on the books. I just need to schedule a photoshoot. So I did. I didn’t worry about anything else after that.

“And it’s hard to be at a party when I feel like an open wound.”

Once I had the photos, I slowly started posting photos again. It started 1-2 times a week and now I am back in the 4-5. Am I storying or otherwise promoting these posts like I used to? No. Not at all. I barely care about hashtag strategy, let alone tag products. But I am producing content I am proud of. Not to mention, I am beginning to enjoy the act of producing content again.

This is good enough for me. For now. Mainly because I know that I have the right attitude and the right trajectory, finally. The promoting and #ing will come.

And when you are facing fears, overcoming mental health challenges, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, or otherwise trying to grow or evolve as a person, then good is definitely good enough. It is great, in fact.

So here’s to normalizing talking about mental health. Here’s to stopping and starting and moving forward at your own pace when you are ready, because there is something to be said for progress, no matter how small. And finally, here’s to growth because that is what a lot of this is.

“And I just wanted you to know
That this is me trying
(And maybe I don’t quite know what to say)
I just wanted you to know
That this is me trying
At least I’m trying”