I talk alot about the importance of mental health. I talk alot about being confident and being proactive in managing your mental illness. What I don’t talk alot about are my bad days. Well this morning, I was having one. It would be decieving of me to get up here and say that I don’t have them or try to create this illusion that I’m just fine all of the time, but I’m not and I have my difficult days too. Regardless of what mental illness you suffer from, you are going to have your bad days even in your recovery. Let me be the loudest to say, THAT IS OKAY!
I was having a bad night last night. I felt really down on myself and my depression started kicking in. I was hoping that today was going to be a better day but when I woke up I already knew I was feeling the same way. I tried to shake it off, and one of my favorite ways to do that is just honest to God, loving self-care. I got up and brushed my hair, made myself a cup of my favorite hot chocolate, ate breakfast and brushed my teeth. Then I wanted to do my makeup because I’m the type of person who resonates with “look good, feel good”, even though I don’t know the first thing about outer beauty. I still do my makeup basically the same way since 8th grade, embarrassing I know. Even more embarassing is the story of my failed waxing attempt when I was 15 years old. It was my first time waxing my eyebrows and I had NO idea how to do it, aside from reading the boxed instructions. Heat the wax, use the eyebrow stecil, apply the wax, then rip. Well, I seriously messed up the heating instructions, way over heated, and ended up burning the daylight out of a portion of my right eyebrow. To this day, hair will not grow there. You may be wondering what my eyebrow story has to do with mental health, well let me tell you.
The part of my eyebrow that won’t grow back is scarred, much like a lot of us are mentally or emotionally. That’s why the hair won’t grow back in that particular spot. Certain things in our lives have scarred us bad enough to where the part of our soul that lived there, will never fully grow back. Coming to that realization this morning really had me feeling down and kind of defeated, wondering if I would or could be the same person again after the traumas in my life. While I was contemplating this, my thoughts were interrupted by my five year old who came in just as I was about to touch up my eyebrows to make them even. If there’s anything that can completely change your view on things, it’s a five year old with a Claire’s makeup kit and a sense of optimism.
My daughter LOVES to do her makeup. It’s not real makeup, just those children makeup kits you see at Claire’s or the 99 cents store. She loves to do it because she says it makes her feel pretty (gurl, same) so of course I obliged and did her hair and makeup for her. While she was admiring herself in the mirror I went back to handling my eyebrows. She had not seen this kind of makeup done before so she asked why I was doing that. I told her I have to pull the hairs and make my eyebrows thinner otherwise you can see the spot that doesn’t grow back. That’s when she said to me “Can’t you just fill it in?”, and my mind was instantly blown.
Cant you just fill it in? A simple question, and a lot of you that are beauty buffs are probably just like DUH. The thought never occurred to me because, again, 8th grade makeup experience over here remember? This question resonated with so much more than my eyebrow though. Of course I can just fill my eyebrow in (with some practice, yikes) but is it possible, that instead of focusing all of my energy on fixing these parts of my soul, I can just fill them in?
Short answer, YES. I decided to sit down and make a list. A list of all the things that have broken my soul. On the other side of that piece of paper, I wrote down all of the things I could fill into those holes. Let me tell you, that list is HUGE. There is literally so much that fills those voids in my soul. Friends, family, fitness, food, a good book, etc., you get the picture. The list of things to fill the void is so much bigger than the list of the trauma. So I realized that I don’t need to fix my soul completely, I don’t need to fix everything right now to be ok, I don’t need to be the person I was before my traumas, I simply needed to fill in the void.
This is not a cure all, simply a revelation given by a five year old. Sometimes you need a five year old to help you see the bigger picture though. I still need to work on myself every day. I don’t know if these holes will ever go away. I do believe that they get smaller as I heal and grow. In the mean time, I can fill in the ones that need filling while I work on the other ones that need more attention. We need to look inside ourselves and figure out what needs work, and make sure to prioritize healing first. So don’t be afraid of the eyebrow that doesn’t grow back. You may never be able to fully fix it, but you can always fill it in.
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