This "World Mental Health Day", I Was Happy

I was reading a set of journal entries I wrote around this time last year, and in them I was miserable.

I was in the same place I am right now, in a lot of ways. Feeling stuck, feeling lost, and more than anything feeling this overwhelming sense of pressure on my back constantly. I was being crushed by it, though it had no physical form, and all I wanted to do was to lift it off and I couldn't figure out how.
I did a bunch of self-care today!
I've been sad a lot recently, feeling the same way but also feeling different kinds of sadness. There are just too many problems, you know? In the world, in politics, and in my own head. I'm changing as a person, becoming angrier, less patient, but also more self-assured because I'm learning who I am, and that person is someone that cannot remove her own emotions from the way she regards the world. It's like I'm turning to stone on the outside because the inside of me is just soft and afraid and feels too, too much.

I'm surrounding myself with people that make me happy, as a result. Trying to do things that make me happy, and trying to figure out just what it is that will keep the happiness going.

I'm a fan of hug-boxes, the controversial idea of a "safe-space". I think everyone deserves to have a place they can go to feel safe, to feel welcome, and to feel like themselves. I've kind of created one for myself, but I  pull back from it all the time. Why? Because of what somebody else might think.

So tonight, I will be scrubbing off other people's expectations of me with my homemade sugar scrub with sugar, coconut oil, and lemon and ginger tea. It'll all go down the drain, and I will emerge a smiling, lemony princess.

Why lemon and ginger? Because imposing pressure on myself via other people's ideas is a SICKNESS.
Letting go of other people's expectations of me is what is causing that pressure to lift off my back right now. Today, I was happy. I was happy because I placed value in my own feelings first. I did things I needed to get done, accomplished my own challenges, ticked off my own checklist.

Well, most of it. I was going to finish tidying my room but then I started reading this great book...whatever.

Happy World Mental Health Day today. Take care of yourselves, and as long as you're not hurting yourself or other people...do whatever makes you happy. On today of all days.

Jacqueline Atta-Hayford