I’ve been mulling over the idea of writing this blog post for quite some time now. For some reason, I think that a lot of us believe that admitting we are overwhelmed and in need of help is a form of weakness. On the other hand, I have always considered myself an expressive person. So in hiding my anxiety, have I in fact been making things worse for myself? I do not claim to be an expert on mental health, so the following post is based upon my personal experiences in the past few months. What I can only hope is that I add to the greater conversation around mental health and what it means to be someone who is suffering with something bigger than just another bad day.
So what exactly does it feel like to experience bouts of anxiety? I don’t want to over-generalize and say that what I’m feeling is the same as what you may be feeling. I am someone who always wants to please people. So when I fall behind on my responsibilities, I feel as though I am letting people down. And when it all gets to be too much, I hit a proverbial brick wall and shut down completely. I ignore my phone, my friends, my family, my husband, my emails, and I try my best to distract myself in any way possible. For a long time I think it was easy to label this habit as being “lazy”. But I think, now that I have had some time digest what I am going through, that it might be something more.
Yes, I share the majority of my life with all of you. And I love every minute of it. I have been able to create a career out of this process, and for that I cannot thank you enough. Because without you, this wouldn’t be possible. That being said, I’ve faced a lot of criticism in the past for the moments and lessons I have shared in an almost brutally honest way over the years. When criticized, I admit that I usually take it quite personally. It’s not to say that this is right or wrong, because we all face life in the way we are best equipped to, but every little moment of this journey is a part of who I am – both personally and professionally. So in the past few months, when I feel as though I have let my personal and professional responsibilities suffer, it has taken a serious toll on me mentally.
But what am I to do? How do I “fix” this? I think the first step is coming to terms with the fact that experiencing anxiety and my issues with mental health are not things to be fixed. There is nothing wrong with me and this is all part of my journey to understand my strengths and my weaknesses. I do think I need more structure in my life and have to try to get past the idea that asking for help and actively seeking it out is not a flaw. The world we live in is more connected with each new day. But I think that sometimes, we all portray one version of ourselves to others and that maybe that isn’t our truest selves. And sometimes, this version of ourselves is actually quite disconnected from the greater truth. I think it’s why so many of us opt to keep these feelings to ourselves. But when it comes down to it, I built Do The Daniel on the realness of every day life. That’s why our newest iteration embraces Real People Doing Real Things™
My connected truth is messy, and that’s okay. I miss my Dad terribly and I am embracing that I need to talk to a professional about the loss I have experienced. I want to work on being a better and more supportive husband, because it’s easy to lash out at those who are closest to me. I want to work towards being able to stop shutting out the world when it all feels too much, because it only makes the process feel more lonely. I want to remind myself that I am one person trying his best and that I will ultimately make mistakes. I want to admit that I need help running a business and that relinquishing power is not a loss of control, it’s a necessity. I need to focus on those who support me as much as I support them, and wish those who are no longer a part of life well. I want to stop letting myself get so upset when people don’t understand what I do and how I’m doing it, because it’s not their story. I want to find ways to cope with the anxiety that ebbs and flows from this process, because it will never go away. It is a part of me, and an important aspect to understand so that it will help me realize how it no longer dominates the way I see the world.
Finding ways to cope with anxiety is incredibly important if we are to live life to its full potential without being held back by negative thoughts and self doubt. One of my friends uses hemp oil to treat her anxiety. There are so many different approaches to treating mental health struggles nowadays, from counselling, to practising mindfulness. If however, you’re in interested in natural approaches to treating your mental health, you can learn about hemp oil here.
There have been moments, and a lot of them as of late, where I have doubted if I took the right path with my life. I think that it is something we all have or will face at one point or another. The sense of letting people down takes a physical, emotional and mental toll on me as a human being. It causes me to doubt my own worth, my success and ultimately who I am. And that’s okay. The important part is to embrace those thoughts and then reaffirm to myself that it is okay to be human. I will make mistakes and from those moments I will grow. Personally, I have set the bar very high for myself, and sometimes I need a reality check to understand that I am not perfect. But I’d much rather be real, as I think that it is a strength to admit vulnerability. Today is a rough day, but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow has to be. And for that I am grateful. There will be more challenges to come, but I know that it is only through them that I can find my true self.
I want to share something that has inspired me lately. The Japanese art of Kintsugi (???, ????, “golden joinery”), also known as Kintsukuroi (???, ??????, “golden repair”), “is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer-dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique”. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. There is something so incredible beautiful about that idea to me. So much so that, with the help of a tattoo artist, I will design a reminder to myself that we are not defined by the cracks we show in life, but rather the beauty they add to us as a whole.
Thank you for taking the time to share in this portion of my journey. It means a lot to me. If you are also struggling with your mental health or need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to seek out a medical professional or to reach out to local resources within your area. You are not alone in this.
For more behind the scenes of this and other amazing brands we are working with around the world, make sure to follow along with the #DoTheDaniel Instagram account. We would love to have you join on our adventures!
Photos: Daniel Reyes
Mobile photos are always taken on my NEW Huawei P10 Plus