Before I dive into the “D” word, let me rewind. Blogging used to be an outlet for me to express myself to like-minded people. I would come home from school with all my bottled up teenage angst and spew my feelings to the tight-knit online community I had found. We bonded over animated movies and Janelle Monae. We talked about our desires, our downfalls, and societal pressures. It was messy, it was honest, and it was awesome! Now, I feel way more confined to what I’m “supposed” to be writing about and what’s best for “my brand”. I understand that, but I hate it. I am not happy all the time, and being in business for yourself isn’t as fun as it may seem. It’s not all coffee cups and cute mugs and your path isn’t always peppered with wins. You’ll fail, you’ll lose money, you’ll constantly wonder whether you’re doing the right thing or making the right move.
While my teenage angst is gone, it’s now it’s replaced with deep and constant introspection. I’m a thinker. Blame it on the anxiety but I’m always thinking about my actions and the actions of those around me, and how I fit into certain groups. Add that anxiety to the pressure to succeed and earn more and more money and you have a killer recipe for an amazing and glorious mental break. With all this pressure coming from all sides I want to express myself. I want to write. There are times when I’m dying to write about feelings, like loneliness, jealousy and the “D” word. I know no one is stopping me, obviously. But there is this imaginary standard of perfection that I feel I should follow now that I’m seen as a “business blogger/entrepreneur” and it’s killing me. And I’m not the only one feeling this way (please read that article).
Anyway, in the past week my thoughts have mutated from the usual tiny little anxiety monster, to a giant, hulking behemoth soul-sucking creature. I know I’m “supposed” to give you tips on how to make your life better. It’s literally in my bio, that’s what I do, but this past week I’ve been feeling so…..depressed. There I said it! No, this isn’t one of those posts where I give you 10 ways to spice up your life when you’re feeling like you’re stuck in a rut. I can’t tell you what to do when you’re feeling uninspired. I can’t give you 6 ways to shake that quarter-life crisis. Because I’m in it.
I have this overwhelming feeling of emptiness that I try to fill with accomplishments. Everyone always tells me I’m always doing cool things. And I guess I am. I have an online shop, an online publication, I’m solo-traveling to Korea, I have multiple digital marketing clients and I’m planning a super awesome event. When I think of those things I feel good for, let’s say….10 minutes. Then it’s back to the gaping hole. Then I scramble to find the next accomplishment. To take the next step. To elevate to the next level. It’s exhausting. But the alternative is staying up even later than I already do, letting the emptiness wash over me, and drifting away into a sea of apathy- a place where nothing gets done.
Mixing anxiety with depression is not the kind of combo I’m into. I prefer the two-piece with a biscuit at Popeyes. *cough cough, if anyone want to bring me food *cough*. But unfortunately right now, this is what I’ve got. A fear of being judged. Fearing that I’m not good enough, pretty enough (shallow I know, but honest), smart enough, accomplished enough, charming enough. Then the depression sinks in and all my fears are confirmed. While I’m not yet in the sea of apathy, right now I’m clinging to my life vest in an ocean of uncertainty.
Being an entrepreneur, Black annnd Nigerian is like a triple whammy when it comes to the mental health stigma. But being quiet doesn’t help me. So I’ll take whatever comes of sharing my feelings to the interwebs, even if that means getting labeled as “negative”.
What about you? Have you ever wrestled with the “D” word? How do you get over the feeling?