Discover more from SAFFRON, by mehrnaz
💌 cycles and silence 💌
struggles in owning the power i have over my own life.
My curly hair routine takes over an hour and a half twice a week. I pre-oil, cleanse, deep condition, condition, leave-in, brush, scrunch, mousse, gel, plop, diffuse, and oil. I style my curls with dedication because I like my look when I do so. These days, I wash, condition, and brush. My hair lays flat, plain and simple. A characteristic part of me is gone. This simplicity is bleeding into other avenues of my self expression, to be honest. I don’t wear any makeup, my face simple and bare. I don’t dedicate much thought to my clothing, just wearing what helps me disappear. I’m passing by, invisible as possible.
My mental health state has been tumultuous recently, with days going in all different directions. I’ve been telling friends it’s “not been a good mental health month” for definitely, undoubtedly, much longer than a month. I’m doing the checklist: therapist, self care, wellness… on the surface, at least. I don’t think I allow these remedies to really sink into me.
I have always known I am an introverted person by definition: a person who feels recharged and most whole after dedicated alone time. This doesn't mean I don't like socializing. I’d even say most people consider me a very social person. I know how to hold a conversation, I know how to talk to a stranger… without sounding like I’m overcompensating, I would say I have a lot of friends! Friends I love and cherish with every ounce of my being. Friends I honor and respect, who change the world and inspire me everyday to show up and be a better person. Friends I can trust, and friends I never want to lose. It's this very fear of disappointment that leads to my unhealthy habits and self destruction, leading me to a dark mental place.
When I need time alone, I see this as a flaw and a defeat to crush. I spread myself too thin socially and professionally because I don't want to disappoint anybody, causing me to disappoint everybody instead. I don't honor the cycles and silence I require to fully radiate my best self in every aspect of my life. Life is just going so fast, and sometimes it feels like I can't keep up. It feels like a weekend without commitments when I need alone time is selfish and a loss. It feels like saying no when I need to take my foot off the gas is unjustified and self-centered. But when I'm always running around from this commitment to that, I keep burning out. I keep shutting down. I keep turning everything off and hiding under my bed sheets. I keep being cruel to myself and those around me, and falling farther away from the person I want to be.
It's stressful to acknowledge the power we have over our own lives. It’s like I don't trust myself, like I need to be pulled around by other people because whatever I want to do (what I need to do) is arbitrary and unreasonable. My intuition is so clear and so strong, yet I ignore it and try to reflect what I’m told: I force myself to be the social butterfly I see others being. I try to do everything all at once rather than focus on one thing at a time. I’m tired, exhausted, and my head just won’t stop spinning. I can’t tell where to go, what to think, and who to be.
We value outgoing personality traits with success and fulfillment, so I associate my cycles and silence as reflections of my mental health: good mental health equals socializing, bad mental health equals solitude. What matters more here, what I’ve been told, or what I really feel? I think my remedy is more consciousness– more conscious decision making and controlling my own time and value. Owning my power and self sufficiency. What am I so scared of? Why can't I honor my natural cycles? Why do I feel shame around taking care of my needs? I know I'm on the journey of change and growth, but sometimes it just feels like I'm so far away from peace.
I can’t be social all the time, and that’s that. That doesn’t mean I hate people, I’m ungrateful, I’m selfish, or I’m lazy. It just means, I can’t be social all the time. It’s really hard to say no. It’s really hard to put yourself first…it’s really hard to show up when you’re really, really down. I want my curly hair back. I want to stand tall and proud. I want to feel like myself again.