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Note To Self

Today I am having a bad day.

Waking up is hard- I do my absolute best to choose the day ahead of me but being completely transparent, sometimes I let the day choose me. I let the depression win, I let the anxiety take over, and I decide to surrender to all the pain that is, mental illness.

Then, the guilt sets in. Which for me, is the worst part- I feel guilty for feeling my mental illness, like it’s not a real illness. I think this guilt stems from being surrounded by a physical illness like cancer for a portion of my life. I have this lie in my head that I tell myself, “You’re not really sick unless the blood test shows you that you are.” It is a lie I’ve convinced myself of and even as I type it I know it sounds ridiculous. But for so long I had convinced myself that Cooper’s cancer was of more importance than my mental health would ever be. That because it was cancer, I could never compete unless I too, had cancer. No illness, especially no mental illness, was of enough importance to admit it was a problem.
I know where this lie stems from, it stems from a long line of feeling like if it wasn’t cancer it wasn’t a big enough problem to address. See, when you’re a sibling of someone with cancer, someone dying of cancer. You make your problems small. You convince yourself that your problems are not as big as cancer so they do not matter.
The problem with this is, you cannot undo the mess you’ve create in your mind- it follows you.
So now, years after cancer has left my life and Cooper has left this world- I still believe my illness is not valid. I still have to convince myself that if I am having an off day I can rest my mind and my heart.

But let me tell you what cancer and mental illness have in common.
They can both kill you.

So I am writing this, a note to myself, that just like cancer feasting at the bodies every healthy cell, my mental illness is doing the same thing.
And if ignored, my mental illness will take hold of every healthy cell, and kill it off just like cancer.
Cancer and mental illness are not far off from each other.
It’s just how you choose to look at it.

Maybe today you too need to be reminded that whatever you’re dealing with is just as important as cancer, or a heart attack, or a paper cut. Do not weigh YOUR struggles against someone else’s. Everyone is hurting, everyone is struggling, whether physical or mental, illness is real.

If I could go back and tell Kassidy something in January of 2013, a few short weeks before Cooper would be diagnosed with cancer, I would tell her two things.
Never feel guilty for what you’re feeling- mental or physical.
Your pain is important.

Even though we can’t go back, we can go forward.
I can tell Kassidy today and Kassidy tomorrow those same words.
I can work through the guilt of feeling like my illness is not enough compared to others.
And maybe you need to work through that guilt too. Whether you’re a cancer sibling or a mom who puts her child’s needs before her own.
We all struggle with this, so lets say it together…

“Never feel guilty for what you’re feeling- mental or physical.
Your pain is important”

To My Gracious & Grateful Community,
I want to remind you-
You are loved.
You are enough.
You are important.
You are needed.
Tomorrow needs you.

xoxo,
Kassidy

Is perfection really freedom?

Sometimes I get anxious to write my blogs. Not because of my anxiety but because of my fear that they will lack perfection.

There is probably something in your life that creates anxious feelings within your body- mostly because you’re craving perfection.

Here’s an unpopular thing to say as a bloggerI don’t have an answer for you about perfection. lol – no but really, blogs were designed to help make your life easier. “This recipe will help you make dinner in under 20 minutes!”, “6-pack abs, in 5 minutes or less!”, “Childbirth… it will be easy if you read this blog!”
My blog however, I hope never gives you the answers. I hope my blog leaves you with deep questions that only you can dive in and answer.

So lets tackle perfection- why do we strive for perfection in a world where perfection is unachievable?
Why do we expect perfection when it’s physically impossible to be perfect?

per·fec·tion/pərˈfekSH(ə)n/

  1. the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.

The definition of perfection is interesting because it is described as being ‘free’ of all defects. But I do not believe that NOT having defects will allow you to be free. If I lived a “perfect” life that had no flaws- a story that didn’t involve my brother dying and running for my life in a shooting- I would not be free, I would be shackled. I would be restrained to a life without lessons.

A life without lessons, is not a free life- it is a broken life.

A life full of lessons is a life well spent- it is a life full of stories that taught you and allowed you to grow.
I would choose growth over perfection every time.

Every time I choose to open my computer and write, I am allowing myself to grow. To grow as a writer, a blogger, and as a person.
And every time I write a blog that is not perfect, I am freed.
Freed of the very thing that causes me to grow.

I am grateful that I am not perfect.
I am grateful that I am incapable of writing a perfect blog post, or a perfect Instagram post, or buying the perfect items for my shop.
I am grateful that every time I choose to be imperfect, I am choosing to allow myself to be free.

What things in your life are you forcing to be perfect, when you could allow yourself to instead- be free?

This Monday, I ask you to free yourself.
It’s going to be a challenge, because if you’re anything like me you have several things you try to be perfect at- but just remember, a perfect life is a life without experience, without joy, without adventure.
A life tethered to perfection, and one I personally, do not want to live.

How will you choose to be free today?

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