Isn’t being yourself enough?

I spent 12 years acting like a sheep, following the crowd so I didn’t stand out. I’ve come to terms with myself now. I’ve accepted who I am, why I do the things I do and why I act the way I do. I have not yet become the person I want to be, but I have plenty of time to develop (I hope). What I have experienced has moulded me — the “games” people would play time and time again, the mental abuse, the hurt — it’s all done me a weird amount of good despite a bit of mental illness and a downfall in my well-being.

I’ve learned that people can be there to support you, but it can be inconsistent at times. They did what they wanted, cared for themselves (understandably) and their other friends because I wasn’t all that important compared to the other people in their lives.

I learned to look after me. Because I am the most important being in my individual life. Other people were there to “support” me now and again, gave me all the sympathy they thought I needed, but all I really needed was friendship. And even then, are friends committed to staying until the end? A lot of them left when it got too difficult for them. It was easier to let me fall and walk over me instead of helping me up.

This is where it gets difficult to emotionally let down my guard.

I went to counselling at my school because I couldn’t pretend anymore. I didn’t know who to trust or who to distance myself from. I don’t have trust issues just because I was lied to more times than I can count, but because people left; dropped from my life like flies. I didn’t ever feel like I mattered. I do matter, I know, no one has to tell me. But for a long time, there wasn’t anybody who I could run to when I truly needed help. I have thought many times that it genuinely wouldn’t make a difference if I died. And people who I personally know might read this, panic and tell me that they care, but I never felt like anyone did. I still don’t feel like anyone does, and it may take a lot to make me trust what comes out of those people’s mouths because:

Actions speak louder than words.

That’s when I found that literature and music were my escapes. Escapes from reality; escapes from existing. The both of them don’t grow legs and run away when I’m emotionally distraught.

People spoke to me as if I was over reacting. And maybe sometimes I was, but at the time I didn’t feel like that was the case. Things that are easy for one person aren’t necessarily easy for another, including me. As open as I am, I can’t let down my guard too much and really show how damaged I am. Because who really cares? I’m genuinely unsure.

People are going to say things, think things. But I’ve stopped caring. I’m writing this to get things out of my head that I’ve been scared to truly admit out loud.

This isn’t a call for help. This isn’t attention seeking. This is just part of my story so far. I’m reluctantly publishing this in hopes that it could help someone. Who? I don’t know, but someone.

This academic year, I did everything for myself, no one else. And I was so much happier. I know who I want to keep in my life and who was irrelevant and not worth my time. I regret not being myself for so long, not doing things for myself for so long, for bothering so much about other people and what they thought about me for so long.

But that’s just a lesson learned. A lesson that wouldn’t have been learned if I didn’t spend a period of time caring about what those people thought.

The right people will find their way to me, and I will find my way to the right people. Because being myself is enough.

Originally posted on my blog:, July 19th, 2016

Published by Bushra Shahriar