A Sound Soul Dwells Within a Sound Mind and a Sound Body

 

I got this as a tattoo in December (2013) to remind myself that I need to care for myself both mentally and physically.

 

The title of this post (and the line in the image above) are a quote taken from the Soul Eater manga. It’s a central theme, and in the anime, this line is repeated at the beginning of each episode. I was first introduced to the series during my senior year of high school which was – holy crap – 5  years ago.

I had always appreciated the holistic perspective that this sentence presents regarding one’s well-being, but when I was diagnosed with ADHD and first starting medication for it about a year and a half ago, it became a sort of mantra. Since I was (and still am) prescribed Adderall, I had difficulty sleeping and a suppressed appetite due to the side effects. I still experience those even now, but to a lesser extent — and those first few weeks (or was it months?) were especially rough. In this post, where I first revealed my diagnosis and the sleep/appetite troubles I was having, I even stated that “[s]eeing as a healthy diet, good night’s sleep, and regular exercise are essential in maintaining good health for normal people, the same goes for people suffering from a [mental] disorder.” (Also, wtf, “revealed”? This isn’t some magic show, self.)

Well, I don’t exercise any more than I did back then (i.e., not at all), I’m doing fairly well at maintaining a consistent sleep schedule — or at least, I have been for the past few weeks — and while I still don’t eat as much as I should, at least my weight loss has finally plateaued. In terms of taking care of myself, I haven’t really improved much. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve made much headway on being productive, either. At least, not for my own sake. I’ve known this for a while, but I’m much better at caring for myself and being productive when it’s for someone else.

I never would have expected to spend so much time on a trading card game.

Which explains why I went so overboard with making spreadsheets and stuff for a guild I joined at the end of February. Seeing as it’s really the first guild I’ve ever been in, I’m still astonished at how much time and effort I’ve put into it, especially since it’s a phone game. I’ve mentioned once before how I always found it difficult to connect with people the few times I played MMOs, in spite of the anonymity that should theoretically allow me to look and act however I want. Apparently I’m as bad at talking to people online as I am in real life.

But I guess I’m not as bad as I once was. I seem to have gained some self-confidence, since it’s become easier to befriend people than it used to be. I’m more laid-back and easy-going than before — and if you’ve only recently met me and think I’m neither of these, then just imagine how bad I must’ve been in the past. I’m sure that holding an officer position during senior year in a student organization with a flamboyant president who has a flair for trolling — and just having them as one of my closest friends for 4 years — played a large part in that. But I feel that the majority of this progress was a result of coming to terms with having ADHD, and thereby being able to understand myself better from that perspective. Having become more accepting of myself in light of that, I’m more comfortable with the idea of talking about my personal shortcomings and struggles. This is partly to reassure others who are having similar difficulties, as well as to hopefully find a self-improvement partner who will keep me accountable and provide encouragement (and I the same for them). Because trying to bootstrap your way to a better you just doesn’t work when you have a bunch of things you want to improve.

And I think this is why I’ve become surprisingly close to a few of the people in my guild. One thing we all seem to have in common is our low self-esteem. We are all self-deprecating, and it makes me so sad when they talk that way. Having done the same thing many times, both on this blog and IRL, I know how mean we can be to ourselves sometimes. When we talk about each other, we focus on the good qualities the other has, but we are reluctant to let ourselves believe each others’ words, because “they haven’t seen how [insert negative adjective here] I am.”

So my main purpose in writing this post is to tell us all to stop listening to ourselves when we’re in the dumps and have only derogatory marks to say. Because we’re wrong! Everyone has their off days, and we’re not as lowly as we think we are. The things we dislike about ourselves, we can change. It’ll probably be hard as fusk, but it’s possible, and I’ll help in any way I can. And don’t even try to convince yourself that you’re not good at anything, because we’ve all shown that we, at the very least, have the capacity to care a great deal about others. The ability to accept and appreciate each other in spite of each others’ faults. And if your low self-esteem is anything like mine, you feel bad for making others worry about you, but feel glad that they do, and then feel bad that you feel glad about someone worrying about you.

So don’t make me worry about you, and just listen to me when I say that you’re better than you think you are.

Believe in me who believes in you.

And if all that was too tl;dr to read, then I think Pink sums it up perfectly.

  • Pingback: The Ones Who Matter (Part 6) | Peering Through the Watch Glass()

  • http://www.KeptAfterClass.Onigiri.us/ Nightmaren

    Flamboyant president with a flair for trolling reporting in ~~~!

    Yes, you actually have changed a looot from freshman year. As you know, a good deal of my impression of others is dictated by the level of openmindedness they display and their capacity to think before formulating dumb opinions or making dumb decisions. I did not have a high opinion of you freshman year (which I can probably attribute to the influence of a certain someone along with the general inability to reconcile things in your mind).

    Nowadays, you really are a lot more laid back. In MD alone, you got so much better at speaking between your running speech and the presentations you would make during meetings. But more importantly, you are more open to accepting things that your mind would previously (and baselessly) consider “wrong” and I think that it has played a large role in you deciding your own path. I think that change was the most significant in terms of you finally getting counseling, identifying the problem of AHDH, and learning to deal with that in lieu of what you wanted out of life. Some people do not face such things until well past their prime (i.e. mid-life crises) so it is a commendable thing. the potential for such things happening is why I value interacting with people who have a tendency to approach things in ways different from your own; it opens up possibilities.

    I think the above message is even more important for people who spend a great deal of their time online as well. As you know, I have spent a lot of time online for various reasons, but at the same time, I am entirely comfortable in toggling between online and real life. The thing about the Internet is the ease of finding communities that have interests relevant to yours. One can easily find people with similar interests and mindsets; while this is often a good thing, it can also cause downward spirals in communities. Tumblr is a good example, but on a smaller scale, one can even look at certain chatrooms/irc channels. Sometimes, a group of people feeling similarly insecure (a trait that is not rare at all on the internet) can come together and form a pity party. This leads to a toxic mindset that does not help anyone but more importantly, never spurs anyone to seek change.

    I have met people who have broken out of such a pit and have met people who I eventually deemed “too far gone”. I have met people who are so self deprecating and pitiful that I had to distance myself from them because their mindset was so toxic that it was causing me undue stress. These sorts of people don’t even want to help themselves and that makes them a lost cause.

    In regards to what you specifically talked about, what I am saying is that you have improved a lot. If your friends are having difficulty and tend to have self deprecating mindsets, I think that you have the capacity to help them out of their pits. Carefully.

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