Not So Picture Perfect.

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I have a confession to make. I’m not doing well. I’m not okay. The fact I have to say this greatly upsets me because I am prepared to my best right now and I just can’t be. Quite honestly I am shutting down because I refuse to let anyone know that I am not mentally on top of my game right now. You’d think feeling like this would make me want to tell somebody, but it doesn’t. It drives me into complete isolation leaving me to navigate a labyrinth with no way out. I’m suffocating under my own pain and pride.

To appear broken and fallen is something that doesn’t sit well with me, especially in the current phase of my life. Over the last few months I’ve experienced success after success and it has built me up. However, I am now stagnant and sitting tight in a spot that frustrates me because I don’t know how to jump over the next hurdle and keep rising up. This is eating at my core and is getting to the point where it’s testing my limits and ability to maintain any sense of composure. To go about every day life is taxing. A chore that I’d rather avoid and ignore all together.

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I can confidently say I have been successful in my lifetime. I have an immense sense of pride knowing that people look at me and talk about me in a positive light. The amount of empowerment I have felt from people taking an interest in my work and art and have been inspired by things I have said and done cannot be put in words. It’s reinvigorated me in an overwhelming way. It makes me proud and I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to those who have been kind to me and helped grow my confidence over the years. However, this has also impacted me very negatively.

I am very hard on myself, as any one who knows me would tell you, and I thrive when I do well. This fascination with doing well and thriving has made me obsessive about maintaining this image that I have built myself. It brings me such a sense of euphoria when I can truly embody this image of a powerful individualist who lives a liberated and fulfilling life. I can say one things about that: It’s not easy. I feel this inherent pressure by those around me and from myself to keep succeeding and keep outdoing myself exponentially. Something I know that I am capable of, but it becomes too much a lot of the time. My biggest fear is that if I slip up and cannot live up to this image I have created that people’s impression of me will drastically change. I fear I won’t be seen as capable and power. I would fall apart knowing that I am seen as insignificant to someone because of one human mistake.

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Failure, it is my greatest fear in life. Not one day goes by that I worry about what will become of me if everything I built and fought for toppled out from underneath me. The anxiety from this potential hinders me in a way that does not allow me to express any discomfort regarding any aspect of my life that is troubling me. In times like these, I hide behind a facade that possess an ironic amount of optimism and poise. I am so afraid of people seeing me in such a state that I do everything and anything to distract them from reading between the lines. My emotions are powerful. I am paralyzed in fear by them often. This keeps me quiet and unable to open up to others.

Quite often I don’t even know how to express myself in these dark moments of my life. What I do know is that if you were to sit across from me right know and ask me if I’m okay with sincerity I would more than likely break down with no hesitation. Only then to quickly pull myself back together and pretend that the incident never happened. You’ll ask me, “Why I do that?” and without hesitation I will say, “Because I can’t have you see me like that.” To which the conversation will end and I will quickly retreat into hiding. To lose my composure is a failure in my eyes. An inability to stay strong and be resilient is a sign of weakness. I would give anything to just be vulnerable in the comfort of my friends and loved ones, but this ever pressing notion to maintain poise, elegance, and power prevents me from doing so. I want to be the best version of me and that’s all I want anyone to ever see.

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However I can’t be at my best and that’s something I have learned in sobriety, but continue to struggle with. My stubbornness concerning how I project myself in the world inhibits my ability to speak openly about my state of mind So I do it here when I write because I don’t have the pressure to appear a certain way. I can release everything without exerting energy to hold myself together and appear fine. It is here that I am unfiltered, raw, and candid because nothing stops me from doing so. This space is mine to be free with my thoughts and it’s how I will continue to convey the not so pretty and flawed parts of me.

Shattering The Glass:

Tailor James

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