Wednesday, 1 September 2021

I'm going to embrace how 'annoying' I am, you should too | Editor's Letter



From a young child, it was drilled into my head from all angles that I am "annoying". I agree. I am irritating to be around if I'm not your cup of tea, I'm embracing it these days.

Like marmite, we will either get along swimmingly, or you will be left with a bitter taste in your mouth.

After all, I'm a woman who is opinionated, unafraid to speak her mind, and who doesn't mind taking up all the space I want. So, naturally, many would prefer it if I sit quietly in a box (every woman who has ever been called 'bossy' is nodding along).

As a child, and even until I was a teen, I loved who I was and what I was doing. I accepted myself for who I was, and I thought I was pretty cool for loving me enough to be who I wanted.

I never had an issue standing up for myself or speaking up for what I felt was right. I chased my dreams, created whatever I wanted (this was once a beauty blog, after all). I made the most out of every situation, good or bad that I possibly could. I gained a passion for writing about how to gain confidence so my peers could be too. So, at about 16, I wrote a few articles on the old blog of how to train the trait.

But there was one thing I didn't know about confidence and self-love at the time, if you have enough people tearing those walls down and you let them in, they're going to sink the ship.

Hence why I'm sharing this article and personal thoughts with you today - I want to warn your ship. Others will always talk. You will always be annoying to some. However, this does not mean you have to dim your shine or energy - people are easily replaceable, and you deserve better. 

Regardless, I didn't know this until my twenties, so after years of being classed as annoying, among other things, I thought it best to dim my shine.

As I was very often left out of things as a kid and overheard the comments and reasons why, I thought to make friends, it is best to turn it down and become a shyer version of my former self.

In my teens and even up until 2019, I heard what I thought were best friends - of a decade may I add - talk horridly behind my back. It was another massive knockback that drained my confidence. Before that, I trusted them a lot, so it hurt so.

Making friends was not easy at the time, and hearing that my so-called friends didn't like me made me think no one did. Even they find me "annoying" and "weird", I thought over and over again. Overhearing "I never want to invite her" was not new to me. I'd heard it since primary school but never from an inner circle mate. However, the truth is, they were never friends, to begin with. A true friend would never say nor think such a thing. Something I now know with the small circle I'm blessed to have.

Then, without the sob story as I've healed and it's truly in the past, a close adult who should have been safe company instead bullied me my entire childhood. As an adult, I don't blame my younger self for falling into silence and self-doubt. 

At age 17/18, I quite literally shut down my personality. I'd had enough of being rejected, mocked, and taunted just for happily being my authentic 'annoying' self. Over the next few years, the confidence and my 'annoying' character vanished utterly. 

Yes, my optimism and self-love were broken down by others, but also massively by myself. They just influenced me to switch to a negative mind state, whether meaning to or not. 

You see, for as long as I can remember, I have suffered from intense intrusive thoughts. But, I was afraid to tell anyone about them, and as my self-love kept them away and calm, it seemed to solve the problem, and I could laugh the thoughts and voices off. 

Nonetheless, once I lost the fire in me keeping my self-love alight, the flood gates opened, and my brain became crammed with, being honest, shrieking voices of despair. 

I was depressed, and by 22-years-old it was clinical, and the voices had taken over my mind. They were in control. 

Instead of listening to my intuition, I listened to what the intrusive thoughts told me about myself. I believed them, and I lost myself. I harmed myself in more ways than I can remember, and I thought there was no coming back from how much I had self-sabotaged myself.

No more would I feel worthy enough to have or share an opinion. I assumed all secretly despised myself. Instead of owning who I am, I wanted nothing more than to be invisible, so I let the weight pile on. I gained almost 8 stone in the space of five years, from 18 to 23, my prime years. In truth, I kept it on because I wanted people to leave me alone.

I kept my mouth quiet, hung with people I knew deep down didn't like me, but I was too scared to be alone. A shell of who I once was, I hid in its addictive comforts.

As I've written about before, it was when lockdown commenced in March 2020 that I slowly started climbing out of the mental hell I was engulfed in. 

The sudden break from commuting to London 5/6 days a week working all kinds of shifts and not being able to drink away my sorrows or consume substances gave me a chance to turn my life around. (You can read about my identity coaching series here to find out how we climbed out).

After the first hellish month of lockdown alone with my thoughts and a dark turn, all of a sudden, I had what some would call a 'spiritual awakening'. 

Since I have been pretty annoying, I'd say, but I love it. I've never been happier or healthier. And I've never been more myself.

The moral of the story? All along, I should have never let others opinions towards me define who I am, but what else can we do but learn?

It was a very harsh and brutal lesson to face, having your ship sunk. But, nonetheless, you can either get a new one or rebuild it. Set boundaries and respect your self-worth. You owe yourself that. 

Now I have my confidence and 'irritating' personality back; no one is taking it from me again - not even my own mind.

I will carry on being my self and if that annoys people, so be it! 

Life is way too short to do anything but what you want to or to be who you want to be. So dress how you want, do what you want, love who you please, say what you want, cut whoever you want off if it's better for your mind, body and peace.

As long as you're not hurting another soul, it's okay to let your authentic self out to play. 

So, try it, fuck around and be your authentic self - no matter who it pisses off - you will never look back.

I promise.



Written by VavaViolet's Founder and Editor-in-chief, Sophie Blackman


PS: I also hope with all my heart that not many will relate but I know it will be the ones who do that click onto this one. To you, treat yourself kindly and keep your fire inside you toasty. 



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