Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: My Progress.

My progress means the world to me.

I was once in a place were every time I made progress to getting better, I fell backwards and hit the ground harder than I did before. My highs were definitely some of the greatest moments and memories of my life, but my lows were even more dangerous and vicious, and whenever I was at rock bottom, I found myself not being able to get out of them for long periods of time.

Hi, my name is Liz and this past year I’ve made tremendous progress in my mental health and self-discovery, and I will not let anyone mess it up.

The other day, I nearly had an anxiety attack because a part of my past resurfaced into my present and it nearly scared me. It wasn’t anything serious or anything alarming, but it mentally took me back to the place I once was; the very sad, confused and depressed person that nearly wanted to hurt yourself just so that someone would understand the mental health issues I was dealing with. I was in this weird space that I was trying to take care of everything and everyone else before I took care of myself, yet I was self-aware of the destructive behavior I was tolerating from both myself and those around me and my soul simply was growing tired of how I kept treating myself.

At the end of the day, I needed to learn how to be alone, learn who I was after being tied to someone else for a decade, and discover the things that bring me unconditional happiness.

When I discovered those things like having coworkers who were now my friends or communicating with new people I found interesting, I realized just how lonely I was before this chapter of my life and how much of my happiness strives from being social. I was able to build friendships that allowed me to be completely myself; I was able to share my demiromanticism with my coworkers and moots, I was able to show parts of my humor to them without feeling judged; too long didn’t read, I just felt like people are actually liking me for me, even when my anxiety sometimes tells me they don’t.

So as I was battling the past resurfacing into my present, I instantly started to cry because it was overwhelming. I was angry, I was upset, I was heartbroken, but I also felt so proud of my progress. Talking to my sibling and mother about my progress during this time, all I kept on blurring out in tears was “I am so much more happy now like I have friends now and I have people I can turn to for support like I’m doing so much better.”

And I think anyone who’s still in my life and that was around for the past version of myself can say they see the progress I’ve made.

I have three different Instagram accounts for the various sides of my creativity; I have my personal, my collection account where I make fancy edits of my collection, and a trading account where I sell and trade Kpop photocards in hopes I am able to finish my collection. In this community that I’ve been a part of for a little over a month, I’ve never felt more accepted and felt like I fit into a community as much as I do there. At first, I was anxious of allowing myself to communicate with these people just because I felt like no one would get me or understand me or whatever, but now the moots I have in that community are some of the sweetest and most endearing people I’ve ever got the pleasure in meeting online.

On the day I had this major anxiety attack, my moots in the trading community kept reaching out to me for support with their endearing words, and tons of Seungsik photos to cheer me up. After even talking to one of them about what was happening, they said that in the couple of times we’ve spoken, they learned how much of an angel I was and how I was the nicest person and that I deserved to be happy. I cried my eyes out because of the overwhelming love this community has brought me, and like even me being able to run to my friend, Anthony, and just vent everything out and just to have him listen without judgement was just incredibly refreshing.

This is the progress I don’t want to jeopardize. This is the version of myself I dreamed of being when I was younger. This is the version of me that I always wanted to perfect, even if this version of me is far from being perfect. This is the progress towards my depression and SAD that I hoped for when I started to seek therapy back in May 2018. This is the journey I’ve wanted to be on, but was too afraid to ever go on. This is my progress, and I am doing what’s right for me in this moment and in this moment it’s for me focusing on my present and my future.

Of course, I’ll always have set backs and become nostalgic and sadness will get to me. I will have moments when I’ll still cry and get overwhelmed and parts of my past will resurfaced. It’s happening as we speak since the summer has always been the roughest time for me and it has been for the last three summers. I still get very triggered like it was just yesterday, but that’s just a part of the healing process; that’s just part of the trauma I internalized for decades of my life.

But even then, I will not allow my progress to not be progress anymore. I refuse to make major setbacks to the point where my progress is overshadowed by chaos. I will not allow anything, anyone, or any part of my past, present, and potentially future fuck up the progress I am making at this exact moment. I don’t tell myself often how proud I am for just being able to do what I’m doing, but I guess I do when I admire the progress as much I as do.

I am a prime example of the saying “things do get better.”

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