A Comparison of Past and Present

This was me, a year ago.

I had long hair and a different mental state. I was often a little less aware of myself, a lot less mindful and I struggle with many things. I struggled with depression, anxiety disorder, and ADHD.

This is me today.

I have  a bald fade on my sides and back of my head, accompanied by a mohawk with a fading teal color. I have my left ear pierced two other times so now I have 3 earrings on my left ear and one on my right. I still struggle with depression, anxiety disorder, and ADHD. In fact, my struggles this year have been so much more severe – so much so that I’ve been close to suicidal attempts each time I was triggered.

So what’s the difference?

Besides the stark physical difference where my hair is concerned, I feel like looking at the current picture, I can’t help but feel more me than the picture above it.

People have been pointing out the same thing.

I had coworkers who have said, “You know Jules, I can’t remember you with long hair. Somehow, it always feels like you’ve had short hair all this time!”, and “Jules, I cannot imagine you with anything but the short hair!”, and “Your short hair really suits you! Brings out your personality!”

They’re not the only ones who have said that. The group therapy leaders in Spring 2016 had said similar things – B had said, “I feel like you have a sense of confidence in you that I’d never seen before!”, whereas C had said, “It’s not just hair! It’s you. The hair encompasses all of you”

Somehow, I feel more comfortable with my wild mohawk/shaved do that I ever did with any other haircut. No longer do I uncomfortably brush my hair away from my face or try to tie it up to keep it out of my ears and face. Instead, nowadays, whenever I reach up to touch my head/hair, it’s to admire the way it feels on my head. Nowadays, I enjoy touching my head/hair and I’ve stopped fidgeting with how it looks. I even like to stroke the back of my head because it feels good to feel the tiny hair under my fingers. It feels velvety, almost like stroking a soft short-furred animal.

When I look at myself in the mirror, I can’t help but smile. The number of selfies that I’ve taken have increased. Every single day, I want a record of how I looked that day. I know no one else cares how I look despite the fact that I keep posting my selfies on Facebook, but hey, I care.

Despite the similarities of circumstances and things that I’ve been struggling with as the me last year did, I feel different. I feel like I’ve changed so much, grown so much, learned so much. Like I’ve mentioned yesterday, I feel like I’m stronger. Even if it’s just by a little bit. I feel different.

I’ve also just deleted about 40 people off my Facebook list of friends because I no longer talk to any of those people. It felt like a burden had slid off my back. Somehow, just doing the mere act of clicking the “Unfriend” button had a significant mental health impact. It’s like I’m starting anew.

On my stablest and calmest days, I can do this without freaking out. I’m glad that I’m having a stable and calm day today. I’m glad that I am able to have a day like this to recognize the changes that I’ve made for myself that has led to a stronger me.

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