How 4 walls saved me.
Hi my name is Lauren Correia and I have been trapped in validation for nearly 3 years now. Cue everyone saying Hi Lauren all at once! Sounds like I just sat down into an AA meeting.
It was a hard time for me when my friends, family and who ever else is in my life (cyber space or in real life) when I chose to remove myself from everything and live in-between the 4 walls of my room for a couple of weeks. Words were of course – she’s crazy, lost her mind and my favourite…. she needs help!
The reason to why the 4 white walls in my room became my safe haven was because I needed something so plain, non judgemental and was there no matter my mood when I was awake or just simply sleeping.
Fighting anxiety, depression (at this time, I didn’t know I was) and constantly chasing the approval of others while trying to portray a cool, calm and collective image isn’t quite the easiest. One day you are the happiest with a glass of wine and chatty friends, the next you’ve ignored all their messages leaving them with the thoughts of – whats her problem? I slowly became someone who isn’t really needed around to not wanted around, but wait! Does that mean no social life? NO! I am all about that social life which then resulted into what I call the yes syndrome!
The yes syndrome is when you just cannot stop saying yes to everything! 90% of the time, I would say yes without even thinking it through but if it meant doing something with someone who wanted me around despite me being so dilly in my head, great! Sign me up for it!
I landed up living my life for my friends. I felt that if I was doing everything they needed me to then I would get the approval but days and nights went by with me still having this feeling of not making the spot. Not bearing in mind that not everyone thinks the same way as I do and this is all just in my head.. or was it? I am not too sure but I just knew something wasn’t right within me if I am the only one out of my friends feeling this way because I certainly did know they loved and cared for me the same way they did for others.
I then became the emotional social media friend (I am sure if it was like Instagram back then, I would’ve gone down from 100 followers to 1. 1 being my mom). Painfully admitting to this, I was constantly spreading my negative emotional comments on Facebook, BBM, Whatsapp you name it! Was this me looking for attention? YES! Did I get it…. hmmm well besides Mohammed who I had no friends in common with and his 3 children in his profile picture… Nope!
I decided to compare my life with my friends. Why is she so happy? How are people friends with her, with her being just her? Surely she’s also crazy in the head? That was the moment I decided, let this 4 walls become my life.
Trying to have a boyfriend during this time as well is nothing more painful for them as nails on a chalkboard. Trying to uplift me as much as he could but nothing seemed to work as the mindset I lived in was one that only I could change and one that he didn’t understand. Dont get me wrong, it was a loveable, passionate love between us both which we both thought would last to the end and we did make each other very happy but with the ups and downs between us in our 20’s trying to find ourselves, meeting new people, normal relationship drama and dealing with me and my mindset (not taking all the blame) it wasn’t a smooth sailing street. But as life goes on, I was trying to find the best out of life for me and I guess he needed to as well…. I just wish him the very best in life forever and always
I was damaged, alone, realising I am depressed (give me meds!!) and thinking I am not meant to be here, God made a mistake and surely we have all heard the line of everyone makes mistakes so God its okay! But it was in this moment of my life that I will never forget. Being alone one day was death (ABSOLUTELY the most horrible days), well the whole week was just death on my mind but the second week went, third came and went but then I found what I was looking for which changed it all……
I began to be okay alone! I spent time on getting to know me! I became the Lauren Correia I wanted to be (yes, this came with a lot of talking to myself. Dont worry it was the good type of crazy). I gave myself a break from being trapped in validation of everything in my life. I realised what I enjoyed, what made me laugh, what I thought was right and what was wrong. Hey! I thought to myself – I kind of like me? Was I the only one that liked me? Yes I was…. Was I okay? YES!
What you need to do in life is become friends with yourself because at the end of the day it is JUST YOU! It is just you and your 4 walls! Its the time that me, myself and I listen, think and argue about what we all want!
- Find what music you love
- Find what makes you mad
- Find what makes you happy
- Find a hobby
- Find out what hair cut suits you best (yes this helps!)
- Develop an understanding of who you are and what you are about (great for conversations)
- Find…. YOU!
I decided to venture out into the big bad world for the first time after finding myself. I was nervous (still am to this day but working on it, baby steps, baby steps!) about what people would say to me because lets be honest talking about others is EVERYONES favourite past time so I knew many people who knew me or didn’t had some sort of negative thought about me regards to being crazy, unstable, depressed, you know how rumours go around but I had myself with me so I held my head high. I said the hello’s, goodbye’s and awkward how you doing moments.
Days have now turned into months and I can safely say that the thing that I never thought would come into my life has finally arrived and that is happiness with myself. I am so content with life but even when I thought life couldn’t get better, it did….
People wanted to be around me, people engaged with me without wanting anything else in return other than a good friendship. I finally realised that the only approval I was needing was my very own!
Today marking the 28TH January 2016 after 3 years of fighting this battle of validation, I am happy to say I validated myself and I passed. I urge everyone who felt the way I did whether it be slightly different to just give yourself the time of day to figure out who you are. No medication, no expensive doctors bill, party bills, name brands, alcohol or drugs will bring yourself closer to you and your happiness than the 4 walls in your very own home.
Till we meet again x