I wasn't entirely sure what I should write today, but I know I needed to write something. So I chose one of the first things that came to mind. This doesn't necessarily have to be cosplay related, but you guys know me, 90% of my life is cosplay. I've never been really happy, until about 2 years ago, when I started making some real huge life decisions for myself, rather than what was good for me.
I'll start off by saying I am not perfect. I never will be, and no matter what Tolia says, I just can't be perfect. I still deal with my traumas, and I still cope in unhealthy ways sometimes. But I do my best to be the best I can be. I don't expect anyone to be immediately happy or change overnight. I am still working on being happy, and creating happiness for myself is super important. The first thing you need to do, is know your limits. Most of the reason why you are unhappy (probably) is because you put others before yourself more often than you even think about yourself. This contributes to your "People Battery" being drained all the time. If you know your limits, you can let your friends/co-workers/etc know that you aren't emotionally well enough to do what you might have said you would do. Don't just blow them off because you can, because then you create bad blood. It's understandable to take some time to breathe and reflect on yourself.
If you do find yourself cancelling more often than not, ask yourself why. Do these people drain your batteries/consume your spoons/take away your hit points more than they bring you joy? If it is difficult to make friends, it is better to have a smaller friend group that is more dedicated to bringing you happiness than a large group that could give two craps about you. This applies for cosplay groups, friend groups, and even familial bonds. If the people you surround yourself with only feel good when you are down, you need better friends. But, we must keep in mind that not everyone is at the same point emotionally that you are. Sometimes, it is okay to let the person know that you aren't emotionally equipped to deal with their problems and your own, but that you do support them. The same can be said the other way. You cannot expect everyone to cater to your problems 100% of the time. You get out what you put into your relationships.
Deal with your traumas. I know it's going to be difficult. Believe me. I have spent so many years self-loathing and hating everything. It was not until I had spent 3 days straight in bed, not eating, moving, sleeping, or talking to anyone, that I finally called the Suicide Hotline and was given a less-than-equipped person to deal with my issues that I finally decided that I could not rely on anyone but myself to create my happiness. That is not to say that if you aren't feeling that way, that you shouldn't call them. Absolutely call. Life is worth living, I just got a short stick on my call. I also had the foresight to get a cat and put all my attention into keeping Iroh alive. In turn, he has kept me alive. I spent a few hours after my call thinking about how much time I had wasted letting my depression rule me and my thinking, and I told it "Enough." It won't be easy dealing with those after thoughts, and I haven't just been feeling 100% since. There will be some backpedaling, but it's all in learning about you and what makes you happy.
I told myself that I had to be enough for myself for when people couldn't be around me. My behavior was toxic and there was a lot I had to come to terms with. I had to recreate who I was in order to make myself better. When looking back and having people tell me that they wish they knew me sooner, all I can think is that I am glad they didn't. I was an ugly person and I would not want to be around who I was. I am so thankful that once I started being better for myself, I was able to find people that would be better for me as well. I created my own safety net, and once I started to get better and create my own happiness, I was able to cut out the toxic people in my life that dragged me down.
If someone is bullying you, even in your friends group, you need to speak up to them about it. They may unknowingly be doing it, but you need to open up those avenues for communication in order to stop that bullying or determine if they should not be your friend anymore. My friends and I joke around a lot, but we also know that we can speak up and say that the joke went too far. By knowing that you can trust others with your feelings, it allows you to be more open with your thoughts and can allow more happiness in. It's okay to complain sometimes, but definitely be aware if you are negative too much. That negativity can beget negativity and ruin the progress you are making with yourself as well as the people you funnel those feelings into. It may seem cliche, but looking on the bright side does actually help.
What I have had to teach myself and unlearn is that self-deprecating humor is terrible for your psyche. Stop joking about how "dumb" you are. Stop telling others that you are not worthy of love or that you are garbage. I rarely make those jokes, but when I do, I know I'm hitting a low point and I need to get back up. I understand that all feelings pass, whether they are good or bad. But knowing that, I can create my own happiness by doing simple things, even when I am sad. Even talking with people I love when they don't know about how low I am feeling, makes me feel better. If I have a lot of work to do, I break it down into smaller steps. Cleaning my room, exercising, and eating help so much. Honestly, if I didn't have my gym membership, I wouldn't be getting as fit as I am, and it stinks. I am unhappy with my body, but I know that if I don't have a gym membership that I have to pay for, I won't exercise how I need. And everyone I have talked to is the same way. I mean, I spend good money to try to get in shape, I better use it. It also helps to have a good friend come work out with you.
Once you have created your own safety net, it's wonderful to start building on that. Get friends who drive you to be the best you can be. My StL Hero Academia friends are always about that life, Curvy Kitty Cosplay are so wonderful and support me. Cosplay has me focus on creating not only better cosplays, but a better version of myself. I reach out when I'm stumped on something and ask others to help. I want to be just as great as my friends, and they all have so many different, amazing talents and areas of expertise and I want to have that as well so that I can inspire. It also helps when you have a few thousand people telling you that you are doing great, and I appreciate every single follower I have. Having you guys has helped me create a goal of being the best I can be while also trying to help others. And I hope that I can do that for you.
Basically, the moral of this article that you need to start by creating your own happiness, and when you can do that, you can rely on others to help create a cycle of happiness and support that hopefully can be a cycle for so many people. I actually had a fellow cosplayer this weekend tell me that I inspired them to be better and that makes me so happy. It drives me to be even better for you guys. As always, if you have any questions, please comment or let me know, and I will gladly answer them for you. For now, I must get back to my Momocon Crunch.