I’ve been in a battle since I was 8 years old. For a long time I was losing. I took blow after blow until my will to live was destroyed. I was silenced by my pain and feelings of being less than. I turned to relationships for hope and escape. I put all my heart in people and depended on them for strength. It cost me. I was so desperate for hope and love that that desparation blinded me and I fell in love with a man who emotionally and mentally abused me. That was the final blow and my mental health suffered, nearly resulting in a mental breakdown. But God is good and I survived.
In 2013, after much difficulty including sickness and loss, I had my greatest breakthrough. I finally found hope! It was small but it was real. Most importantly, I found it inside of ME. I fought every moment to maintain a positive state of mind that was independent of emotions, people or circumstance. How? I started doing things that mattered to me. I depended on God’s strength and not my abilities. I refused to stop when I wanted to quit. I gave my pain a voice by no longer hiding it. I let go of the pride that wanted me to be seen as a Superwoman. I respected my humanity and limitations. I let people into my life who could help me in my healing process and I allowed others to go. I also put my time to better use. A combination of these things led me to discovering my purpose. Living had to commence and the pity parties had to cease. It wasn’t easy but it was Do or Die. I had to change my lifestyle if I was going to survive.
So much of my life had been spent focusing on what others had done to me. The focus had to shift to me and what I was going to do for my life. I chose living intentionally as pay back for every moment I spent crushed, broken, bitter and lost. I chose to reclaim my time. I no longer wanted to live as a victim. I didn’t want the abusive and toxic people in my life to have control over me. I wanted to be free.
Today, I’m still in the fight with depression but I am winning. I still take blows but I bounce back! Instead of contemplating suicide, I contemplate how I’ll celebrate my next win. Instead of being buried by depression I remind myself that I am not my feelings. I am not the chemical imbalances that trouble me. I stay open and honest about where I am and how I feel; but I don’t allow my feelings to be in the driver’s seat. They don’t get to call the shots. Most importantly, I follow closely beside God. I take Him with me wherever I go. He’s my lifeline. He keeps me going in ways I know I could never. He’s my #1 confidant and friend.
Honestly, I didn’t want to talk about this particular fight with depression. It started a few months ago. I haven’t had a major issue with Depression for so long. I’ve been feeling embarrassed about it and wanted to tuck this experience away. But how could I do that? I made a promise to myself to never lose my voice, to never suffer in silence. It doesn’t mean that I have to announce every single struggle but I refuse to be ashamed of my story. Whether loud or quiet, public or private, I want to continue to help people like me who have fallen victim to betrayal and circumstance. People with scars and difficult pasts who want to be loved, supported, happy and free but don’t know where to start. I got you! I’ve learned tricks and tips to successfully fight hopelessness and sadness. I refuse to run away and hide. I want to help you and teach you what I know. I don’t know everything but I know how to reinvent life and LIVE. I know how to survive and thrive. So, onward I go.
A few tips…
1. Decide on what you want and WHY. What’s important to you? Why does it matter? If you want to experience a positive life change, you need to understand the reason behind it. It doesn’t need to be elaborate but it needs to be clear. Do you want to be happy, less stressed, have fulfilling relationships or an enjoyable career? Do you want to increase your self-confidence or learn how to say, “No”? Make being in tune with YOU a priority.
2. How bad do you want CHANGE? How far are you willing to go to have something better? Are you willing to be uncomfortable? Are you willing to experience a shift in your social circle? Will you invest financially in your recovery (maybe work with a coach or counselor)? Are you prepared to walk away from or put distance between yourself and toxic people? There will be behaviors you’ll have to ignore and at other times behaviors you must confront. You have to be willing to do what it takes to be healthy, happy and whole. Legally, of course.
3. Get ready to CELEBRATE! Healing is amazing at every level. Forget waiting for the big BIG moments. Every moment in your journey can be celebrated. Even the setbacks. Why? Because it’s effort. Because you started. Because when life threw curveballs and challenges stared you in the face, you chose grit and made a decision to go for the home run. One step forward is still movement. Never forget that. Now, go party!!!!