It wasn’t until I started counselling others that had more severe symptoms than I had that I realized I was living with mild depression for years. I knew about the anxiety, and was medicated for it. I wasn’t having panic attacks, I was “coping” with the trauma I lived through. I stopped dwelling about things that caused me distress, my life was simplified. Go to work, go home, sleep. I stopped doing things outside of my hospital shift work life. I had purpose, I was helping people. I finally felt useful and needed. 2 years of this, with a decrease in hours once I got the best thing in my life (baby dog), I didn’t know I wasn’t living, I was working, I was paying the bills. I was doing the same thing everyday and I wasn’t changing. That’s what I see now, in retrospect… change is what allows us to grow. When we stop growing, we get stuck and our souls are stuck. Our souls aren’t meant to be still, they are searching for something, always. My soul was so sedentary, I lost the drive to make any changes, any new experiences. It wasn’t until I made a big change that I could even see this. That being said, change isn’t always fun or easy. Thank god for change, sometimes unintentional, but regardless, thank god.
I’m going to lean into the motivation I have right now, because I usually can’t gather the energy to put pen to paper if it’s not something I have to do. I used to have the energy to do things that were things I wanted to do and not just something I had to do. Being a grown up wasn’t anything like I thought it would be; it’s exhausting and draining. It’s always running towards the unknown, but there’s a feeling that you have to run in that direction. You’ve been here long enough to know you have to run on this path, there’s no option that lets you walk, or stray. It’s a narrow path, and there’s something making you run at an unmanageable pace; you can’t see it but you can feel it so strongly and you feel it right behind you. It’s like a weight, running from it lets you avoid carrying it, but it still controls you. Most of us live in the real world; we have to work jobs that suck, we have to pay someone else’s mortgage (they own 6 houses) and we have to sacrifice our wellbeing and values to survive in a place that feels like it’s against us. Everyday is a fight, we get “time” but we’re always running on a hamster wheel. How can any of us get well? How can we be happy, if we are always fighting. We need rest, we need time to make happiness a reality. I’m fighting for it, and I have privilege. What about people who have no advantages? The reason I work for those who have been dealt a shit hand is because I get it, I know what its like to not have the same opportunities as the person standing next to you, but I guess it’s all about perspective…
“I might help someone if I say something”. I have come to this realization at an age where I have stopped living a life so against my authentic self, and I thank everyone that’s come into my life that’s allowed me to be free of demons I had to live with for longer than any young woman should. I guess the demons I lived with were demons no one should have had to live at all, but I never knew that, until someone told me. I don’t know how to write a story, or a blog, but I know it’s time to speak up. I know there are other people who are dealing with all the heartbreak I dealt with, and probably feel alone. I hope that through my opening up, admitting my truth, and airing out the things that haunted me for the first 10 years of my adult life, I can let at least help one person know they aren’t alone. I’m here, I hear you, I’ve been there. You are never alone, I can guarantee that. Between my experience, education and hearing others struggles, I can say depression, anxiety and mental health issues are apart of so many peoples lives, and the fact we are so afraid to talk about it makes it so much worse for everyone. I’ve realized silence is not only causing problems in my life but the lives of every human being on this planet. Maybe you feel like you can’t connect, or you know someone who can’t connect, and you want better for yourself or that person you care about. Knowing your not alone might be the difference between getting better or living in a lonely place for the rest of your life. It can get better, I’m telling you this because I know it’s possible. Am I there… no I’m not, but I can finally see the path that will take me there, and the path isn’t completely clear, but I know it’s there, and with some support from my friends and (some) family I can get on the path of “recovery”. Progress not perfection.
I’ll tell you a story, and I can’t say it’s well written or told in a way that will capture your attention the way a viral video of a cute baby animal would. I do think it’s important for people to hear though, because I finally get that I’m not the only person who has dealt with a life of ongoing struggle in a world of struggle and hardship. We can get through it though, because we are strong and capable. Believe in yourself, you have strength that might have never come out before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.