I’m breaking my usual format for this post. Sometimes when I’m feeling frustrated about where I’m at, it helps to remember where I started and how far I’ve come. So I’m sharing more of my story as a message of hope for you and anyone else who is going through a hard time.
First, rock bottom.
Six years ago, my brother ended his life. It felt like mine had ended as well. No pain I had ever felt before came close to the crushing weight of grief, depression, and anxiety I experienced after his death. I was unemployed for six months (it took a year before I felt functional enough to handle a full-time job), had no savings, was running low on the money I had left, couldn’t get a restful night’s sleep, and felt trapped because I didn’t have hope for the future but I had also made the decision to never commit suicide either. I had the support of my amazing family and friends, but felt incredibly lonely. I had trouble concentrating, panic attacks, and frequently cried while feeling a searing pain ripping through my heart. I was a mess.
Then, my decision.
But as I mentioned, I made the nonnegotiable decision to live. And if I had to live, I figured I might as well try everything I possibly could to become better. I tried many things: therapy, doctors, talking to friends, writing, yoga, running, massages, eating healthy, getting a pet, practicing gratefulness, helping others, taking care of myself (to name the more constructive ones) and more. I didn’t start every day filled with motivating drive and shining optimism to tackle my demons. There were days I would wake up defeated. I usually felt tired, weak, and in pain. But I kept fighting.
Now, where I am today.
After years of fighting, I’m doing better. I had no job, now I have a great one and am building a career. I felt alone and didn’t want to meet anyone new, now I have an amazing fiancé. I never thought I would feel happiness again, and it still amazes me that now I do. I have more energy and am in less pain. Mentally and physically, I’m in a much better place.
I still have anxiety, but I’m working at getting rid of it and it’s improving. I still have moments of sadness and miss Daniel every damn day. I’m still on the road to personal wellbeing, but I am leaps and bounds from where I was six years ago. I still have a long way to go, but I have hope.
When you’re feeling down and defeated and done, I just want you to remember you have greater impact on others than you realize. Things can get better if you keep trying.
Make the decision to live and make the decision to fight.