So, it’s February already (umm, what?!) and this was supposed to be posted a month ago, but hey, better late than never, right? (Sure.)
A year ago, I started a Graditude Journal and started 2013 with the mindset of being grateful instead of being upset or worried about the things in my life that I didn’t have or things in my life that were going right. While I’d love to say that every day of 2013 was spent being super thankful, that would be a blatant lie. There were days when things just seemed desperate and frustrating and forever stressful. There were many days in 2013 where I wondered if my heart would be broken forever, if I would ever be able to open up to someone so wholly and completely again, if I was the kind of person who could be loved, if I could ever trust anyone ever again. Really, what I can sum 2013 up as is this: I wondered a lot if I could trust myself again.
Going through a break-up with someone you placed 100% of your trust in and who you talked about your future with, planned a life with – there’s something in you that breaks that you don’t know will ever be put back together. It would be easy and cliché to say it’s your heart that breaks, but it’s more than that. You feel failed by the one person who promised would never fail you and you start to wonder who else in your life will fail you. You question every decision you’ve ever made in your life, wondering if you were so confident in placing trust in this person who ended up letting you down, what else in your life is actually real? What other decisions in your life were good ones or not? You begin to wonder if you can really trust yourself to make decisions, if you really know anything about your life or life in general.
Depression is a silly thing. It makes you feel things and do things and think things that aren’t reality. I realized that every time in my life I thought I was “better” – that I was over being depressed -- all I was doing was taking all the positive things happening and using them as a cover. Being hurt in a way that seems inhumane made me realize that there was no such thing as cured, but there is a thing as better, and I needed to figure out how to be better.
In the end, what this break-up was was a chance for me to really find myself. After being in the lowest place in my life, I got the courage and the strength to ask for help to figure out how to climb out of the hole of depression I had been living with my entire life. And what happened was amazing. In a year, I went through a journey where I really did find myself. I learned how to trust myself, how to work through bad times, how to love myself, how to be optimistic and hopeful and positive and grateful. And, here I am, a year later, with so many things to be grateful for that I don’t know where to start.
When 2013 ended, I really felt like myself, and for the first time in my life, I felt like I knew who myself was. 2013 ended and I realized I had been chasing happy my whole life, when in reality, happy isn’t a permanent feeling. What I found was contentment. I found myself content with my life, even though there were things I still wish were different. I learned how to stand up for myself, how to be a better friend and sister and daughter, how to put things into perspective and how to take care of myself. I learned how to be proud of myself. I learned how to take time out for myself without taking anything away from someone else. I learned how to be confident in the decisions I made. I learned how to love myself.
I ended 2013 with a masters degree (I never liked school very much and here I am with not one, but TWO degress. Wwwhhhhhaaaattt?), with great friends who I enjoy spending time with and who treat me with respect and care, with a job where I’m respected and where I feel good about myself and that I love (despite having to drive 120 miles everyday). But, more importantly – and most surprising – I ended 2013 in a relationship with a person who has restored my faith in everything I had ever lost faith in.
This year, for the first time, I don’t feel like depression defines who I am; I feel like I define who I am. I’m in control of how I feel, who I allow to hurt me, what I allow in my life. I’m confident, more sure of things, less afraid, and enjoying where God is taking me instead of being impatient to actually get there.
2014? You’re going to be a good year.