I’m in a group chat with 3 of my best friend that I met through blogging. The other night we were all talking about different things going on in our lives and all the struggles. They’re all kinda going through different struggles. I told them “its only a season” and this blog post was completely sparked because I was reminded of my tough season and when I was in their shoes. I can’t lie, right now I’m in a really good spot in my life. I can’t really complain. I don’t say that to brag or anything of that nature. I say that because everyone has different seasons of life, and I just so happen (by the grace of God) to be in a season of peace. I know this is a season of peace because I know what it feels like to be in a season of conflict and depression.
One of my favorite songs says “I wouldn’t know your peace without the hard times or be thankful for relief without the pain” and this couldn’t describe how I feel any better.
2017 was honestly the worse year of my life. 2017 also happens to be the year I got engaged and married. You would think I would say it was the happiest year of my life with all these exciting life events going on, but that would be a lie and I’m not here to lie. I’m here to share the honest, raw, vulnerable truth in the hopes that maybe just one person reads this and knows they’re not alone. This really is only a season and soon there will be another season filled with happiness.
There were so many things going in in my life at once and I was overwhelmed. I felt like I was drowning. I always thought that phrase was so cliche until I truly knew what it felt like. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t walk around the whole year with a rain cloud over my head and never smiled. I smiled. I laughed. I had times of real happiness. But I also had times of real hurt, real anxiety, and real depression. Just typing the word depression still makes me cringe just a little bit and I don’t know why. I think its just the world we live in where its normal for other parts of your body to break down and get sick, but when it happens to your brain, everyone wants to sweep it under a rug and pretend it isn’t real. Depression is real and its okay. The best thing you can do for yourself is be honest about your mental health.
I lost myself in the depression. I had no idea who I was anymore, what I wanted to be, or my purpose for life at all. (I told you it was going to get real). I wouldn’t say I was suicidal, but I also didn’t care if I lived or died. Either way was fine by me. I wish I could explain to you the nights I cried myself to sleep…. or better yet, the nights I woke Derek up in complete and total panic attacks where I truly believed I was having a heart attack. I will never lose the picture in my head of Derek looking down at me with tears rolling down his face while I laid on the bathroom floor because he didn’t know how to help me. These times were rough y’all. Really rough.
I thank God for Derek. I don’t know how in the world he handled that year of my life. I was so unhappy and I felt so alone. No matter how many people were around, I still felt alone. When it was 3am and Derek was holding me as tight as he could to try to get me to calm down, I still felt alone. Nobody could understand what was going on in my brain or how I felt.
Eventually other people started to notice and were getting concerned. I finally broke down and went to the doctor because I knew I couldn’t handle it anymore. The medicine helped but it made me feel numb. I honestly wasn’t sure which was worse…. feeling miserable or feeling nothing. I counter acted the fact that I felt nothing with alcohol. At least with alcohol I would feel something. Spoiler alert: that doesn’t work either.
Now I was drinking every day of the week and sleeping as much as possible which led to 30 extra pounds. Ya know what makes you feel worse about your already miserable self? An extra 30lbs. In the midst of all of these things, I lost myself. I mean I really lost myself. I had absolutely no clue who I was or what I was doing.
I never thought I would get over this stage in my life. I really didn’t. I thought I was going to be miserable forever. There are still some scars from that time in my life, but they’re scars now….rather than open wounds. I wish I could pin point the exact moment things started to change, but I can’t. All I know is that slowly I started looking at myself in the mirror and hated the reflection (inside and out). I knew I wanted to find myself again. I wanted to be the old me more than I wanted this miserable version of myself.
One of the things I did was list out things that might make me happy or make me, “me” again. I knew one of the big things was to lose the weight I had gained and so I did. I lost the 30lbs I gained and another 10lbs. (That’s a whole other story in itself that you can read HERE and HERE) . I started doing things that made me happy again. And I prayed. And prayed. Then prayed some more. Now I look back at that year and where I am now and just feel relief. I feel like I went a whole year under water and now I’m on dry land and can finally breath.
So if you’re still reading, I know this is a crazy long post, but I kinda said all that to say this… I learned a few things throughout that hard time and maybe they might help you too.
1. Life sucks sometimes – I mean lets just be honest. Sometimes, life just straight up sucks, but it isn’t going to suck forever. Hold your breath. Count to 10. And pray to the good Lord above for patience because your sunshine is coming soon, but you’re going to have to stick out the sucky part first.
2. Learn to pray – when its 4 in the morning and all you can do is cry and you feel all alone, there is only one person who will be there 24/7 and only one person who can give you true comfort.
3. Find a creative outlet – hence how this blog came about. haha. Yours doesn’t have to be a blog, but find something. Find something that brings you joy and do it no matter what anyone thinks.
4. Read – this one may sound silly but it helped me. Sometimes life is just too much for your mind to handle so take your mind somewhere else. Read a book and focus on it until the anxiety subsides
6. Surround yourself with people who build you up – Keep positive people close to you. Surround yourself with friends you pray for you. Don’t.. DON’T… surround yourself with more negativity. It will be make it all 10X worse.
Above all of these, remind yourself every day that its only a season and it will be over soon. Just like how we have to suffer through the cold, nasty winter to get to the bright, warm summer. Sometimes you have to suffer through the nasty part of life to get to the bright part.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” …. “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to break down, and a time to build up” – Ecclesiastes 3: 1 & 4.