We all have parts of our story that we don’t want to tell and open book that I am, I am no different. There are chapters that are so brutal, it is hard to envision what benefit there could be in putting those words on paper. I have thought so long and so hard for so many weeks about how and when and if I would ever mention this moment in time. I’ve always been honest about my journey through the pits and valleys of depression and this is no different. In some weird way, I feel called to share my story even if it’s just for one person. It’s not as if I’m some viral sensation, after all. If you are that one person, you are worth it.
“Other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life messages and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” — Unknown.
I have typed and erased so many sentences trying to get this out. I pride myself on my openness, but maybe this time, my family deserves my reservation. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on this part of my story because this isn’t what I want the takeaway to be. So I’m just going to leave it at this. A few weeks ago, I hit one of the lowest, darkest moments of my life and I’m eternally grateful that it was just a moment in time for so many reasons. I need you to know how low I was so that you can fully appreciate where I am now. I need you to know that despair is temporary.
Since then, I’ve learned one of the greatest lessons of my 43 years on this crazy planet. It’s not a new concept. Like a “new to you” vehicle, it just took me a while to take it out for a spin. I finally learned that it’s okay to start putting myself first. That it’s okay for me to be happy and to expand on that, it’s okay for me to actively seek out what makes me happy. I was so busy trying to be what everyone else needed that I was failing all of us and most importantly, I was failing myself.
I’ve been embracing my journey.
I’ve been feeding my soul by going to church. Drinking in the word. Taking notes so I can look back later and reflect on what I want to hold onto. What I need to find more of.
I’ve been washing my face. Stop laughing. I’ve been taking care of my skin. Watching the glow that I’m starting to feel inside again, reflect on the outside. Ive started devoting Wednesdays to exfoliating and Fridays to masks and it’s about so much more than vanity. It’s about making time for ME. Those minutes every morning and before bed every night with my cleanser and toner and moisturizers and alone time. It’s time spent with me. You don’t have to take this literally. The meaning is still there. Take the smallest steps towards self love and self care.
I’ve started jogging. Which is MIND. BLOWING. It’s something that I said I was going to begin years ago when my athletic cousin lost the ability to walk in his war with ALS. I envisioned running in 5Ks, then 10Ks, then half-marathons, (not full marathons because I am 99% sure that exceeds my attention span), and doing it for him, while he is with me in spirit, but I never did. When I started embarking on this journey to find what makes me whole, that was one of the first things that topped my list. I’m 11 days into my program and I’m loving every minute of it. All of the things that I’ve never loved before. The sweating, the pain, all of it, because I’m gaining more than I’m losing.
Maybe it’s trite but in losing myself, I’m finding myself. More so every single day. Right now, I’m more happy than I have been in years. Mostly because I came to the greatest realization of all. Not to put my eggs in anyone’s basket but my own.
The world will fail you. People will fail you. Some days even your own mind will fail you. But tomorrow? Tomorrow may be a ray of light. That’s so worthy of sticking around for. I promise.