It’s official! I have a Masters of Arts in Psychology! These past two years have been an absolute dream come true. A dream I never thought I would get to experience. It has taken a lot of hard work, tears, and setbacks to reach this milestone, but I’ve learned that that is precisely how life is supposed to be. I would like to dedicate this post to anyone who is currently dealing with a setback; specifically, someone I think of often who is in Tennesee right now. I want to share a few of the important lessons I have learned that lead me to where I am now. These were moments that were life-changing for me and continue to guide me each day.
Lesson 1: The biggest lesson I’ve learned in life is that the concept of a happy ending tied up in a bow is a lie. In life, once you reach a happy ending, you are going to face another battle. Another hardship will come up, and you will have to overcome it. It may not be as bad as the first one, but life is two steps forward and one step back. Whoever spread the idea that everything will be fine once you reach the other side needs to fact-check themselves. However, just because you fall backward or come across a new hurdle does not mean you’ve failed, or your life is over. This is something we all deal with, mental illness or not. It is merely the pattern of life, and each new battle means a unique opportunity to learn about yourself, gain a new outlook on life, and a chance to experience new things.
Lesson 2: The only way past it is through it. When an obstacle pops up, there is no avoiding it, running away from it, or hoping it goes away. Trust me, I’ve tried. If I had a magic word to make it disappear, I would shout it out for the world to hear. Alas, I have no such thing. However, if you take a deep breath and dive into the problem head first, you WILL make it to the other side. It won’t be easy. For me, it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. MULTIPLE TIMES! But it saved my life and showed me my real purpose. It made me aware of how extraordinarily strong I was and that if I could face that, I could face anything.
Lesson 3: I had to stop limiting myself. I learned to stop playing the victim and thinking about how unfair life was. How other people didn’t have to fight I like did. How other people’s problems were accepted by society, but mine was not. How nobody could understand. How much emotional pain I was in. Everything was unfair. I had to STOP. Going down that rabbit hole was a waste of time and unproductive. All it caused was more pain. Even if it was true. Another way I limited myself was with the “I Can’t” statements. I can’t take a shower. I can’t get out of bed. I can’t go out. The truth was, I could, but it would be painful and difficult. But I can do anything and everything if I have the willpower and strength to do so. If you find yourself doing something similar, I wrote a post specifically on this which you can find here if you would like to read it.
Lesson 4: My last and final lesson for this post. YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE! If you are unhappy, you have the power from within to change it, and as mentioned in lesson 2, changing from within and facing it head-on is the ONLY way to overcome it and move on to your happier lifestyle. The hard truth I had to face was that I was the reason I was living in such a trapped misery. Sure, I had extreme OCD, Anxiety, and Depression, but I was using those diagnosed as a crutch to avoid the fact that I was not putting in the extremely difficult and painful work that had to be done to overcome it. If I am being honest, there are many times in my life right now, where I imagine what would happen if I fell back like I have in the past. It scares the hell out of me. I’m not one to swear, but heck is not a strong enough word to describe this fear. There are times I doubt being able to face that gutwrenching fight again. There are times where I quickly think, I would honestly rather die than face that again. But then there are times where I think of how amazing that fight was. The lessons I learned, the people I met, the feeling that I am strong enough to overcome anything. If I had to face that fight again, the reality of it is, I would be crushed and heartbroken, but I would suck it up, go back to treatment, and do that devil’s tango yet again. I would meet more amazing people, I would learn more lessons, and come out enlightened about life. But let’s pray I don’t need any more enlightenment, alright?
To anyone struggling right now, to that special and strong person in Tennesee, I feel for you. I feel for the pain you are experiencing. I feel for the fear and uncertainty. I hope you know that it is not wrong to be suffering. You are not a failure or a bad person. You are not a burden on society. You are incredibly strong to have made it this far – to have overcome the hardships had in your past. To wake up each day is a triumph. And if that is the only triumph you have for that day, that is perfectly fine. Be proud of that. I’ve learned to take pride in the small things. Know that there is a girl in a Brooklyn apartment thinking of all those right now with mental illness, saying a prayer, and spreading positive vibes through this computer screen. We are a community. I have felt your pain, I still feel your pain, and you have no doubt felt mine. Keep fighting. I PROMISE you, it will take you to a life you never imagined yourself living. Just like mine did with the picture on top.
~ Stay Chipper Friends ~
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To that person in Tennesee, please feel free to reach out to me at ANY time! I’d love to hear from you and talk to you. Sending love.