It’s been a crazy life thus far … I’ve hit a lot of obstacles to happiness. I’ve struggled with inner demons; lost friends I never thought I would lose, for reasons I never could have imagined (which, as some of you know, would damn near be impossible with the writer’s imagination I hold!); and, at times, fallen so hard I thought I’d never get back up. But ultimately, those “downs” were just part of the ride to the top, because so much good has happened too. My life is better than it’s ever been; hell, I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I have to think that all those “downs” were simply meant to put me on the right path, to lead me down the right roads, to point me in the direction I needed to go to get me to HERE.
Because HERE is a damn good place to be. Against all odds, I’m a better person than I was five years ago. Hell, I’m a better person than I was a year ago. I’m stronger and gaining confidence every day. I’m finally optimistic about the future; I have hope for the future; and over all, I am happier than I could have even hoped I’d be.
I guess sometimes life hands you more than you think you can handle so you have no choice but to fight your way through it. The gods know I’ve fought my share of battles. [Warning: I’m about to bare my soul and share things from my past, please hit your ESC key and exit if you do not want to know, are judgmental (you know, you people that think your shit is made of gold), or don’t think you can handle it. THESE ARE MY TRUTHS.]
Depression is something I’ve fought since I was young. It’s been a demon that lurks in the night, waiting to gobble me up at every turn. Like a shadow that’s followed me through my life, it’s never been more than a few feet away, an impending doom just waiting for the smallest of crises to open the door so it could come rushing in and overtake me. I’ve been off and on meds, through therapy galore, and battled myself more than any one person should have to. Between the hopelessness and sense of worthlessness, I’ve been to the pits of my own hell (got the t-shirt) and lived to tell about it.
I’ve struggled with PTSD and anxiety; those two have eaten me alive and spit me back out, only to do so again and again until I felt as though I was not worth the air I was breathing. Like a never-ending cycle, I was stuck in a loop of nightmares, fear, self-destruction, and utter devastation.
These things weren’t something that plagued me only through adulthood. I was “diagnosed” young – started therapy young – struggled young. I don’t think some people truly understand the depths of these diseases. I don’t think they realize the reach these illnesses have on a person’s life or how they can shape that person’s personality and future. But I understand. I know. I’ve lived it.
AND I SURVIVED!
Through abuse, abandonment, rape, and all the other things that have cursed my inner self – I survived.
Perhaps I did not skip through it all with a smile. Perhaps I was not as strong as I should have been. Maybe I didn’t handle it all as well as I should have. But I survived it. I fought. I struggled. I cried and laughed. And I made it to HERE. To NOW. To this place, in this time. One step at a time.
Today, as I look backwards, I realize that all that I’ve been through has shaped me into the person I am now. It’s given me a certain power (I tried to tell you I had SuperPowers!) over my life that no one can ever take from me. And above all else, it’s given me hope.
I know now, that I was never given more than I could handle. And though there are days that I still struggle to see myself as strong, smart, and beautiful, these are things I have always been. (No, this is not arrogance, this is what comes from struggling and the start of learning to LOVE MYSELF. Finally.)
My HERE & NOW is worth everything I’ve been through. It’s worth the pain. Worth the heartache. Worth the sadness. Every night I cried myself to sleep. Every bruise, bump, and broken heart. These things were the stumbling blocks that built me up; the mountains I had to climb; the depths I had to ascend from. And now, when I look backwards, I can do so with a smile. Because my life is headed in the right direction, and I know, eventually, I’ll end up where I am supposed to be.
And with this in mind, I say to you, LIVE your lives. Think about where you’ve been and where you want to go. Don’t give up hope. There is ALWAYS a rainbow when the storm is over. My storm lasted a LONG time. But my rainbows will someday be bright and beautiful – brighter than the devastation the years have left behind.
Don’t stop fighting. When you lay down and give up – refuse to go any further, you dig your own hole. Life sucks. I get it. Being raped sucks. Being abused sucks. Divorced parents sucks. Feeling abandoned sucks. Miscarriage sucks. Depression sucks. Abusive marriages suck. Hell, sometimes LIFE just sucks. But these are moments.
And that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned in all my years.
Life is made of moments. You get to choose some, and others you don’t. Some moments are going to bring you the greatest joy you could imagine – and some are going to bring you to the pits of despair. But they are only moments. They don’t last forever. And even when they cut deep, leaving a scar, that scar WILL heal. Life is full of moments. And it’s all those moments together that make life worth living.
So don’t let one moment rule your life. Don’t let one moment bring you to your knees. Ride the roller-coaster; put your hands in the air, open your eyes, and when you crest that hill, scream at the top of your lungs – Enjoy that moment. And every moment you can.
Don’t take for granted what you are given today. Don’t walk away from the opportunity to make a MOMENT. Not just for yourself, but for those you love. Let your laundry wait; play in the snow with your kids. Go for a walk with your honey. Go to the zoo. Watch the sunset. Don’t sleep your life away. Laugh a lot, cry a little, and be proud of yourself. Don’t forget to live for today while preparing for tomorrow, because even if the end of the world is coming, you might just live your last moment before it ever gets here – are you going to live that moment thinking about tomorrow – or making a moment someone else is going to remember you by for the rest of their moments?
Live your moments. With a smile.