Life always has a way of working itself out. That is my mantra.
I tend to evaluate and reflect this time of year. Four years ago was the lowest I’d ever been. For a short time, I could not justify a reason to stay alive. I’d never hated myself and everything around me so much. And I didn’t let on that a single thing was wrong or off to anyone. I didn’t want to bother anyone, be a burden or an inconvenience. I thought the world might be better off without me; certainly would be an easy out for me and what I was struggling with, but I realize now it would’ve been the worst and most selfish decision I could’ve made.
Since then, I’ve learned a lot. A lot about myself, the life I’ve created around me, and how to do the best job I can at creating it. You are not simply given a good life filled with easy joy; you must want, work for, and choose happiness on a daily basis. I’ve learned about what mental health is and how important it is to take care of yourself, both inside and out. I’ve learned and recently come to terms with, the fact that it’s not a quick fix, but rather an ongoing battle. Anxiety and depression aren’t cured with one good day or happy thought. Wouldn’t that be a perfect world?
The best advise I can give someone struggling with their mental wellness is to learn what you can lean on, what makes you happy. For me, among other things, family helps, my dogs help, stand-up comedy helps, getting outside helps, good food and good coffee help, and hockey helps. Find what you enjoy, the things that can make you smile even for a moment no matter what, and hold on to them with all you’ve got.
On another note, let’s not ignore the technology revolution we are going through. Our parents never had to deal with posting life online as a young, learning adult for anyone and everyone to see. Social media is awesome. I’ll admit I am on it during much of my day (although producing online content is part of my job) and I really enjoy it. We put our best selves out to the world through the internet, posting fun nights out, career accomplishments, and beautiful vacation spots. But it’s rare to see a post about heartbreak, someone had a panic attack that day or had a fight with a loved one. You put online what you want others to see, and that’s fine. Hell, that’s the point. Social media is great, but we must not forget that nobody’s life is perfect or void of struggle and disappointment. Life doesn’t live online, real life is real life.
Oprah said, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” I still struggle with asking for help and proving to myself through my actions that I matter. There is NO shame in talking about mental health, therapy, feeling like shit or pissed off for no concrete reason. It is okay to not be okay. If you have struggled with it or are struggling, I urge you to get help any way you can/that feels right for YOU.
Every individual walks their own path, but we’re all just trying our best to get through this thing called life together. Be kind to one another and believe in the good things coming.