I wanted to write this on St. Patrick’s Day – one year after I hit one of my low points –but I didn’t see the need to bring up muddled emotions and have to clean up the mess again. Then I realized that I am one year wiser and stronger. Long gone are the days of being a victim to the universe’s challenges and others' aggression and depression. I am in control of my life, and with that I am in control of how I handle my emotions.
March was a month of constant reflection for me. I found myself recalling past experiences and considering what I learned from them. I laughed at the ridiculousness of some of the situations I got into and briefly felt the familiar dull pain of some trying moments.
We all have our versions of rock bottom. Sadness cannot be compared or classified. The empty pain hurts us all the same. Perhaps some depression is grander and more public than others. Perhaps some people put up a strong front, but behind their walls they are crumbling apart. Nevertheless, we cannot belittle others' pain and make them feel weak for succumbing to dark moments. What we can do, is be the light for one another and help pull each other out of the darkness and on our feet once more.
The silver lining to falling into the abyss is that the only way out is up! No matter how bad it gets, how difficult it feels to get out of bed and how impossible change may seem – time will heal the wounds and it will only get better.
I spent most of my life being indifferent and not letting myself truly feel. I coasted through the moments, never experiencing true joy and refusing to surrender to the sadness. Then I eventually realized that it is okay to feel - letting yourself is not a sign of weakness. However, the pendulum drastically swung to the opposite side and I turned into a big ball of emotions. My mind took me to dark places and I fell into funks quite frequently.
Thankfully, incredible friends and my faith stood by me and balanced my soul. It has taken time and is still an ongoing process, but I appreciate everything so much more now. There is no happiness without sadness. There is no growth without suffering. Sometimes we need to rely on the strength of others, have a third party’s perspective, or simply know that there is someone who will be there to catch you when you fall. I have been honored and given the opportunity to reciprocate this kindness to some wonderful people in my life. Sharing your light and the beauty of this world with others not only heals their pain but also renews your own soul.
As I reflect I cannot help but smile about my life – the past included. I have grown tremendously and still have a long way to go. Yet now I can confront my demons, recall painful memories, and experience hurt without crumbling. I am stronger, wiser and hold a great place of awareness of this life.
So this year I celebrated my St. Patrick’s with green beer and toasted to surviving, healing and flourishing.