There was a time in my life when I found myself in a very dark place. I was broken like shards of glass from a mirror and couldn’t imagine how being whole could ever happen again. It took time, some luck, and the love and support of some incredible people, but eventually I was able to get there. Sometimes I am reminded of this feeling when I reflect on my life; with great appreciation, on where I am today. It is in these moments I am reminded of the road that got me here. It’s important for those who are still journeying down that road to know that you are not alone and this too shall pass.
During these darker times my mindset was that everything in life was hard and exhausting and at the time; it was. I was making it impossible for me to seize the day. I was exhausting myself by making every mundane task a chore and making everything I had to do in a day a burden. I was manufacturing my own factory of misery and running the place all by myself. After all, if getting out of bed is a chore, imagine what it’s like to go get dressed, do laundry, homework and forget about making it to a job. What did I need the job for really; I was already putting in 24 hours to my misery factory. I had found a way to make simple things, like going through the motions, difficult. That made the more difficult things, like caring and trying, impossible.
It’s a machine that traps you, the factory of misery, it is really just your own mind creating all the right thoughts and scenarios to keep you depressed. How many of the horrible thoughts that pass through a darkened mind have actually happened? The mind, yours/mine/anyone, is truly a remarkably powerful thing. It can lift you beyond incredible heights, or it can bury you in countless fathoms.
How do you get out of this abyss? It’s so dark down here. It’s easier to stay. The surface is so far away.
You climb. You take the first step, and then a second. Then a third.
You make each step more pleasant then the last.
You find inspiration in the things that give you joy. In the beginning there may not be many of those things, but you seize them and you squeeze every drop of happiness out of them. Sometimes that one thing leads you to another, and another.
Start with the smaller things, take your time, and don’t stop moving.
Getting out of bed was a problem, so I set my alarm every morning, left my phone across the room and made sure it wasn’t set to some obnoxious chime – no. My alarm was a song that I loved, something that made me want to get up and listen to it. I would roate it around once it got old. Try waking up to Jack Johnson and pretending you want to turn it off.Anyway, now I’m out of bed because I want to be awake.
Getting dressed was a burden, but was it the wardrobe or was it me? So I picked up a couple of cheap, but new clothes. Something that made me feel comfortable, but clean and now I was more ready to take on the world. I think a new outfit can make you feel good about yourself if you’re feeling less than attractive.
What makes homework a chore? I think it’s because it was always presented in a negative light. I did some of the reading, found that some of it wasn’t all that bad. I did the assignments and put a little effort into it – realizing I was actually pretty damn good at getting it done. And when those grades start coming in, it’s a nice reward for good work.
And a job. What is your dream job? What is your dream salary? Why don’t you have it?
That was on me, why wasn’t I doing it – was it really too hard? Maybe, maybe not, how the hell could I know because I never tried. No one was going to knock on my door and offer me a position for great money. Even if I was the best of anything, you have to put yourself out there. I made a resume, created logins to all the important sites and started applying for things I wanted. I didn’t care if I wasn’t qualified, they can shoot me down, but they were going to know who I was and that I was interested.
Eventually, you will find yourself in the middle of something – something you’ve done a million times: walking your dog, folding a shirt, pee-ing off a bridge – and suddenly you’ll notice your smiling. You’ll feel it on your face like you didn’t know it was there. You’re smiling just because you’re alive and you are conscious enough to appreciate something that could be so trivial. You are living in the present and thrilled to be there.
Here’s what I can summarize:
If you are saying ‘I can be happy if…’ then you’re doing it wrong. You have to be happy with what you have, as you are, right now. If you can’t be happy now, what makes you think you can be happy later. Do you really thinking having that car is going to define your life? Sure, you’ll be driving everyone around for a while, but its a car. Be happy without it, then appreciate it with greater happiness when you do.
If you are thinking ‘there’s just a lot going on right now and I can’t…’ well that’s an excuse. Do you think days are going to get longer for you? No, you have the same 24 hours that everyone else does. Although you may not use your time wisely, it is passing just as fast. Don’t make excuses to yourself, no one else is going to live your life for you and no one is going to carry you across the ‘happiness finish line’. You get there yourself, for yourself, and then you can truly appreciate love, friendship and family.
Don’t give up and don’t ever think you have done enough. You’ll know when you have, no need to overthink things. You don’t have to be a shark and think you can never stop swimming, but don’t settle for ‘im fine’ when you are worth so much more.
You are stronger than whatever obstructs you.
You are worth it, and no one else needs to agree.
You will find your way to be – exactly where you want to be.
If you have no one to chat with, you can absolutely message me here.
If you have your own story to share; feel free to post it.