i am very much aware of myself. self-aware, narcissistic, call it what you may, but i know myself. i know what motivates, what makes me angry, what hurts, what makes me come alive. but for a long time i did not recognize myself. i honestly don’t know if i can pinpoint when it all began, but i suspect it started young, hiding when life was downright unfair, not having the coping mechanisms i needed at such a young age. but we can only hide so long. our true selves are not patient people and they will show themselves. and often, we are unrecognizable to ourselves and those around us when it happens.
i think my true self finally had the courage to emerge after a series of several traumatic events – a natural disaster, a friend’s death, a bombing and transitioning from not only a country, but a career. over the next few months i lost a crazy amount weight, didn’t brush my hair because it scared me how much hair was in the brush, lost my appetite, cried multiple times every day, couldn’t sleep and i thought about death – a lot. look up the definition of depression and my name was there.
so i went to counseling. i went to an amazing woman who validated and listened to me, made me ask tough questions. she taught me to take up space in a room and love myself. she showed me that life is really shitty at times (there’s really no other word to describe it) but it is also beautiful and kind of magical. i learned that thankfulness is key and for the first time, my faith was NECESSARY. i didn’t have answers, but i realized that really isn’t the point.
cue the end of a relationship and all of that hard work was threatened. i was back in the same cycle. i remember telling the person i was dating that i didn’t think i was suppose to be on anti-depressants and that i felt like a lot of what i was dealing with was really important to notice and experience. but when the relationship ended, i was right back in the same place, only it felt really personal. i couldn’t see myself anymore. i did what i was suppose to do: counseling, eating right, vitamins, working out, surrounded myself with really great people – but nothing helped. i felt like i was giving in, but i went to the dr, found myself on a tried and true anti-depressant and within a week, felt like ME for the first time in 3 years. not the paranoid, emotionally unstable (let’s be honest here, i’m a crier and always will be), hopeless person who often took front stage, but the person who was creative, saw the potential of a really beautiful future and could truly appreciate what she had been given.
there are days and situations that are ridiculously messy and difficult. and even with the help of a happy pill, my life is not perfect. that pill tricks my brain into working the way it was intended, but it solves nothing. i have to consciously be aware of the lies in my head and invite truth to take precedence. i have to take care of my body and practice vulnerability. i can’t just sit back and let life happen. and even then sometimes it doesn’t seem like enough. tonight with the reminder that life is oh so short and precious, i choose life. again and again.