feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
"self-doubt creeps in and that swiftly turns to depression"
Have you ever felt so down, so frustrated, so exhausted that you just want to give up? Could be with anything. Workouts. Eating right. Studying. Even life.
Over the last few days I've been listening to a lot of podcasts. Most have been about overcoming life's frustrations. How our low points actually are what shape us into the incredible people we come to be. I talk a lot about this in my posts. Probably because I can dream. I can see the light at the end of the dark tunnels I go through now. I can feel inspired and motivated. I can relate to these people and these stories because I can love life. I can love myself. But it hasn't always been this way for me.
Recently, I was talking to a friend about being in a state of depression. First, let me describe this friend to you - she's incredible. Would give me the shirt off her back no questions asked. Since the day we've met she's stood out in my eyes as the "do anything for anyone" type.
She's been through more than most quite honestly. Things that I cannot even begin to imagine or comprehend. She's tough as hell and inspires me to no end. During our talk, she expressed having suicidal thoughts. We spoke about the feeling of being so low that there is no visible light at the end of the tunnel. The grass isn't greener on either side. The only thing that would take the pain away is no longer having to live at all. Or at least that's how it feels. It sounds morbid, and if you've never felt this way then it might even sound crazy. But regardless of how it sounds, I promise you it feels even worse.
We all go through things in life that one way or another tend to affect our sense of worth. We feel embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, ugly, worthless. The list can go on. And the things we go through can sometimes be the unthinkable. Or the things we go through can be smaller in comparison.
Im going to be honest in saying that I truly don't know how to help someone when they're feeling this low. I know from experience, there were days I didn't want to change my thoughts. I dug myself into a deep hole and the only person that could save me, was me. There were times that I didn't even know what was causing the pain or sadness. So how could anyone be of any help? I know that I would direct those feeling this way to seek professional help. But I also know that I would try my hardest to show them that they are loved. Because that is what helped me through my darkest times. Love.
For me, it was learning to love every part about myself. Even the "ugly" parts. It was knowing that I am not defined by my mistakes. It was knowing that I can forgive myself for the things I've said / done wrong. It was forgiving others, especially family members and loved ones, for what they've done or said that hurt me. Forgiveness. Letting go. Not holding on to anger, resentment or guilt. It was facing everything. It was facing myself and realizing that I couldn't be loved or love others without first loving myself. I couldn't find happiness without being happy in my skin. It wasn't allowing the hardships I went through define who I was going to be. But it was facing them and accepting them and myself. It was coming out on top and then realizing that if I spread nothing but love each and everyday I will be the change I wish to see in today's world. I still have bad days, but the light gets brighter and brighter and the tunnel gets shorter and shorter with each passing struggle.
I do however want you all to know that whatever you are battling, you are not going through it alone. I want you to know that you are enough. And that your presence here means more than you know. I want you to know that you are loved. By me. I want you to know that if you ever feel like there isn't a purpose for you, you're wrong. There is. And you deserve to see the day where you find that purpose. I want you to know that if you ever need a shoulder to lean on or a person to listen, I am only an email away. With today's technology people across the world can connect and lift each other up. It's a magical thing. And something we should use to our advantage.
Sometimes the smallest gesture can go the longest way. In one of my podcasts there was a story of a kid, tom, who noticed a more "nerdy-looking" student as tom described him, walking home from school with a ton of books one day. Some bullies came over and hit the books out of his hand. Tom went over, helped him retrieve his books from the ground and walked him home. They actually wound up becoming good friends. As the years went by, this student won valedictorian of their high school. His speech was about a day back in middle school where he cleaned out his locker purposely, because he planned to kill himself that evening. That was the day he met tom. Tom had no idea at the time, but he saved this kids life. And this kid is now a different person. A happy person. The kid who was once sure that his time here had no meaning, had gone on to become valedictorian of his class. If this story teaches you something, I hope it's that you can overcome any struggle that comes your way. That the person you are right now can and will change. In 5 years your life will be completely different.
Forge meaning and build identity. Forge meaning from the struggles. And build your identity out of them. And then invite the world to share your joy. I share these stories with you, my struggles with you and where I'm at now because I want to spread my love. Spread my joy and spread my story. It's difficult for me to sit here and type these rants most days. Mostly because 25 thousand strangers have the ability to tear me apart if they want to. I open myself to you all and I am vulnerable. But I hope in my vulnerability it helps at least one of you realize that you truly aren't going through anything alone.
Thank you for reading x
All photos by @dauntphotography -- check him out!