For those of you that have just met me within the last 8 years, you have not had the inside look of the hot mess I was. You are seeing a girl living out a dream, surrounded by some amazing and supportive people, living her absolute best life. This did not happen overnight, or even within the last 8 years. It has taken every year of my life (almost 48 if you need to know) to get to where I am today.
What we go through does not determine who we are or who we will become; what we do with it does.
I remember in my darkest moments making deals with God, that if He would somehow save my life and bring that joy into it that was filled with so much darkness, I would spend the rest of my life doing the best I could to show others they could too.
Our stories are often hard to share, we would prefer people to see only the best of us. If we let people in to see the messy places we were at, it provides a bit of light in the darkness they are in. It provides that glimmer of hope, that they too can overcome whatever adversity they are facing. I am certain I could write a book on all I have been through, but for now, I am going to highlight the situations I put myself in or the situations I have been in out of my control. Hopefully if you are sitting in a dark place, you can read this and today you will put your feet on the ground and say with determination
“Yes, I can. I am strong, I am smart, and I will overcome.”
You will say this every day for the rest of your life. As strong as some people seem around you, I promise you they are also fighting their own battles daily.
I have dealt with and overcome severe anxiety that was often accompanied with severe panic attacks. I have been through depression, suicidal thoughts, severe mental, emotional and verbal abuse in a relationship for four years, numbing my pain with prescription anti-depressants, anxiety meds and often chasing it down with alcohol. I have watched family and friends battle through years of addictions. I have watched those close to me deal with adversity they face because they are gay. I have experienced and watched those that were closest to me battle sicknesses, some overcoming them, and some not. Some of these issues I have dealt with were due to making wrong choices, and some of them are just part of life.
What changed for me? How did I get where I am today? My cry of help was heard in my darkest hour, and I was rescued. There was no magical wand, just a very broken girl in a corner of a room begging not to live another day in the messy world I was living in. I know without a doubt there were many prayers covering me when I was in my darkest moments, and I will forever be grateful for those prayers. I know without a doubt whoever is reading this, there are many prayers covering you in your dark moments even if you do not realize it right now.
Was the journey easy after I was rescued? No, it was not and some days it is still tough because situations that happen will always remind us where we came from. However, every single day I am determined to chose joy and see the positive in everything. I am determined to learn through every obstacle that comes my way and to live my very best life every single day even on the hard days. Life is too short; we all deserve to have that joy and peace over our lives.
Let today be the day that you put your feet on the ground and say with determination and faith that no matter what today brings you will stand strong. Look around at the community that surrounds you, if they are not strong, supportive and encouraging, find a new community of friends. On the days you want to be strong but do not feel like you can, lean on that community to help hold you up for the day.
Yes, you can. You can do whatever you set out to do with the understanding it is not going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it. Start living your best life today, I promise it will be worth it.