I think the most crucial part of my personal development journey so far was when I decided I was going to find hope. I literally had to make the choice that I was going to be okay, and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I think everyone who does pull themselves out of a severe depression like mine has some sort of “hope” moment.
Mine came a few weeks after the biggest fight Johnny and I have ever had. It was March. We were fighting about some family “drama” and it was the day the “d” word got brought up. Johnny left in his truck, and I laid on the floor of our living room sobbing. The thoughts in the back of my head that had been there for months came to the surface.
“Just kill yourself.”
“See- your life will only be miserable.”
“You don’t deserve to be happy.”
“Beth died because you aren’t supposed to be a mother.”
“You will always be a failure. This isn’t your first marriage. Why did you think this would be any different?”
I had hit lows that were fueled by the loss of my child, postpartum depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress. I don’t know a more confusing, annoying mental space you could be in. Especially because literally everyone around me kept saying “just be happy you’re alive” and according to me, I wasn’t living. Marriage failing, dead daughter, no uterus, no hope. I had lived in that space for months.
Johnny came back home. We talked. We worked out a plan to save our marriage and I decided it was time for me to get my shit together.
For clarification, my shit is not together.
I’m working on it, though! And having the hope of a happier “new normal” has kept me going for another two years. We have been through a lot of ups and downs since then. Shortly after the big fight, I was laid off from my job of three years. On a Monday, in the middle of the day. Instead of allowing that to be a setback, Johnny and I sat down and talked about what my dream job would be, and the things I’d need from an employer to be happy. I didn’t realize then, but I realize now, that the job I had before that was holding me back. It was actually holding me back in some really big ways. Getting the new job (where I work now) showed me that I was capable of so much more than what I’d done before.
Remember the post about Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone? Making changes like the new job, new side hustle and new friend groups allowed me to see what I was missing by feeling hopeless. I don’t think there’s a magic way to find that spark. Change something up? Meet new people? Go to a new gym? All the things I can think of have one thing in common, CHANGE. You cannot do the same things you’ve always done and expect different results, right? So if you’re in a space of depression, hopelessness, anxiety and frustration, you have to change the space you’re in.
I don’t think I’m out of the woods with all of this. There are still days when the pain is overwhelming and two years feels like two minutes. There are other times when I feel like I’m on top of the world. The only thing that hasn’t changed since March of 2017 is the fact that I haven’t given up hope. I push forward every day. I don’t allow the demons to keep me down, and neither can you. If you’re reading this- FIND THAT HOPE. Find the thing that makes you realize that it’s all going to be okay. Mine was my family. My husband and my son kept me here and I know you have so many things that are worth staying around for. If you feel like there isn’t- I want you to reach out to me. Because I’ll prove you wrong. And if for some crazy reason I can’t find something that is worth that hope, I’ll help you create something. You’re worth it.