I had a dream last night that I was a singer/songwriter. I had written a song but I had no faith anyone would like it. I wasn’t even sure it was original enough that I liked it myself.
I could feel my entire mind and body in a massive depression. I was so hopeless and lost. Even though I was surrounded by people (and had a better social group than I do in real life) it didn’t help; nothing mattered, nothing felt good, nothing made it better.
I woke up remembering when I truly used to feel that way. It was so long ago I had forgotten how dense those feelings were; how they consumed me from the inside, painted everything black and underlined everything, always. I remembered how everything always felt like I was not really living, but just going through the motions of it all.
I wracked my brain this morning trying to figure out how it changed; how I changed. But I can’t really put it into simple steps. Maybe, quite honestly, because it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t a fast fix.
The ending started 24 years ago on a failed suicide attempt that landed me in the ER. Wish that I could say that it was the compassion I felt from others during this experience that turned it around. Or that it was sage advice that was pivotal to turning my life around. But it was nothing like that. In fact, perhaps quite the opposite.
I think it was the disregard, the lack of understanding, the extreme judgement and pity that made me see that I only had one person to pull me out of this; and that person was me. To see that I had given up on myself and my life and that no matter what the circumstances where for that, it was not something I could let go on any further. It was a tiny spark of hope that rose that day that I have clung on to for dear life and never let go of.
With that speck of hope I started on the difficult journey of changing my life: my habits, my thoughts, and the way I looked at myself and the world. It was tedious truthfully, but I kept at it.
And here I am, still on that journey of honoring myself and my life. I am no longer my worst critic. I am no longer skeptical of myself. I am no longer my own worst enemy; at least not usually.
And while I’ve changed and grown and am so very different now, it doesn’t mean it is always easy. Life is never completely pain free. But I find it worthwhile now and when the road gets hard and feels all uphill I just keep going. Maybe I rest a bit more, have more compassion for myself, but I try to keep my eyes ahead. I try to keep my spirit bright. I trust in myself. I believe in myself. I love myself.
There was a time I could not even say those words. There was a time even when I forced myself to say them I didn’t believe them. There was a time I could not imagine being free of the darkness.
Somehow, someway, through some miracle I found a speck of faith within me and that was enough to build on.
May we all find faith, hope and love for ourselves and our world.