“I believe with all my heart that just understanding the metapurpose of the anxious struggle helps to make it beautiful. Purposeful, creative, bold, rich, deep things are always beautiful.”
― Sarah Wilson
Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay & I’m here to both proudly + publicly identify AND celebrate the fact that I’ve battled w/ depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation + many other things on/off for the past 18 yrs. As a direct result of unresolved mental issues, for 11 yrs, I subsequently succumbed to substance abuse; alcohol (and the occasional benzo or 2.. or however many I’d take, bc blackouts]) was my preferred DOC. As was seeking validation from men other than my partner, on several occasions. My initial, underlying mental health issues ultimately led me to seeking out ways to achieve the feelings I longed for, that I could not seem to find without unhealthy outside help.
Let’s jump forward a bit to current day: I’m 1129 days sober, and in life-long recovery from both substance abuse AND the mental illnesses that triggered it. Sobriety is the easy part, it’s the recovery part that’s hard & not for the faint of heart. Unfortunately, when all you’ve ever known is cowering out of fear bc of intimidation, you’re BORN faint of heart. From birth enters childhood, and both mine + my adolescent years were filled with emotional/psychological abuse.
Now we’ll jump back: I say I’m proud of who/what/where I am, bc I am. I can’t say I’m proud of everything that necessarily got me to this point, but it is bc of those previous lives, that I get to live out my wildest dreams in the present day.
It’s only been a couple of months since I came out of the hardest part of my mental health journey: I survived an almost year-long depressive spell that was a direct result of my Zoloft ceasing to do its job, and then dealing with the aftermath, despite responsibly weaning. My Zoloft had essentially created a dam inside my brain, blocking any/all FULL feelings from making breakthrough, and once the Zoloft began to trickle out of my system, I literally felt ALL THE FEELS. I thought of suicide many a time, simply bc my tender heart felt it could not take it anymore.
They say we fear what we don’t know, and w/ the help of a (holistic) psychiatrist, I finally came to realize that I’ve inadvertently been fearful of was what lies deep w/in me. For me, anti-depressants became nothing more than what alcohol was: an erroneous band-aid temporarily helping me feel like I had my shit together. The internal healing that needed to take place, as a result of decades worth of internalized trauma, was much deeper than any chemical could penetrate, and I came to understand that if I ever want to truly be able to hear/feel/understand myself, I had no choice but to dig the deepest I’ve ever dug into my soul, and learn to sit with everything I’d excavated that had become grotesquely embedded in my existence. That journey within a journey began a few months ago, and I haven’t looked back since. Instead, I look within + ahead, only using the past as guidance of things I don’t ever have to repeat again. (This is my truth, and I realize and advocate for those who’re needing pharmaceutical aid, because each of us was created unique.)
Over the past 18 years I’ve overcome things I once thought would literally kill me, including myself and the beliefs I bought into. It’s taken me over three years of recovery to finally + truly start shedding layers I once thought to be permanent.
I cut my toxic father out of my life at 23. I finished my college degree and snagged the career I have now at 26. I received my emphatic shove/”wake-the-fuck-up-call” from the universe and ultimately got sober at 31. I quit my antidepressants for good shortly after turning 34. Ebb and flow. Neither healing nor growth are linear; everything is temporary.
Now, only a few months shy of my 35th birthday, I’m just now finding my true voice + vision and it’s only recently that I’ve begun to see how I never spoke above a whisper and how tunneled my sight has been. I’ve stopped seeking approval and validation from the wrong people.
I’ve stopped talking to myself negatively. Instead, I’ve started to believe in myself and everything I stand for. I’ve started fighting for the right + just things I believe in. I’ve never faked it until I made it, but I had to speak things internally and externally until they finally became reality.
I love my reality even when I’ve convinced myself I don’t. I’ve embraced everything it means to be a magical misfit, because that’s exactly what the fuck I am. 🌻