A little over a month ago I reached out to This Is My Brave and got the opportunity to be a guest blogger. I was so excited! …Until I read on and saw the request for my blog post to be inspirational and/or uplifting. I’m going to be honest here, I’m going through a rough patch, and for a while I couldn’t figure out how to be uplifting without also lying. I mean, I’m depressed, stressed and tired. Life doesn’t seem great right now, should I pretend it does?
But after spending several weeks reflecting I realized yeah, life isn’t great right now, but it’s a hell of a lot better than it was 3, 5 or 10 years ago. I’m no longer sobbing, skipping school or trying new meds in a hospital. My panic attacks are less frequent and I am enrolled full time at a university. I have a good job and friends, something I desperately craved for so long.
So, how can I make this uplifting in a time where I’m pretty down? By telling you what we’re all sick of hearing, it gets better.
It’s true; the misery you may feel now is not permanent. Middle school ends and new opportunities emerge everyday. I’m attending a school where mental illness is accepted and as a student I am supported, something I definitely could not say four years ago. I look out my window and see people foam-sword fighting on the green (truly, this is not made up), I see a boy wearing what is definitely pajamas and a lesbian couple holding hands. And the beautiful thing is they’re left alone.
I truly believe there is a place for each person in this world. I also believe one day I will find that place for me. Maybe it’s Hawaii or California, I’m not sure, but I’ll be damned if I don’t find it.
I can see clearer than I could years ago. I know why I hold on and my grip is far tighter. When I am down I remind myself, Laura, there are so many places to travel to and animals to see, pretty dresses to be worn and, most importantly, people to be helped. So find your reasons because even in the deep, deep downs, you too could realize the positive and uplifting.
So many things await us in life. Have you tried every ice cream flavor at Ben and Jerry’s? Have you adopted a cute cat or traveled to Bali? OH, what about skydiving? Have you tried that yet? Life is so much more than tears, stress and doctors so find your reasons and no matter what, keep on keeping on.
Laura Shea, Student, Age 20
Constant worrier, plant based foodie, Harry Potter fan, and advocate for compassion.
Background: I have been in treatment for anxiety and chronic, severe, depression since I was eight and have been working to overcome anorexia for the past 3 years. My dream is to travel and speak to young adults and parents about mental health and how to support those struggling. I hope to see the mental health system extend it's services and make appropriate treatment available to all those in need.
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