My journey with depression and anxiety has been a long, arduous one, however, with all of the difficulties it has brought – I don’t regret it. I am of the belief that everything happens for a reason, and without that struggle I would not be able to see the world so positively today.
Battling anxiety in particular, limited my world immensely, and to get back to a normal life I knew that I had to face my anxieties in order for them to gradually decline into nothingness. Every time I put myself in an uncomfortable situation, I thought that I couldn’t do it and I wanted nothing more than to give up – but each time I did it. From feeling so hopeless to the feeling of pride from conquering a fear, I learned my own strength. Being afraid of irrational things has taught me immense bravery that I now apply to my “back to normal” life; small things that used to upset me have no power now that everything has been put into perspective.
I have received so much love and support, throughout this tricky time in my life, which cemented the good nature of people and has really illustrated how precious compassion is. Strangers went above and beyond to help me – from the man who laid his jacket under my head after I collapsed, to the young guy that was incredibly nice to me on the train while I was panicking – they have all restored my faith in humanity. I will always believe in the kindness of strangers. This whole experience opened my eyes; from an onlooker I was just a girl sitting on a train but inside I was freaking out and for me, that brought to life how you don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives, so always be kind. Once I got to the stage where I was a functioning human again, I developed a desire to help people, which has changed my life, majorly, for the better.
Going from being a healthy 18-year-old to being very physically unwell, the appreciation I have for my body has grown massively. I no longer look at it as something to “fix”, the internal capabilities of my body is so much more important than the layer of fat you can see from the outside, which is protecting my organs. I feel like I have connected with myself on a deeper level as I am grateful every time I do something that I previously struggled with – for example, eating a meal without being sick. Finding such gratitude in small things has greatly boosted my daily happiness and I haven’t felt so positive in years, which makes me think this horrible year was actually required in order for me to live my best life.
This has been the most challenging year for me, but it has also been the most transformative. The dark places I spent time in now allows me to understand the significance of the light, and really value it. Although at times, I doubted if I would make it, not only have I got to a great place but I’m feeling better than ever; this catharsis has changed my whole outlook on life. I would have loved to have the epiphanies without the suffering, but where there is no rain, there are no flowers. I would never wish such a struggle on anybody, but if you are in that place whilst it is excruciating, search for the positives in every situation. I absolutely love this quote and having it engraved in a bracelet would make a great gift.
For anyone battling with depression or anxiety, you will get there and when you do you will have gained a staggering insight into yourself, others and the world. You will realise that you have developed so many skills, as you fought to recover, which will help you to rebuild your life into something you could never have imagined to be possible.
EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING