When I was younger, I walked around in a storm, constantly plagued by worry and stress.
I carried so much unresolved anger and unhealed pain that the world felt like a battlefield. I was constantly on guard, ready for confrontation, ready to fight. My mind raced a million miles a minute. I had no peace; I had no reprieve. My constant state of angst left me on edge like a ticking time bomb. I was ready to go off at any moment and with the slightest prompting. I was volatile and violent.
It was taxing to live like this. It was so hard to cope with this never-ending state of anxiety. I had a very hard time enjoying anything. In fact, life, for the most part, felt like torture. It became a struggle to just make it through the day.
No matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get away from the negative thoughts in my head.
At that time in my life, I made some very poor choices. I turned to drugs as an answer to my problems. I thought that if I could just quiet my mind for a little while, if I could just have a break from it all, maybe I could be, maybe I would be OK. I kept chasing that numbing. I went deeper and deeper. I lost control, and I lost my footing in reality.
I woke up one day after having been high again for days on end. I was severely underweight. I had stopped looking after myself completely. I woke up to the reality that I was reaching an end.
Something deep inside of me had awoken and was warning me I would not survive if I continued on like this. I knew.
Everyone in my life at that time was leading a similar lifestyle to the one I was. There was no one to turn to. I had no healthy relationships. I had no support system. I had no family to turn to. I had been swallowed by my lifestyle. I didn’t know what to do, or how to do it. All I knew was, that if I continued, it would be the end for me.
That day I decided to stop using all drugs. Everything.
I had no idea how addicted or sick I was. I did not know how dangerous it was to just “quit.” I did not realize until I started hitting withdrawal. I had never gone long enough without to realize what it would be like. It was one of the worst and scariest experiences I have ever been through. Shaking, shivering, sweating, in fetal position, passing in and out of consciousness between vomiting and defecating myself. It was grotesque. I wasn’t sure if I would survive it.
I don’t remember all that happened, but I do remember having an awakening as to how my addiction was, how out of control it had gotten. I was fairly certain that I could only go through this once. I knew if I gave in, if I didn’t keep going, it was very likely I would never have the courage to try again.
Somehow, I don’t know how, I made it through.
I felt really awful for a long time. I had no energy. I cried all the time. I slept all the time. I couldn’t cope with anything, not even the simplest of tasks. I kept away from anyone and everything as much as I possibly could. I spent the majority of my time in solitude.
I started to think about things. My life, my choices, the person I had become, and how I was living my life. I started thinking about change, the possibility of change. I started thinking about the future. I had a very difficult time finding any optimism. I didn’t know how to live. How to be. How to change. How to change my thinking.
This is where it all started for me. This was my rock bottom.
Rock bottom is where I slowly began collecting myself. I made a promise to myself to just do my best every day. It didn’t need to turn out. It didn’t need to be perfect. I just had to honestly, no excuses, try my best. I was determined to find change. I was determined to be a better person. I was determined to rise above my past.
I began to advocate for myself.
I looked for anything that might help me. I began learning. I read anything I could get my hands on to that might give me insight or answers. I came across cognitive-behavioral self-therapy. It changed my life. This was the beginning of my journey into the realm of self-development. Since then, I have never stopped learning. I never intend to stop learning or working on my own self-development.
Seeing first hand the impact it has had on my life. I feel compelled to share whatever I have learned, whatever I understand, with others in hopes that it might also help them. It is my great hope to help others.
To this day, I still keep that promise to try my best each and every day.
I don’t attach to the outcome; I don’t build expectation. I don’t try and match an ideal of perfection. All I do is try my best, with what I have, with who I am, with how I am.
It has served me very well. Today, I am still working on myself; I still have work ahead of me. But, I have my life together. I’ve changed a lot. I’m a different person, leading a different lifestyle, following a different path. I no longer carry around that angst and negativity. I no longer feel like I am in a fight with the world. I have found and grown a peace inside of me. A peace I cultivate and grow every day. A peace I carry into every moment. A peace no one can take away.
Change is possible. A better life is possible.
The first step is believing. The second is acting. You don’t have to achieve everything overnight. You just have to be willing to try. One day at a time. Just keep trying. Keep believing. Advocate for yourself. Seek help for yourself. Improve the quality of your thoughts. Improve the quality of your life. It will require work, a commitment, and consistent effort, but it’s worth it. It’s worth everything. Love yourself enough to make a better choice for yourself.
One choice at a time. One moment at a time. Don’t worry about the past or the future.
Just deal with the moment, the now. Do the best you can and leave it at that. Don’t attach to the outcome. Remember your intention. Let that bring you solace even on the most difficult of days. Learn to forgive yourself. Learn to be kinder to yourself. Step by step. Little by little. You’ll grow stronger. You’ll grow your courage. You’ll step into your power.