Two months ago I was in a completely different place. I wrote a pretty dark blog, and had some very dark thoughts. I couldn’t see the positives in my life; I couldn’t see the happiness! Getting out of bed seemed like the most difficult thing in the world and it took all my power to sit through a three-hour lecture without crying. I was suffering with the most intense anxiety that I have ever faced. I was so disappointed in my past and I was terrified of my future. I felt stuck. I was not sure what to do next, and not sure I was capable of handling the rest of my life. I found myself not being able to filter thoughts, or formulate sentences. I pulled back from the people who love me and shed many tears. ‘To Be Honest…’ was the culmination of all of those feelings, and all those fears all piled into one, very dark blog.
After that blog I made a conscious choice to not let that negativity be my reality. I turned it all around! I started to see the sun shine, hear the birds chirp, and was back to being myself. I felt complete again. I am not going to lie, since that turn-around I have had slips and have fallen back to that dark place, but luckily (with a lot of help and love) I didn’t stay there long.
It wasn’t as easy as simply declaring a change, it was hard work to turn things around, and to take steps towards being myself. But every last drop of that work was worth it! I am sitting here as a completely different person- a person that I am proud to be! I thought that I would document all the things that contributed to my turn around. If you are stuck, give some of these a try!
- My positivity list! was step one in my journey to being a happier me. It didn’t solve my problems, but it brought me one step closer. To be honest, I wrote it because I knew I shouldn’t finish a week on such a negative note. I wrote it because I forced myself to, not because my heart was truly full of gratitude. I didn’t feel much better after posting it, but like I said, it was step one!
- Wise words that lead to a ‘positivity list round 2’! Shortly after posting my positivity list, I received some amazing advice that, although it was great that I was grateful for the things in my life, I have to start feeling positive about the things that I put into the world, the things I have control over. This led me to write a ‘positivity list round two’ containing of all the things that I have done that I am proud of. I wrote down big accomplishments like getting a swimmer to believe in herself, to smaller, less shiny accomplishments like living on my own, and being able to take care of myself when I am sick. This really helped me to resolve the negative thoughts that I was having about my past. It forced me to feel pride in what I have accomplished, and gave me hope for my future accomplishments.
- This blog post! READ IT! It is incredible! I literally read it like 10 times and cried every time!
- Believing in myself and taking it one step at a time! I realized that I have never faced a situation that I couldn’t handle, and I have never not completed something! I have physically, mentally, and emotionally handled life up until now, so I know that I can continue to handle life. I will tackle my life one step at a time, and do what I can to the best of my ability!
- Pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. I set goals for myself and started to actively work to accomplish those goals! One of my major goals was to talk to people. I want to make more friends and build valuable connections… It is amazing the happiness that can come from talking to the person next to you, or texting your friend.
- School… Well, one class. I think is the first time that I can say this, but one course actually supported my mental health, and my mental growth. It actually provided me with the strategies to pull myself out of this slump… In fact, many of other things listed came from this course, so YAY! Thank you Ryerson for giving me exactly what I need, and for forcing me to do countless personal reflections!!
- Forgiving myself. Being able to recognize an error without judgment – this is the hardest one of all, but I am really working on it. I paraphrase Joyce Meyer often as I say, “it’s okay, I am on my way. I am not where want to be, but I am closer than I was yesterday.” I have really been pushing myself to recognize every experience -good or bad, as an opportunity for learning and growth.
- This quote by Chris Hadfield, “If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time.” Forcing myself to see every little step as an accomplishment makes me feel so much better about my life! I highly recommend celebrating the small stuff!
- Forcing myself to GET UP AND START THINGS! I found that a lot of my negative thoughts stemmed from procrastination, and from not accomplishing what needed to be accomplished. So, I started to make to-do lists the night before. As soon as I woke up I would force myself to cross something off that to-do list before eating breakfast. Getting a good, productive start to the day, made the rest of my day seem way more productive! Then at night I would recognize- WITHOUT JUDGMENT- what I had accomplished, and what I had left to do and then I would add the unfinished tasks to my to do list for the following day. Having a clear plan of attack on the day forced me to get up, and get moving every morning!
- Friends, Family… and God! My life turned around when I started to be honest about exactly what I was feeling, and exactly what I needed help with. Thank you to everyone who sent positive thoughts and prayers, it helped me more than you know!
Everyday, I learn something about myself and I am constantly pushing myself outside my comfort zone! I am making connections, working hard, challenging my hypocrisy, and learning to stand on my own two feet! I am growing, and that is all I can ask for. I am so proud of myself for the daily strides I am making towards being the person that I know I am! Stay tuned for big things and big adventures!
Peace and Blessings, and thank you for reading!