Here I am. It is Saturday night. My phone is quiet, I’m watching the Toronto Raptors play the Golden State Warriors on TV and listening to music. My parents have to listen to me typing, singing and yelling at the TV. But this is nothing new. This is one of my happy places.
It has been a good week and I type that with a smile on my face. A real smile. After the ups and downs that was 2021, I am beyond happy to be here, in this moment. The last 3 months of 2020 and all of 2021 has been a rebuilding year for me. You often here of sports teams dismantling and rebuilding…that has been me since September 2020. Life got to the point where I didn’t know who I was anymore. I questioned everything. I was lost and just trying to keep my head above water at times. As a person who lives with anxiety daily, I don’t like change…but then COVID came, and then my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer…and I have since learned how to deal with unexpected, uncontrollable change. It hasn’t been easy but I’m working on it.
Rebuilding…it isn’t easy. But in order to rebuild I had to tear down everything I once was. I questioned everything I thought I knew, everything I thought I wanted. I had to remove some people from my life because I realized how toxic they were for my mental health. I also realized who is worth my time and energy and who isn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I cried over the loss of these relationships but looking back now it all makes sense. All of these dark days, ups and downs, crying myself to sleep has led me to this path, right here and now. It turned out that all I have gone through all I have faced has given me a clean slate, a blank canvas.
I have a job. *Insert happy dance here* I haven’t had a job in almost 4 years. I have a job AND I like it. A lot. It keeps me busy and can be completely exhausting at times, but I am happy. It pushes me out of my comfort zone. I have the opportunity to help and impact lives. I advocate for inclusion and for those who can’t do it for themselves. I help provide a safe space. And I work with great people.
I had an over the phone appointment with my psychiatrist on Tuesday. I answered the phone when he called and we chatted a little bit to catch up, and then he said “Hilary, you sound really good. You sound happy.” And I giggled, responding that yes, I am happy. It was crazy how in the first few minutes of our phone call he could hear it in my voice. On Wednesday, I had a Zoom call with my academic advisor. As I want to continue on with my university studies. She told me that she could see a positive change in me since we last spoke, and I had a completely different vibe. So, I guess what I am trying to say is that it’s nice when other people see that you’re doing well and happy. I know that I’m doing well, and that I am happy but when someone else notices it hits you like damn, my hard work is paying off.
I still have bad days and anxiety attacks. But I know that I can overcome whatever my depression or anxiety throws my way. It may take a couple hours, or days. But there is a light at the end of tunnel no matter how dark it may seem.
More to come…