Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, about how Thanksgiving is a really reflexive time to look into yourself and at your life. To think about all the blessings that you have gained over the year and to be truly grateful. And admittedly, being grateful is something that we should be every waking moment, just because we never know what life will throw at us next.
There are so many things that I have to be thankful for, but for this I wanted to focus on one thing (that encompasses so many other things) that I am truly thankful for, especially over the past 10 months: support.
I’ve been trying to make up for lost time recently with some posts.
This falls into that category, and I’ll be honest, it’s been a difficult thing to write. Believe me when I say that I have a couple dozen unfinished drafts of this very piece because I don’t know – or maybe don’t want – to go through with it. But after a lot of thinking, reliving, and some personal healing, sharing how grateful I am for the support I received over the past few months will truly be the cathartic experience I’ve been waiting for.
I mentioned previously that this summer was difficult for me in a number of ways, but if we zoom out a little bit, this entire year has been challenging.
Some of you may know that for years I had fought against depression and anxiety and suicide. For a while, I thought I was out of the clear for a bit, because 2017 was an exceptional year. I thought that from there it could only get better.
2018 was a bit of a different turn for me, where I started to slip back into old habits, negative self-talk, and some bad decisions. This all really peaked in the summer when I found myself in a pretty turbulent relationship. So many things were going my way that I started getting selfish. I got all the things that I wanted, but there was one thing that I still didn’t have, and that was validation from a man. I wasn’t even looking for love or companionship, just simple validation.
I let the situation get the best of me. There were multiple red flags, but when you’re in love, you never notice them. In the process, I pushed aside everyone else who was important to me to make sure that things would work for him. I didn’t even think about myself, let alone think of the people in my path that I pushed aside to make room for him.
But as things started to spiral out of control, I noticed – and then promptly ignored – how my behaviour started to change. I took on more risk. I started drinking way more and my anxiety and anger increased exponentially. I was never really myself, no matter how many friends I surrounded myself with.
In short, I let myself get hurt by someone who didn’t deserve me.
I sought validation from the wrong places and used all the wrong outlets to help myself. After the ‘relationship’ ended, I found that I was still drinking more and thinking a lot about death. I felt guilty for letting myself become a different person for the sake of validation. In the process not only did I hurt myself, but also some people around me.
The miraculous thing, though, is that other people – the people who really do love me – never stopped loving me. I didn’t deserve any of it, and yet I was still supported through and through. From the counselling and medical staff that I see every week, to my own family and friends, I can’t imagine where I’d be without them.
It’s never easy to admit that you were wrong. It’s never easy to admit that you need help. This led to cutting back on things that fuelled my anxiety, like coffee and alcohol. I’m back at counselling and started taking anti-depressants. I’m trying to go back to basics and center back on my faith – something I admittedly neglected over the past several months.
Once I saw that the support system around me, I realized that this is all the validation I need. This is all the purpose I need.
I’m thankful that despite all the chances that I received that I received one more. I’m thankful for the people that give me those chances despite the fact that I probably am not so deserving of them.
There is always a lot to be grateful for. For everything that people have helpd me through – thank you so very much.