Gratitude for Darkness

Depression is a mother f***er. A sneaky ninja. A parasite of pleasure. It weasels in when you least expect it and grows beyond belief. If you've never experienced it - be thankful. If you have experienced it - be thankful. Depression, significant, soul crushing depression profoundly changes you. 

There was a time in my life where I was in a hole. No light. No hope. I coped by never leaving my house. Withdrawing into myself. People, nature, school, work, everything was too much to bear. Inflicting physical pain on myself was the norm. Just to see if I could feel anything but sadness.

So many people have similar stories. Overwhelmed with anxiety. Drowning in depression. I came out of my depression because I worked on it. Therapy. Connection. Sunshine. I'm still a work in progress. (shit, who isn't?) But I wouldn't be who I am today had I not experienced that darkness. I see light more clearly and more gratefully. I tell myself nice things on the reg (hell yeah I'm a fuckin rockstar and so are you). I eat good foods. I move my body. I live in love. 

We're all walking miracles. Little bundles of water and energy that conceptualized out of nothingness and into being. Appreciate that shit! We are capable of handling unimaginable trauma and celebrating endless ecstasy. Be thankful for the hard times. You wouldn't be who you are if it weren't for them.  

Have the audacity to believe in yourself

What a powerful thought. Have you ever had a brilliant idea, goal or wish to do something and when you express that goal or desire to a friend or family member they immediately hit you with the "What ifs?" What if you can't afford it? What if you lose? What if you don't get hired? What if it doesn't work out? You can spend your life drowning in what ifs and while that time passes someone else will chase and accomplish the very thing you were wanting. 

This happened to me when I wanted to move to California. There were a handful of people that hit me with their doubts. Aren't you nervous that you don't have a job there yet? You're never going to make that move. Aren't you going to miss everyone? What if you run out of money. How about this - WHAT IF I LOVE IT? WHAT IF I'M SUCCESSFUL? WHAT IF I'M SO UNHAPPY WITH MY CURRENT LIFE THAT I NEED A CHANGE. The truth is, I didn't have a plan when I moved to California from New Jersey. I packed up my car with what could fit, dragged a friend along and took a ride. No job applications in. No fear of the unknown. Just an all out ballsy confidence in myself that I could and would make this life changing decision work for me. 

If I hadn't been so audacious as to believe this dream of mine was going to work out, I probably would still be in NJ. Unhealthy, overweight, extremely unhappy, drinking myself into a blackout during the weekends, attaching myself to relationships that were toxic and distracting me from my true and authentic goals. Yes, I miss my family. Yes, I miss my friends. Yes, there was a time where I survived on PBJ because I was broke and there were moments of crushing loneliness because everything I was comfortable with was thousands of miles away. The night before I drove out of NJ, my (then 7 year old) sister made me sleep in bed with her as she hysterically cried that I was leaving her. It ripped my heart to shreds. But I knew I needed this change, for me, to be a better version of myself. 

I tell this story, because the more I delve into coaching and helping others - I am surprised at how many people listen to the what ifs in their own minds. People who reach out because they want to improve their lives and feel better, but when they are hit with the work it entails or get nervous that they might fail, they begin to listen to the doubtful little jerks that we all know as What ifs. Well think of it this way: What if you succeed. What do you have to gain?