For the Hard Days
It was the day you woke up asking God, “What’s wrong with me?”
It was the moment the thoughts were overwhelming so you crawled into bed and cried yourself to sleep.
It was the morning you spent trying to figure out why the panic was there at the same time you had to calm yourself.
It was the day you googled “what is wrong with me?”
It was the journal entry that made you realize even talking about the shame would leave you feeling shameful, so you decided to keep it to yourself.
It was the thought “someone has it worse than me, I should be grateful” playing on repeat.
Maybe it was the day that made you feel like even leaving bed was too much to ask.
Those moments, those heavy days, they’re really hard. I know, I’ve been there. It feels like you’re lifting the weight of your entire life, feeling the decades stack upon each other as the future grows darker. You think to yourself, “I can’t keep going like this. If the rest is going to be this hard, I can’t keep going like this. I need help.”
I wish I could make you see how strong you are. The weight is heavy, but you’re still lifting it. You’re still trying. The hope in the distance is dim, but I know you can still see it. That person you believe you used to be, the one that lived the easier life, they’re still inside. The ease you felt then can return. No, you can’t go back, but you can look ahead and create that sense again. It’s possible.
I know there’s a voice trying to convince you to believe that, as bad as it may seem, at least this pain is familiar. At least this pain has “motivated” you to keep walking the socially acceptable walk. At least you’re still here. This is not the time to listen to the fear telling you to stay in a painful comfort zone.
Let me be the one to share a reality that may frighten you at first – you do not have to carry the weight. You can leave the decades of the past in the past. The future is yours to create, not fear. You are here, now. That alone makes you stronger than you think. You are enough. Already, you are enough. There is nothing you have to do, no one you have to please, no life phase that must arrive before you’re enough. You already are. The time was not wasted. You are wiser, perhaps kinder, now than you were then. You can be grateful rather than regretful.
Your mind is yours to shape, not the other way around. You are capable, not helpless. I know it feels scary, I know it does, but the greatest power fear has is your chosen silence. The instant you give voice to all you’re going through, fear is going to lose ground. Hope will grow stronger. The possibility of peace and ease, gratitude and joy, love and optimism will begin to pull you forward.
Your voice may feel foreign, but it’s still there waiting for you to turn up the volume.
A memory popped up in snap chat the other day. It was a video I’d taken five years ago. I wore a smile in the video but I remembered all I felt that night. Alone in my studio apartment, it was a typical night of grad school. Those days were riddled with anxiety and I spent much of my time feeling isolated. While I’d been on medication for a year at that point, I didn’t know how to release the unrealistic expectations I had for myself. It would still be quite some time before I would learn a simple truth: I was already enough. The work I had to do wasn’t outside of me, the work was in rewriting the stories I was telling myself. While I was desperately trying to control everything externally (with a constant sensation that I was drowning), all I really had to do was think different thoughts. I was already more than enough… and my path to an easier, more joy-filled life was within my own power.
At this point, you’ve probably read countless “how-to” articles and personal stories of overcoming the pain. You’ve followed the influencer accounts and you’ve listened to the podcasts. You bought the books, downloaded the free self-care tools, and maybe even researched online therapy. It’s all been done, yet here you are. You’re aching for your own journey through the dark, instead of feeling like you’re rooted in the center of it.
It’s time to do something a little different. I say this with nothing but deep compassion and empathy, but doing the same thing you’ve always done will bring you back to the same places you’ve been. Let me be clear, it’s time to do one different thing. That’s where you start. One phone call, one text, one coffee chat. You start by telling one person, scheduling one appointment. Then, you go. You show up. In showing up for that one thing, you’re taking one massive step in showing up for yourself. You begin saving yourself. You get to begin walking away from fear, towards hope.
So, here, at the ends of these words, I’m asking you to do one different thing. The dominos will continue to fall and, one year from now, life is going to look different. Tomorrow, life will look essentially the same, but a small part of it will feel different. That’s what we’re going for – the small changes adding up. You’re capable of creating a life you actually want to feel. You’re allowed to set the weight down. Today, you do one different thing. You are here… and that is enough. That’s the only place you need to be; in this day doing one different thing.