While 2016 was without a doubt my most challenging year, the many months that have passed since that pivotal moment brought with them something a little bit different. This year was one of many lessons. This year was one of acceptance, growth, change, and gratitude. This year, was one for the good books.
There are rational fears. There are irrational fears. There is biology and there is psychology. Fear leaves us awake at night. Fear makes us run. Fear can consume us. Predominately, fear keeps us safe.
We live in a world where we are constantly waiting. Waiting for the day our parents finally let us take the family car for a spin. Waiting until we graduate high school. Waiting for our 19th birthday to take that first (legal) sip of alcohol. Waiting for the next best thing.
I’ll be honest – I tend to be a bit of a stubborn person, and for quite some time I liked to think that I (alone) could take the bull by the horns and handle whatever life threw my way. Over the years, I have come to realize that sometimes the bull can get a bit rowdy, and asking for a hand to reign him in is probably better than getting stabbed in the stomach by a bull horn. Put simply – it’s okay to ask for help.
As someone who spent the majority of my young adult life in long term relationships, being on my own for the better part of the last year has been quite a transition. After eight years of being someone’s someone, becoming single felt like a major loss of what had been a huge part of my identity. From the age of 17, I was a girlfriend; and when I wasn’t one any longer I sure as hell had no idea how to navigate the world as – ‘gasp’ – a single person.
Mark Twain hit the nail on the head. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. Factor in the culture of today’s social media oriented society, and the ‘life highlight reel’ of others is constantly shoved in our faces. Needless to say, if you’re having a bad day or struggling with personal hardships, constantly seeing everyone’s best self makes it very difficult to come out on top.
The prioritization of physical health versus mental health is an issue of contention in today’s society. Despite a shift towards mental health literacy, it is evident that regardless of our education, background, or personal experiences, when comparing mental to physical health, many of us (myself included) are guilty of favouring physical illness as a more legitimate form of disability.