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.
As I sit here writing this – alone in front of a fire that I successfully built myself, on the side of a logging road to a destination I was unable to successfully reach - I finally have the opportunity to process the chaos of the past two months.
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.
How can I justifiably advocate for people to openly discuss their personal experiences with mental illness and addiction when I haven’t done so myself? THIS IS MY STORY.