Looking to the future, with hope…
Foolish, naive, idiotic. Optimistic, hopeful, determined.
I don’t know which collective of adjectives is best suited to describe my dreams as an anxiety-fueled 19-year-old with nearly four years of fight under her belt. 4 therapists down the line. and multiple combinations and doses of medication trialed and tested.
I regularly feel like people are doubtful of my ability to one day be well. But I also regularly feel like people don’t realize how truly unwell I am. A constant contradiction of wanting those around me to believe I can overcome anything and everything as well as acknowledging how hard it is for me to exist some days.
I am greatly over and underestimated every day of my life. I don’t know which I prefer either? It tends to be more important who it is than the estimation they make of my future endeavors.
Some days I feel like I am convincing those around me that one day I will be well, certain in myself, but having to reassure those who love me as there hope dwindles away. Other days I feel like I am reminding people that I am not okay, and that progress is, in fact, reversible. And I think it is so hard for me to hear how others perceive me as I am as internally conflicted as those I love.
In moments flooded with hope and consumed by optimism, I am the girl I always thought I would be, highly academic and overachieving as a consequence of hard work and a dash of luck.
Other moments when I am shrowded with pain, anxiety and concealed to the small square footage of my bedroom, my house and maybe my garden in moments of bravery. In these moments I am reminded of my inability to function, reminded that I am not okay. I am hopeful in these moments still, but I view myself as an opportunity for change. My success shrinks in abundance and my life is solely consumed by acceptance and enoughness. In finding ways to teach myself and those around me of the simplicity of hope.
Then there are the other moments, of recovery when the latter phase shifts and the optimism is possible again. When I am here, I become a girl who will one day teach, and lead a ‘normal’ life, a recovered life. In this life, I will also tell my story, and I will become a part of a change in society that makes mental illness normal. That makes mental illness human.
There is no way of knowing which version of my future I am seeing, and how I want to be viewed. No hints on what’s running around in my head and what would comfort me to hear. However, the one thing all of my futures has in mind is success, hope and in its rawest form, existence.
All I want to know when anything good or bad happens. Is that you have hope. Faith in my ability to be unwell and in my ability to be well.
Trust in where I am.
As a great man once said, ‘Where there is life, there is hope’.
My battle with how I view myself is the reason for my instability as one may call it. It is the explanation for my delicacy. The hard truth as to why judgments still resonate casting dark shadows within my mind until I can find the strength to push them away and replace them with what matters. (What I think.)
I often think about who I would have become and what kind of life I would have led had well… this… not happened. Would I be at University? Would I have ever found this level of gratitude? …
I think I will always consider endless hypotheticals as to how my life may or may not have unfolded. Though despite the exciting stories I tell myself before I fall asleep or while I stare into space mid-afternoon. The version of me that writes this is always the one I would choose.
I would choose the pain, and the stolen days, and the unknowing, and still existent fight over and over again. If I didn’t choose it I would be confirming the lie, I would be feeding the devil and letting it win. I am good enough.
This life I have is good enough.
Where I am is good enough.
When my mind and body catch up and 17 years of lies slip away I will recover and the person I will be. She’s unstoppable.
Because someone who knows they are worthy, and knows they can win any war. They’re dangerous.
One day I will look back at my story, my late teenage years and early twenties not with sadness but gratitude for what it taught me, gave me and took away from me.
And on my good days, gratitude for my present has already begun.
On my bad day’s self-pity still wins, but a great book taught me that pain demands to be felt. Until I feel it I cannot be thankful for it.
Thank You for being a part of my journey to everyone reading. Remember your enoughness today, tomorrow and forever.
With love always.