“We know life comes in stages
We crash and burn, but that’s how we learn
If so these scars will make us
Better by the day.”
-Dave Barnes “White Flag”
For those of you who do not know me personally, I am one who suffers from depression. I have for a long time and it has been a constant struggle. I’ve been on medications for years and, although I should still be taking them, I’m not because I currently do not have insurance.
It is an unfortunate situation, but all I can do is continue to try to find work, network and keep as positive as possible. As a whole, I am doing well in that regard, quite enjoying revamping the blog and using my life to share stories and lessons with all of you. My readers are my therapy and that is wonderful.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have dark days from time to time, of course…and today, my birthday, was one of those days.
I spent a majority of the day alone after dropping my children off to their summer program. Ethan and Alex were wonderful this morning, starting my day off by wishing me a happy birthday and telling me how much they will miss me while they are gone with their Mother for the weekend. They gave me the biggest hugs, including a family hug, and my daughter kissed me on my bald head, telling me to smile.
What a beautiful way to start the day, huh?
Before meeting up with my family for dinner this evening, I was alone most of the day with my thoughts. As much as I didn’t want it to be the case, my mind couldn’t help thinking of mistakes I’ve made in the last year, people I’ve hurt (whether on purpose or not) and where my decisions have left me today.
It always stings to hear someone thinks something negative towards you when all you ever tried to do was the opposite. It always hurts when friendships or love ends. It is always a dagger to the heart when those who meant the world to you at some point in your life are no longer a part of your life in the present.
We all know nobody is perfect, right? Well, I am one of those people who is a depressive AND a perfectionist, so negativity hits me especially hard. Now, I am smart enough to realize there are countless people out there in situations worse off than where I find myself and, therefore, I am grateful for the place I am, although it is not my ultimate goal, obviously.
However, things add up in life, don’t they? Our intellect may tell us one thing, trying to keep our perspective in the right place, but sometimes we crash. I posted on Facebook and Twitter last night, “Hello, depression. I’ve missed you,” because I finally succumbed to the crash I’ve been battling for a while.
So, I used today—my birthday—to regroup. I listened to music, I listened to both the negative and positive thoughts floating around in my head and I allowed myself to have the emotions that come with each. It was a wonderful day, was something I truly needed and was good for my soul.
The reason I’m telling you all of this is because we have to learn from our mistakes in life, people. More importantly, to me, is the realization that we must learn how to forgive ourselves after mistakes. That doesn’t mean we do something that is worthy of needing forgiveness, apologize and life goes on with puppy dogs, ice cream and rainbows.
No, we also have to take responsibility for ourselves, our mistakes, own them and move on with the lessons learned. Learn the lessons, but don’t dwell on the mistakes, especially when the mistake was unintentional. Forgive yourself.
Thank you to all of you who reached out with kind words on my special day. I appreciate all of you. Although I didn’t see the messages until recently since I chose to be offline most of the day, the acts of kindness from all of you helped to bring me out of my funk. I may have a little sadness left to work out—and, boy, are these severe thunderstorms in Minnesota helping me to see the sun—but your messages reminded me there are plenty of people out there who are well aware I am not a perfect person, yet still care for me and believe in me.
For that, I am eternally grateful to you…and you…and you…
While I want this blog to be a source of inspiration and positivity for you, today you were exactly that for me.