I feel as though I have been nothing but gloom and doom in my recent posts. That's not a conscious choice, I promise. Sometimes life gets unbearably depressing. It happens to all of us. The true test of a person's strength and character comes in the form of their reactions to the world around them. For far too long I have let outside forces control me; all of me. Which is one me too many. With the dawn of a new year upon us, I feel like this is as good a time as any to make drastic changes in my life.
One might assume that these changes would be external; take some pills to make the numbness of life feel less noticeable. I have this crazy theory that all of the changes I wish to see in my life need to begin within myself. I have been using other people and my own excuses to avoid my true problem; that problem being myself. I believe at the end of the day we all can either become our worst enemies, or our greatest ally. I have been fighting against myself for as long as I can remember. I numb my pain instead of confronting it. That ends now.
I am ready to feel again. I want to experience my life instead of simply tolerating it. We are all given a small allotment of time on this Earth. I don't know how much time I have left; none of us do. So instead of going out without a a pulse, I want to go out pulsing with the vibrancy of a life fully lived.
I have been working internally for a couple of months now. It's a tedious process, but I am already experiencing some changes. I have seriously taken up yoga. Not as a workout routine, which I did in the past, but as a soul routine. Yoga has been teaching me how to listen to my body, be grateful for my body, and how to control my body. All three of these areas have been a huge struggle for me in the past. To me, yoga is a mind, body and soul exercise. Every fiber of your being is focused on each breath and movement. For me, this is a revelation. I was so focused on avoiding my feelings, mistreating my body, and pretending that I was okay when I was not. I am by no means some grand yogi at present, I am simply a girl who is slowly beginning to feel like a whole person for once in her life.
I am not going end this post pretending like everything is finally at ease in my life. Every single day is a struggle. My anxiety comes and goes in waves; as does my depression. I am trying to work through my emotions instead of avoiding them or numbing them. The idea of accepting discomfort is a real challenge for me. I believe it's a difficult task for any person. I think our society today is based on avoiding confrontation, particularly with ourselves. The avoidance of personal confrontation probably explains why 18% of the population in the United States is being treated for anxiety and depression (there's no telling how many people are suffering in private like myself). This fear of confrontation also could explain the rapid increase of internet bullying. People find strength in anonymity. However, true strength can be found in the acceptance of the reflection in the mirror. Once we accept ourselves, we find that it is much easier to accept others.
I believe our society could function much more successfully if doctors took the time to prescribe mindful meditation as opposed to mindless medication. I am in no way saying that every mental illness can be treated without medication, but I do believe some reflection and self-awareness can do wonders. I am still in the beginning stages of my reawakening, and I don't know how far I can go on my own. I might end up needing anxiety medication down the road, but as my last resort. I want to be able to sit in that doctor's office knowing that I did everything in my power to save myself.
I'm finally ready to be my greatest ally. This relationship with myself has to start somewhere, so for me, it's beginning right here with this admission of my struggle; and on the yoga mat with the acceptance of my myself and the liberation of my mind. Namaste.
Lindsey. Twenty-Five. Currently pursuing a degree in Professional Writing & Film Studies.