Shivering in the driver’s seat of my parked hatchback, I called one of my best friends who picked up after the first ring. I confessed to her that I was struggling in every area of my life. I was afraid of not only becoming a failure but also looking like one to everyone else. Encouraging me, she later sent me this photo.
2018 began beautifully. In January, I had just finished a “self-love project”. I celebrated my 24th birthday by spending quality time with friends and family. I felt so loved, blessed, and hopeful about life!
As the year went on though, every day became a battle. I lost peace, sleep, and resources. I felt more depressed than I had in years. My anxiety was at an all-time high. I lost my first dating relationship, too.
Burned out by everything, I literally lacked the strength to stand at times. I didn’t feel whole.
My perspective shifted from that of hope to defeat. Some days, I wanted to ask God, “What’s next?”. I just knew that I was going to experience another setback.
Yet, I am so grateful that my year and my story are not over. I can be proud of my perseverance. I can believe that God is changing my life for the better. I can thank Him for all the gifts that I definitely received in 2018. In my times of struggle, amazing supporters uplifted me time and time again. Every letter, postcard, ice cream party, hangout, check-in, and prayer helped me carry on. That’s love!
I lived a lot of 2018 believing that I wasn’t good enough. I believed that temporary hardships permanently defined me.
To move forward, I have no choice but to stop living in mental defeat. I can’t just write about it or talk about it. I have to prioritize healing and encourage myself daily. It won’t be easy, but maybe, there is huge power in taking small steps.
Before the new year even begins, I am committing to regularly exercising again, speaking kind words to myself every morning, and laughing whenever possible.
If 2018’s been challenging for you, what’s something kind that you can do for yourself moving forward?