Finding Strength in the Darkness

Life isn’t just the pictures we see on Facebook, and the happy faces we put on in our daily lives. All we see are the smiles and all of the fun things we’re doing and the cool places we’re going. That’s all we want to show the world.  We only want to show each other the best parts of ourselves or the best parts of our lives. We envy others because of the pictures we see, or because of the things people have and the ideas in our head of what life is supposed to look like. But that’s not what life really is.  It’s not just the good stuff, the perfectly captured moments, the beautiful places.  Life is a series of the good and the bad, and no matter how much we try to run and hide from it, those hard parts will always be there and they are a part of our journey.
I’m a pretty positive person and in this moment I can genuinely can say that I love life.  I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences, and life continues to amaze me and surprise me more and more through each and every experience.  I like to find happiness in the little things and I truly feel every experience deeply and fully.  Love and joy and laughter and hope and wonder, I feel it so very deeply.  But with everything truly amazing, there’s always another side.  Life is made up of that series of ups and downs. A series of falling apart and pulling yourself back together again.  A series of getting lost and finding yourself.
Some people seem to have it all figured out, they have a set plan for their life and somehow it all seems to fall into place that way.  And that’s really amazing for them, but I never was that way.  And part of me wishes that I could be like that, but I know that just wouldn’t be me.  I’m probably never going to have it all figured out, and I’m always going to be searching but I’m okay with that.  I’ll always be questioning and exploring the possibilities of life.
I’ve been dealing with some personal struggles lately. The past few months dealing with anxiety and depression has been really difficult for me.  It’s something that I’ve dealt with for a long time but it’s not something I generally talk about because it’s not something that’s easy to talk about, and no one really wants to hear about it.  Most of the time, I feel like my pain isn’t important enough or valid enough.  And I think that people have it worse than me or they are struggling more than me, so I don’t deserve to feel that pain.  I feel guilty for cancelling those plans with friends simply because I don’t have the mental energy to pretend I’m okay.   I don’t want to bring people down, no one wants that negativity.  It’s not pretty or exciting or fun or easy.  So no, it’s not easy to talk about.  And I know that all those good parts of life are pretty amazing. And I also know that despite how shitty it feels when I’m in them, I’ll always appreciate the struggles and difficulties because they are what help me grow stronger and help me learn.  They help me fully appreciate the good parts.  I wouldn’t give up that pain and that darkness because it’s a part of me and it makes me feel alive and appreciate being able to feel deeply.
Going through the hard stuff, the stuff that no one wants to talk about, the stuff that we want to run away from and escape, that’s where we find our strength.  Because no matter how bad it feels, it does get better.  The difficulties remind us that it’s okay to feel pain and that it’s okay to stop and take care of yourself, even if that means doing absolutely nothing.
Because it’s hard to keep up with life sometimes when you feel like you can’t even stop to take a breath. When everything feels like it’s falling apart but you have to keep finding the strength to hold it together for another day. When you have to keep going forward when all you need is just a moment to stop and think.

We need to remember that it’s okay to stop and slow down a little bit. It’s okay to be a little bit “lazy” sometimes. And it’s okay to take some time for yourself when you need it.
Only you know yourself and what you need. We’re all different, and we all have our own minds and bodies and ways of functioning and thinking and that’s what makes us beautiful. We all compare ourselves to others, and want what we don’t have. But let’s realize what we do have and what makes us unique. Let’s take the time to listen to ourselves when we need to, and stop trying to push ourselves when we aren’t feeling it. Let’s stop feeling guilty for saying no to plans simply because we just don’t have the mental energy for it or because we want to be alone.  We’re allowed to take time to be alone with ourselves.  We’re allowed to feel sad sometimes.  That’s part of being human.  Let’s stop trying to live up to someone else’s expectations or ideals on what our life should look like. It’s not a race, we are all on our own journeys. There’s no exact formula or logical explanation for how our lives work. Things usually don’t go as planned, and the ideas in our heads usually don’t turn out that way.  But that’s the beautiful uncertainty of life.

We need to realize that we are important enough.  We need to remember our own worth and our own validity.  Our thoughts and feelings and opinions do matter.  Our pain is valid.  We deserve to be heard and listened to and understood.  We deserve the time to take care of ourselves because life is not easy, and we are all struggling.
The most important thing I’ve learned from my struggles is how important self-love and self-care is.  When I’ve found myself in that dark place, I know that I didn’t have the capability to fully and truly love and care for others deeply because I didn’t even feel that for myself.  I felt guilty for cancelling plans so that I could stay in bed but in that moment, that was what I needed.  I didn’t have the energy to be with others when I barely wanted to be with myself in those times.  So I know how much our perspectives and our mental health affects us because I’ve seen that in myself.  I know from my experience and the things I’ve felt when I was in those lows.  I’ve realized that if we don’t love ourselves or take the time we need to care for ourselves, we can’t truly do that for others.  Whatever it may be for you, please remember to listen to yourself and your needs amidst all of the chaos of life.  Take the time you need to remind yourself of who you are, to remind yourself of your value, to remind yourself that you are alive, and of all the beauty that you bring to this world and how you can share that with others.

There’s always going to be the hard stuff, there’s always going to be pain.  I fully agree with the quote that it doesn’t get easier, but you just get better.  With every struggle, we will learn and grow.

Keep learning. Keep growing.

If we can all take care of ourselves and learn to love ourselves truly, we can really take care of each other. <3

1 thought on “Finding Strength in the Darkness”

  1. You hit the nail on the head with this article. Thank you for being real, raw and exposed. Thank you for sharing your heart and being a voice to those unable to speak. Thank you for being you. You are an amazing person and we are lucky to have you 🙂

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