it gets better

“A year ago, you did not know today. You did not know how you’d make it here. But you made it here. By grace, you made it here.” -Morgan Harper Nichols

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My heart is racing, pounding so loudly I am deafened by it. My hands are getting all clammy, slightly shaking, And my mind is panicky, trying to find ways to distract itself from what I know in my heart I need to share…but it is so damn hard…

But first — some thank you love…

One year ago (maybe add a few months on top of 12 months) life was unmanageable, messy, painful, and dark. There were so many days — so so many days — that I didn’t know if I’d ever see the light again, or if I’d ever see light or a true sense of happiness in my heart. I felt like the harder I fought and kicked, the deeper I fell into my depression and the feeling of being above water felt impossible. Not only was it suffocating and extremely painful for me — it was life sucking for those who surrounded themselves around me; my angel of a husband, my boys, my family, my friends. There were so many moments where I drowned myself in self pity because some had fallen off and chose to the other side. But then there were pockets of light where I took notice in those who stuck by me because they truly loved me, knew my heart, knew my potential — some were people who knew me for years and some were people who were just getting to know and allowed space for me to be completely raw and authentic.

To both sets — thank you. To the ones who chose to back away, for whatever your reasons — thank you. As much as it hurt, it was a blessing and allowed room for not only growth but room for me to pour my love and gratitude into those who chose me no matter how dark and skewed my mind was at the time. And to the ones who have chosen me over and over again (and to the ones who were just getting to know me) — thank you. Your light, your love, your grace, and the space y’all always gave me was more than I deserved and I am forever grateful for what you guys continue to pour into me.

** Warning: this could be a trigger post for those who are suffering from severe depression / suicidal thoughts; very sensitive subject **

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” -C.S. Lewis

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This time last year I struggled with a lot of suicidal thoughts. I was extremely depressed, my PTSD was on another level, I was always anxious, I was feeling manic, and I felt like dying. This time last year I chose to set my ego aside, set my victim mentality to the side, hold myself accountable for my own growth, and chose to really deal with my trauma — and y’all, it was an overload of emotions, guilt, and pain I had never experienced before.

I was diagnosed with depression (manic / bipolar) pretty early on in my life but in my late 20s / very early 30s I was diagnosed with anxiety, late onset PTSD, and disassociation disorder. I tried all the meds when I was a teen…but it messed with my hormones and it really took a toll on my personality (ie: I felt nothing / empty). ** I know people who use meds and it works out wonderfully for them and that is great and I am 100% supportive of that** So with that part out of the way — I do not use any form of meds that involve pills. That works for me and it works for my family. Now…there are days that are harder than others and I struggle at times but I’ve learned to navigate my moods and my emotions. It has taken me awhile… like, a lot of trial and error and meltdowns but I have found different ways to manage my moods and my emotions. They work for ME.

But you guys, this wasn’t some overnight thing and controlling my moods and my emotions and meltdowns was something I truly didn’t get a hold of till this past year. It took me a long long time to admit that I needed help outside of myself and that I could no longer do it alone. I was 32 when I decided to go back to therapy and allow my wounds to be open and free. It took years to find someone I trusted, someone who felt safe and real. My therapist was yours truly — bad idea.

It’s hard to imagine where I was last year because, all the shit I was going through feels like a freaking lifetime ago. This time last year was the build up of my journey into therapy. At the time, I only really shared this with Micah and my best friend Jaymee. And to be honest, I was shocked that I chose to share that info with them because I am someone who just internalizing things and then “moves on.” But I think my brain and heart were in an agreement that I needed to reach out for help, and that vocalization of mine rolled out into communicating with other people who were in my corner. ** Thank you guys **

April of 2018 I tried hurting / killing myself.

That was ONE YEAR AGO. One year ago I so badly wanted to end what felt like a mixture of drowning, being on fire, and suffocating. I wanted others to not have to deal with my mess anymore. I wanted my kids to not have to deal with a “sad” mom, or for my husband to always have to pick up the pieces for me.

You know, besides my trauma the bullshit from my old job and those surrounding it (and the part that I played in it, too) — having someone call you a narcissist / abuser on a public platform ends up eating away at your and fucks your mind up. It makes you wonder and makes you question — a lot of fucking things.

I’m not going to dive into that mess because that’s what it is — a mess, and most importantly (something I know now); lies and projection. And I debated sharing that tidbit with you guys but there was a lot of healing that was needed around that very triggering time / words and even though it’s still hard to read or hear at time — it needed to be shared because it affected me deeply.

One year ago I tried ending it. But one year ago I also chose not to and I immediately told my husband what I was about to do and what I was thinking a lot about. Of course we talked it out and how I probably needed to see someone and you know, I thought about it and I looked at my therapists name in my address book and just thought to myself — “I’ll call her tomorrow.”

It took about 2 more months of struggling and thoughts, but I finally reached out to my angel of a therapist. And the journey I have been on since has been life changing — like, no joke. I kick myself most times for not going to here sooner but I keep reminding myself that I’m in it now and I’m forever indebted to her services.

One year you guys. So much has changed in ONE YEAR. So much light and life and growth has happened in ONE FREAKING YEAR. Shit, who I was 2 years ago is nowhere near who I am today. This life I’m in is beautiful and forever a journey in growth but I’m thankful for the tools I have now (and continue to receive) and for the people who are in my corner cheering my on, lighting up my fire, and loving me fully and completely.

I’m happy. I have my days of depression and anxiety but I am genuinely HAPPY. My life is filled with the most amazing husband who continues to love me unconditionally, two crazy beautiful boys who choose me everyday, family and friends who hold space for me, yoga (and yoga training), astrology and tarot mentorship, therapy that keeps me humble and grounded, and a heart that beats and loves hard.

Life is hard. Gah, I know it can be so hard. And I know we can feel like we are drowning most days. But please know, LIFE IS SO WORTH IT. I have struggle with suicidal thoughts for years. I’m a survivor of attempts. But it wasn’t till this year that I really saw and felt the meaning of — “it gets better.”

Because you know what guys — it really fucking does. If you ever feel alone or stuck — I’m here. I’m standing with you because you are worth it and this life is worth it.

IT GETS BETTER.

Photography by the lovely Bethany