Dear You: 5 Years Later

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Hi friends! I’m Michelle.

I’m so happy you’re visiting. Dear You is equal parts a heart-to-heart and a safe space – a place to be open and honest and candid about the tough moments, and a place to celebrate the amazing ones. A place full of words we crave to hear, whether life is wearing us down or has us feeling unstoppable.

So. Now that we’ve got the “open and honest” bit out of the way, let’s jump right in.

For me, May 2017 marked five years since the night depression almost won. And I say “won” because let’s be real: depression is a fight; in fact, it’s a straight-up battle that so many people fight in their heads on a daily basis. I’m not sure you know true exhaustion until you’ve waged a war inside your head before you’ve had your first cup of coffee of the day.

I could talk about the moments that led up to that night, or I could tell you how that day started like any other day, or I could even go into detail about what happened. But honestly, this post isn’t for that. Because I want to stress another word choice I used earlier:

Depression almost won.

Almost.

In the past five years, life has been non-stop, it seems. Between changes and transitions, moves and upheavals, it’s amazing how much can happen in that time span. But I have a few lessons that I’m taking away from that time, and with that, I’m going to kick off Dear You with something that seemed (somewhat selfishly) fitting.

So.

Dear You,

If you’re reading this, you made it. Despite the worst days, the worst moments, the worst obstacles of your life – you made it. You’re here, and you’re breathing, and your heart is beating, and that in itself is worthy of celebration.

I would say that I’m writing from the other side of those days and those obstacles, and I probably would have said that a couple years ago, but if I’ve learned anything lately, it’s that you shouldn’t write your story too soon. So while I hesitate to say that I’m officially on the “other side,” I will say that I’ve got a thing or two that will hopefully give you a little bit of hope.

  • You’re going to walk through fire. Life doesn’t hold back for anyone, and depression and anxiety most certainly do not discriminate. So you’re going to walk through the fire, and you’re going to be scarred. But those scars are proof that you survived, and that counts for a whole heck of a lot.
  • When you go through crisis, look at the ones who are still standing beside you. Cherish them. And love them fiercely.
  • Storms are going to come. Lightning is going to strike. And the thing about lightning is that when it strikes, there is no going back to normal. When a storm demolishes your foundation and everything you thought you knew, you’re going to have to rebuild. You’re going to have to find a new normal. And while that’s scary (read: terrifying), keep in mind that it’s also an opportunity to build the life you’re meant to live.
  • Find what makes your soul happy. Cling to those things.
  • Tell people you love them. Often.
  • Keep in mind that you can’t force people to fight giants that they refuse to acknowledge. Meaning: If someone isn’t ready to face something, you can’t make them.
  • Many of your most honest prayers will come from the floor – when you feel like life has literally knocked you onto your backside and all you can do is sit. As painful as those moments are, embrace them – that’s when you learn the most about who you are, and what you want, and what you really, truly need.
  • And above all else: Be a safe place for people. Be someone they can trust. Guard their secrets and protect their hearts just as carefully as they’ve protected yours.

 

xoxo,

Michelle

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