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Monarch Butterfly

As someone who has struggled all of my life with depression, this painting has special meaning to me. I am celebrating 11 months now free of bad episodes of depression.

I clearly remember last summer, a bad depression episode suddenly slammed me. It wouldn’t be uncommon for me to feel fine and 30 mins later be at a very low point and not knowing what or why I was triggered. That day was one of those days. I was fine, and before I knew it, I was laying on the floor and my bed thinking about ending my life or wishing I didn’t have to go on anymore. That particular day, I had a social event to go to with a group of great friends.   Of course, I didn’t want to go—It was the very last thing that I wanted to do! In fact, did I even have to energy?

However, I knew if I laid in my room my depression was going to suck me in deeper and very fast. I knew what kind of episode this was. I remember taking small baby steps to get the the gathering:

1. I can sit up.

2. Ok, maybe I can brush my hair.

3. Ok, maybe I can walk downstairs……

I ended up being late but I got there. I didn’t say too much that day but listening to my friends laughter and at least I felt included which was a lifesaver at the time.

Driving home, and still feeling beat up, I accidentally hit the scan button on my stirring wheel for the radio. And a song came on: “In my Blood”   by Shawn Mendes. Not my style, but that song helped me make a big decision: I wasn’t gonna to give up and I was going to do whatever it takes.

This lead me to make life changing, uncomfortable decisions. I forced myself to connect, I forced myself to open up about past issues, I forced myself to ask for help. And if something made me fearful or uncomfortable, I did it.

Like grappling with a bunch of guys at the gym at Krav Maga/ Jujitsu

Like starting conversions with strangers

Like posting videos

Like putting myself out there

Like purposefully looking ways to help out people I don’t know

Like trying new things

I was a very shy person with very low self esteem. These new changes changed my life. and some of my personality. It is uncomfortable. It is hard. But I am changing and growing. I put my focus on God, put my fears and “uncomfortableness” aside, and I ran for it.

I feel like that butterfly coming out of the darkness. I have a long way to go, but still going toward the light.

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