It’s always darkest before the dawn. Be still, trust God and know that he has your best interest at heart. He may not come when you want him, but he’ll be there right on time 😉 #WisdomWednesday
I know it’s been awhile since my last post. The past couple of months have been difficult for me and I just needed some time to myself to reflect. As I look back on 2014, I am filled with a mixture of emotions. I am thankful for the courage to confront my demons and allow myself to live a more authentic life.
When I wrote my first blog, I wanted to show how I overcame my depression in hopes of helping others that struggle with this horrible illness. In reality, that just wasn’t the case. It took a while for me to accept that depression wasn’t an obstacle to overcome, but it was a part of me. This was one of the hardest things I had to accept because as a Christian you are taught that God will not give you more than you can handle. I struggled with finding a healthy way to cope with an illness that was all consuming and taking me over the edge. I prayed every night for God to take the pain away. The techniques I learned from therapy helped, but unfortunately no amount of therapy or praying can save you from life. It happens whether you are prepared or not.
My darkest hour came this summer when I experienced several deaths back to back and I couldn’t shake the guilt. Why did I feel guilty? When you have had moments where you contemplated or attempted to take your own life, you never forget it. By the grace of God I was able to fight off those urges and feelings of emptiness that led me to believe that was my only option. Seeing people that I loved and cared for lifeless brought back all those feelings. Why did their lives have to end? Why didn’t I spend more time with them? Why were they taken instead of me? I am not important; no one needs me. I don’t have a family that depends on me to take care of them. If I died sure people would be sad, but they would go on with their lives.
Two of the people that died were parents and one was a child that barely got to experience life. I would have given anything to take their place because it hurt me to my core to see the ones they left behind grieving. They were the heart and soul of their family and I couldn’t believe they were gone. Their sons and daughters will have to grow up without their mom and dad. The innocent child that passed away had health problems throughout her entire life. She was deprived of going to middle school, falling in love, getting her driver’s license, buying her first house, etc. No parent should ever have to bury their child. It wasn’t fair. They didn’t deserve the cards they were dealt.
I have always been a sensitive introvert that feels deeply. When I say I love you or call you friend, I mean it. I take all my relationships seriously. Once I let you in, you’ll be in my heart forever. I don’t throw words around because I understand their power. No matter how hard you try there’s no escaping your thoughts or feelings. The highs of life are breathtaking and the lows are devastating. I have never felt more sorrow and despair. Making progress was short-lived because it only made me feel guilty for moving on. I also envied them a little because they were free from the horrible world that we live in full of hate, bigotry, and no regard for human life.
As I mourned, it became clear that I was looking at the situation from the wrong perspective. There was no point in comparing or determining whose life was more valuable because every life has value and is precious. Isolating myself from people and beating myself up for still being alive would not bring them back. In addition, the people that died would not want me to wallow in my sorrows. They would want me to be happy and live life to the best of my ability. This tragedy gave me a better appreciation for life and forced me to let go trivial things. It allowed me to refocus my attention on what matters and mend relationships with people that were once estranged to me.
Living with depression is a daily struggle. Some days I wake up feeling fine and other days I am saddened that I have lived to see another day. I want to stress that admitting that doesn’t make me any less of a Christian. I believe that sometimes God gives each of us our own cross to bear. Depression is mine. You wouldn’t tell a person dying from a disease that if they die or are never cured it is because of their lack of faith. So telling a person struggling with depression to simply get over it or stop being sad is just absurd and cruel. I would argue that having a mental illness is just as hard as a physical illness because there is no quick fix or pill that makes you all better. You have to make a conscious effort to figure out what method of treatment works for you and even then there are no guarantees. Robin Williams received a lot of criticism for committing suicide. So many accused him of being selfish and having no reason to be unhappy. All I could feel was empathy and compassion because I know it was the hardest decision he ever made. We are all in the pursuit of happiness and no amount of money or success can make you whole. You are the only person that can unlock the key to a fulfilling life. I encourage everyone to be more understanding and less judgmental. I thank God everyday for giving me the strength and desire to be happy. I know that bad things will happen in life and no one can save you from them. You have to take the good with the bad. I want to embrace my sensitivity and give myself the freedom to feel emotion without shame or fear of society’s disapproval.
In 2015, I want to let go of last year’s baggage. I’m at peace with who I am and where I’m going. I appreciate everyone that supports and encourages me. Writing is very therapeutic and I gain more confidence every time I share my truth. My goal is to start writing a post at least once a week, so get used to hearing from me! Meditating and focusing on a scripture or inspirational quote helps me start the day off right on a positive note. So I will definitely start sharing more of those in the future. I’ll also post more TV recaps and movie reviews.
Happy New Year everyone and I pray this year will be prosperous and memorable ☺
I have been going through a difficult time as of late and this quote really resonated with me. Trying to turn a negative situation into a positive is easier said than done. However, I believe it’s an essential part of progressing as an individual and never losing sight of your goals.
It’s a new year and I think its time for a new me! For a while I’ve been obsessed with figuring out how to become the successful, independent woman I had always envisioned. Unfortunately, I got to the point where I lost myself and realized that my aspirations for the future were depriving me of the present. There is nothing worse than being alive, but not truly embracing life; merely existing without living.
As a child, I always believed that I could do anything I set my mind to as long as I put forth the effort and commitment. Every goal I set I accomplished. I was always on the honor roll, graduated high school with a dual seal diploma with honors, kept the Hope Scholarship every semester, and made the Dean’s List several times in college. It wasn’t till after graduating from college that I was faced with the harsh reality that sometimes no matter how hard you try or how much you believe some things just aren’t meant to be.
After graduation I felt that all of my sacrifices would be worth it because I was going to land a good job in broadcasting/communications, move out, and embark on this great journey called life. Boy was I wrong!!!
I landed a reporting internship with an online news publication that I hoped would be the first step toward my journalism career. The experience was rewarding because it allowed me to enhance my interviewing, writing, and time management skills. However, (being an unpaid internship) enriching your life with experience doesn’t pay the bills, so I wouldn’t be able to ditch the awful life of retail until I found a job that pays.
I’ve never been afraid of hard work and I understood that I would have to fight my way to the top, but I didn’t anticipate that the journalism market would decide to downsize when I graduated. Perfect timing right?!?!? Finding another job and/or paid internship became virtually impossible. I went on interview after interview only to be rejected with the same response: “You’re really talented and have a great attitude, but we went with someone with more experience.” How was I supposed to gain experience when no one is willing to give you a chance and even the entry level jobs require at least 3 years of experience?
The next thing I know 5 years have past and I’m still in the same place I was after graduation. The only difference was that the ridiculously hopeful woman I was withered away and all that was left was a defeated, jaded, and lifeless person. Every aspect of my life was depressing. I hated that I was a college graduate still working the same job I had since high school. All of the people I graduated with seemed to be making it happen in one way or another, so what was wrong with me. I used to have all the confidence in the world, but now I questioned if I was as special as I thought. I was the person that was the overachiever and most likely to succeed. The one that everyone (including myself) thought would change the world, make a difference. Why did it feel like the world stopped believing in me?
I got to the point where I isolated myself from everyone because I couldn’t bear to answer the inevitable questions: “How are you and what have you been up to? I couldn’t lie anymore and mask a happy disposition. The truth is I was sad… lost … depressed… angry and ashamed. I had fallen from grace and I didn’t know how to be myself or pick myself up. A person can only take so much rejection before they break.
I was at a crossroads. I needed help, but I had rejected all who attempted including my family and friends. Finally my parents convinced me to try therapy. Being a private person, I felt anxious about divulging my feelings to a stranger. However, it was better than the alternative of continuing to wake up everyday wishing it were my last. It turns out therapy was the best thing for me. It saved my life.
I spent so much time creating this perfect persona and being the person that everyone thought I should be. I defined myself through my accomplishments instead of things that mattered like my compassion for others, my quirky sense of humor, or my selflessness. It took hearing it from an absolute stranger for me to realize that my life was worth living and it’s never to late to start over. It’s important to have goals, but they shouldn’t consume you. My ambition wasn’t the problem; I just needed to narrow the scope. Instead of worrying about the future, I take life one day at a time. I also stopped being afraid to speak my truth… thoughts…. and opinions. I started to embrace all aspects of my life good and bad because each experience was necessary. I needed to be beaten down to my core to realize how strong and resilient I truly am. I no longer strive for perfection. I just want to be the best version of myself and not repeat mistakes, but learn from them. I also had to concede that I couldn’t continue to worry about things I have no control over. Life happens. You just have to roll with the punches and keep your head up. My faith in God has been renewed because I know that the only reason I’m alive to tell my story is because of the countless prayers from family and friends on my behalf. It means the world to me to know that so many found my life worthy when I believed it was worthless. I was able to see who my true friends were and words can’t express my gratitude for every single one of you.
It took a couple years after therapy for me to truly exercise the techniques I acquired. I’m proud of myself for sharing my struggles because it’s something that I never would have done because I put more value in other’s opinion’s instead of my own. We all go through internal struggles and no one knows the depth but ourselves. It’s imperative that we acknowledge our emotions and not judge each other. Life is not black and white, but various shades of grey. If you only focus on the negative, then there’s no room for positivity to flourish. It’s always darkest before the dawn rang true in my case. Self-discovery is a beast, but it helped me conquer my demons and gave me a more realistic perspective on life.
I’ve let fear run my life for so long and I’m sick of it. I may not be where I want to be, but I know I’m closer than I was yesterday. In 2014, I want to open myself up to new experiences and people. I want to be the difference in the world I aspired to as a child. I want this blog to reflect all the aspects of myself that I’m passionate about and spark my interest like film, television, fashion, communication, faith, etc.
I recently created a profile on a video networking website called Tiffany Ignited and it will have the official launch soon!!!! The purpose of the site is to provide a one-stop shop to becoming a savvy communicator in today’s market. Throughout my life I have acquired numerous techniques for effective communication and now is the time for me to share these skills with the public through this innovative platform. I aim to take the negativity out of the communications industry by promoting positivity within the world and encouraging every person to give back by sharing the knowledge they acquire. The site will include videos to help people effectively market their business and skills through social media and networking. It will also include interviews, panel discussions, tutorials, and a platform to highlight people giving back to their communities. I’ve been blessed with this vision and come hell or high water it will be a success. I believe that if more people helped each other instead of focusing on self-preservation the world would be a better place.
The future is bright and I can’t wait for you to join me on this mission!
Who’s with me?!?!?!?
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