October is National Depression Education & Awareness Month. The last eight years of my life broke me... stripped me of everything I was so that I could become who I was always supposed to be. The last eight years killed me....and then brought me back to life. These were the years that trauma and pain sneaked into my bedroom window and dragged me kicking and screaming into the dark and then locked me in there and swallowed the key.... I had to fight. I had to scream and I had to dig down deep into what I'm really made of. I had to learn to be content and quiet and listen for the true voice of God. The pain led me to my destiny. The darkness led me to my light. The last eight years of my life broke me but gave me a spine. These are the years that gave my quiet and introverted self a voice in this world. These are the years that I ate wisdom for breakfast and learned some things do happen for a reason....and some don't but we always have free will and the choice to keep our feet grounded to this earth. These are the years that I was abandoned and left standing in my front yard and these are the years that I found purpose in my story and I found love again and walked away from those front steps that were stained with my tears. These are the years that I stood as a widow at a sudden funeral and then I stood in a white dress and became a wife. That's the dance of life, dear friends. There was a time along my journey that I wanted to end my own life. Suicidal ideation creeped into mind. My body kept up with day-to-day life but my mind...my mind wanted to slip into the darkness forever. I imagined how freeing it would be to not have to suffer anymore. But, friend? Suicide was not the answer to my darkness and it isn't the answer to yours either. Keep going....always keep going. God is writing you a new healing story. I know life is hard....it's brutal sometimes. But, friend? Hard never lasts forever. Hold on. How to move forward and keep living after such tragic and twisted loss? How to keep going when your mind wants to give up? Do the next right thing. Each day. Each moment. Wake up. Wash the grime and tears from your face and make some coffee. Feed yourself, pay the bills, and breathe. Choose. Choose to say goodbye to the past in big and brave ways. Tell fear that "You don't own me"...."You can't control me.....I will be ok, I will be ok.....God is shining the light onto my path to make sure that I am ok." These are the years that broke me so badly and it felt like it was all on purpose and yet I'm not angry. I'm grateful. Grateful to be alive. Grateful to have made it out of that locked and dark closet.......I had the key all along. A life without suffering holds no learning, no wisdom....So, instead of spending the years asking "Why me?" Instead I choose to trust God with my existence. Instead I chose to heal my heart through hiking until my legs hurt and building campfires that sparked self-love up to the stars. Instead of wallowing in my own self-pity and staying in bed and letting my life fall even more apart.......I chose to start over. I chose to fall-in-love and get married and move to a new town and decorate a new home with happy photos of my family. I chose to dedicate my life to helping broken people feel less broken. Life is brutal, friends. It will steal from you and it will kill who you once were so that you can become who you are supposed to be. It will take from you and you gotta get out there and fight back. People who are supposed to stick by your side will opt out and leave you alone and you have to learn to survive and then to move on to thrive. Take a moment. Look up at the night sky. And think of how amazing it is that your heart still beats. Live content in the knowing that you have golden wisdom running through you while others never rocked by tragedy and pain hustle through their lives searching for that wisdom under every rock and they won't find it. It only comes with experience. It only comes when you unlock that locked door with your own grace and perseverance. These last six years of my life have been the worst and then....the absolute best and I guess that's how life works. And I always know that the bus might come to hit me down again. The pain might come again inside of a new tragedy and so I live each day for today and with a big and wide open heart. There's so much pain and sadness in the world and there is also so much love, healing, and renewal. You don't have to stay inside of your old broken story. After the years go by....you aren't really defined by all of it anymore. You get to decide where you go from here. You get to decide what type of person you will be now. I used to go to the grocery store and feel like "that woman who's husband just left her and shot himself...how sad"....I used to hide and feel ashamed. And now? I go to the grocery store and I just feel like ME. I hold my head up high and I smile at strangers. I'm content. I'm deliriously content. Suicide wan't the answer to my darkness and it isn't the answer to yours either, dear one.
Keep going...you are LOVED.
Keep going...things can always get better.
Sending each and every one of you......All of my love and warmth. Wherever you are in the world.
Love always, Nik
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