8 Steps To Finding The Strength You Never Knew You Had

A year ago I almost died. Not like the dramatic “almost died”, like 5 days in the hospital, call her parents-type almost died. I remember the ambulance, and the EMT’s and I remember waking up in a Queens hospital thinking “God, this is awful.” There I was, in a emotionally and verbally abusive relationship, secretly in love with my guy best friend, having not spoken to my dad in 4 years while I was financially supporting myself and hating every minute of my chosen career. I didn’t think I had it in me to keep going. As much as I would like to say that after leaving the hospital it all just sort of made sense, that would be a lie. It got worse. Much worse. I got in a terrible car accident, I watched my ex lose his father to a terrible disease, I got laid off from a job I thought I was pretty good at. I was miserable. And then, when I didn’t think I could handle anymore, I woke up and realized that I wasn’t living the life I wanted to live. So I searched for the strength to make a change and this is how I found it…
Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is The New Black

1. Write

Write everyday. Write even when you don’t feel like it. Write like no one is reading. Then write like everyone you know is reading. Write funny stuff, and heartbreaking stuff, and stuff about your feelings. Write because if you don’t you’ll forget what got you through the hard parts, and if you forget what got you through the hard parts you’ll forget what exactly you’re thankful for. 

2. Run

Run until you can’t breathe anymore. Run to lose yourself, run to find yourself, run to feel every muscle and bone in your body working together to support you because that’s what bodies are suppose to do. Don’t think about where you’re going. Run on a treadmill where you don’t even go anywhere at all. Run because you need to feel alive and you’re tired of standing still watching as everything else passes you by.

3. Cry

Cry because some days that’s all you can manage to do. Cry when no one’s around, cry when everyone’s around, cry when, if you don’t, it feels like your insides will explode. Cry until you fall to the floor and let it all out, then when you have nothing left but small sniffles pull yourself up and go on about your day. Cry because sometimes it’s all just too much to comprehend and the only thing you can do is wait for it to be over. 

4. Dance

Dance everywhere. Dance in your car, dance in the shower, dance in the grocery store when Backstreet Boys comes on and you know that 11 year old you is just itching to bust a move. Dance and sing (and I mean really sing) to every song that voices exactly how you feel on the inside but haven’t figured out how to express. Dance because the music fills you up and releases all the anger you thought you could never let go of –  and because it’s fun.

5. Pray

Pray even though you may not know how. Pray to whomever or whatever you believe in, even if it feels really corny and stupid and uncomfortable. Believe that those prayers will be answered even if there is no evidence to support it. Pray like you have nothing left to lose, because you have nothing left to lose. 

6. Love

Love when it’s hard. Love even though truly awful things have happened and you don’t even know what love is anymore. Love the small things in life, love the big things in life, love the things you never thought you’d ever have the patience or foresight to love. Love yourself. Love because if you don’t you will lose yourself to the darkness forever, and because eventually someone will love you that much too. 

7. Laugh

Laugh hysterically. Laugh at the absurd things, laugh at the mundane things, laugh at yourself (because if you can’t who can?). Find and surround yourself with people who not only make you laugh but who you can laugh with. Find the humor in everything because it’s really not as serious as we make it seem sometimes. 

8. Live 

Live like it’s the only thing you ever have to accomplish. Live because death is spontaneous, you never know when it might take you. Live for the people who brought you into this world. Live for the person/people you will one day bring into this world. Live and appreciate life for all of the many beautiful (and sometimes ugly) things it will bring to you. Live because you want to. Most importantly –  dare to live the life you have always wanted and don’t let anything or anyone stop you. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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