In my highlight reel of 2017, you’ll see travel adventures, laughter and silly moments, my adorable dogs, mindfulness on the beach, fun with loved ones, delicious foods, and progress with strength. You’ll also see bummer moments sprinkled in, discussed on my blog, and written about in various articles. I choose to share parts of my seasonal depression because I want to be transparent, to give a voice to those who suffer but choose not to share their suffering, especially those with chronic illnesses. I want them to know that even though things may seem good for me because I’m in remission and smile a lot, I’m not sharing everything. Maybe it’s for fear of scrutiny, or maybe because I feel it’s too hard to be that open all the time.
But in my efforts to be as transparent as possible, here it goes:
In my highlight reel of 2017, what you won’t see are the nights of endless tears. The attempts of self encouragement with pep talks in the mirror through those tears. The times where I overanalyzed everything about myself, letting my insecurities ﬂood my mind. The moments where I fell to my knees crying out to God, or held onto a rosary and prayed myself to sleep. The times my eyes were so swollen and I was so emotionally worn out that I chose to not leave the house, to curl up and be alone with my thoughts, writing them out to try and self-soothe.
And no one will ever see how disappointed I was in myself for allowing certain things to happen. How even though I knew these things would cause me pain and I was actively trying to move forward, for some reason I kept allowing them. I was more disappointed in myself for ever allowing them to begin. I was disappointed that I didn’t stand by my standards, disappointed that I went against my instincts.
You’ll never see these things, but now you know that they were very present this year. For many reasons, 2017 has been one of the most difficult years of my life, and I’m so looking forward to it being over. I’m thankful that my health remained stable, but my mental health and emotions suffered greatly. I thank God I found ways to heal and move forward, but I’m ready to close the chapter of this year’s pain and open a new chapter full of self-love.
The truth is, we all showcase our great moments, and keep certain painful ones to ourselves, maybe because we don’t know how to talk about them or maybe because we’re in denial over them.
So we choose to keep them on the sidelines, and not share the outtakes of our lives, what happened behind-the-scenes, or the pain we were going through.
I hope that by sharing my painful moments, it brings to light some truth behind everyone’s highlight reels. That even though someone’s life may seem amazing, there are always different sides to what we show and what we see. We all have a story that we choose to share in our own way. Take comfort in knowing that we are not alone in our struggles, that we’re all ﬁghting battles, coping the best way we can.
And when we’re on the outside looking into someone else’s life or our own, remember that we don’t need to prove anything to anyone, that it’s okay to share our joy and our pain, and that things are not always as they appear.
Be thankful for the good and bad…how you overcome is what makes you who you are.