There are many things you can prevent. There are many ways of improving your mental health, through moments of self-care and healthy eating, for example. The truth is, however, all of us will at some point suffer a form of breath-stealing, heart-breaking pain.
Many of us will hold on to it and obsess over it until it eventually, tragically, swallows us whole and defines the way we approach trust, love, dreams. All matter of things are tainted by an often unpredictable brush.
That’s the hard, unfortunate, truth. Now here’s the beautiful, often forgotten, truth: pain provides us with an opportunity to grow into a better version of ourselves.
I’m 23. I have been on this planet for 23 years. That feels like both an incredibly long time and also a minuscule amount of time. Yet, my 23 years have been anything but simple. From an early age, I learnt how the bitter taste of distrust and the lingering shadow of trauma can affect the more beautiful aspects of life. I was a furious, distrusting child who turned into a dangerously cynical, anxious and morbidly depressed teenager. At the age of 13, I was disturbed, both emotionally vacant and emotionally over-saturated, I was heartbroken, and the idea that I might still be alive at 23 seemed impossible. It was seemingly a fragile and hopeless moment, and yet…
That’s important, don’t you think? “And yet,” two words holding an unspoken message: nothing and no one is hopeless. That pain you feel, that loss of love and hope should not be dwelled upon, but the opportunities it offers should be harvested. No-one should actively try and place themselves in these positions in the name of creativity and experience – this point I want to very strongly clarify. The beauty in survival, however, in the empathetic development that arises in its aftermath, can create magical, often underappreciated, capsules of life.
Think about it this way… if someone grabs hold of the inner strength within them, and finds the positives in an otherwise pessimistic situation, a whole host of miracles can be created.
A child, abused and neglected has the capability to grow into the most incredible parent, using all their strife and difficulty to make sure their child is born into a kinder environment.
Someone, brokenhearted by a destructive and toxic relationship has the chance to become the most loving, caring and devoted individual with the experience to help others survive.
A friend, racked with self-doubt and suicidal tendencies has the opportunity to win the battle and teach others the way to cope, to appreciate their friendships, to make the very most of this turbulent life.
At 13, I was too somber and hurt to believe I would find the strength to be alive at 15. At 18, I was so tired, and confused and sad, that I wondered if I would make it to the end of my degree. At 23, I hold a Bachelors and a Masters, I have turned my innermost feelings into a poetry collection and I am more alive than ever. I am far from perfect, and still have moments of deep sadness, but I can see my life stretching out in front of me.
In order to really live, and to survive, you have to see the greatness that comes from those that have been broken. Use everything and everyone who tore your heart apart or launched you into depression as a foundation. Use it as a building block to becoming everything you deserve to be. You might not see it now, you might not believe it now, but there is a story in all of this, and there is always a story where you become the happy ending. Rise from the ashes and take the stage.