With the holiday season in full swing I remembered a time in my life when the holidays just sucked. It was back in the late 1990s. I was in my early twenties. I remember being in a deep desolate place of depression. The kind where all hope is gone. I I had just traded my flip flops in my home town of in California for snow boots in Iowa.
My world had turned upside down and I now lived in the freezing icy unforgiving tundra. The sun did not shine for twelve days. The air was hard to breath with the wind chill in the negatives. I ate everything in sight. I did not care my clothes could not fit anymore. I had no boyfriend. I wanted to stay in bed under the blue flannel sheets for the rest of my life. I had no energy and nothing interested me. Not even a trip to the mall shopping, something I loved. I felt worthlessness and my psychologist was the most worried she had ever been about me. She felt I was fading away to the abyss. Dying felt easier then living.
I felt so alone even though I had two parents that loved me to the moon and back. It was Christmas time and usually I loved the holiday. That year I had no interest in Christmas. I was Ebenezer Scrooge come to life. My dad loved me so much that he bought me this beautiful heart golden necklace. It had red wine colored rubies, dark blue sapphires, and emerald green stones.
When he gave me the gift I remember screaming” I hate it” and storming off in tears. I just could not control my emotions.
It hurts me to think about how much that must have hurt him. Through the years my father has always forgiven me. I think he knew it was the depression talking, but still it had to hurt. For years I had a hard time forgiving myself for being so horrible to my parents and so ungrateful. They were there for me even though I could not realize it at the time. The older I got the more I realized time heals all wounds.
Looking back I had several things that got me through this hellish time in my life:
- I had the support of my parents and who loved me regardless of the mess I was to live with.
- I had faith. For me it was being a Christian that kept me anchored during this difficult time.
- I had a psychologist and psychiatrist that was the right match for me. She encouraged me to hang on to hope and not to give up. She showed me life is worth living. There was also medicine tweaking to help.
- I exercised and changed my eating habits to healthy ones. I forced myself to go for walks in the snow.
- I spent time in book stores and found comfort in music.
Many years have passed since that winter. I learned that with time things did get better. Every day is a new beginning. I am now a stronger person who can appreciate life in a more profound way. Since I had that difficult time the good days seem even better. As a result I also grew in my faith and character.
Here I am in 2016 and I still have that beautiful jewelry. These days my life is so different. I am so stable and so happy. I am blessed with a 16 year remission. I am married to the man of my dreams. I have a Siberian diva of a cat Angel-Ann I could not love more. I still have my amazing parents. I wear the necklace from my dad on Christmas and it reminds me of how far I have come. In a strange way the necklace reminds me of hope. If you are struggling this holiday season I pray that you hang on to hope and faith because life is so worth it. Things can only get better. You just have to believe they will and cling to hope.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community