We all know that in this day and age staying happy is even harder than ever. Now, mix in the effects of social media, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, or current events and you have a perfect recipe for feeling pretty shitty. For years I swear I struggled and still do with feeling like I am less than compared to others. There is always someone funnier, prettier, or smarter that makes me feel like I could be better. I could never be happy with who or where I was in life at that time. I feel like this is pretty common amongst my peers/people I know and we are only JUST starting to talk about it. I believe that is is so important, to be honest with people and also yourself. It is too easy now to post a photo and for it to seem like everything is perfect. I am sure for some people this is true and that is great but for me, for a long time, this wasn't true. There was always a reason why I wanted that picture to be posted ... to show how well I was doing or something. I had this constant thought that was, "I look like my shit is together but if you only knew." During most of my addiction, I was in this headspace but this thinking goes way earlier than that.
When I was in grade 10 I was diagnosed with depression and for years never told anyone about it. I would be going to therapy twice a week and felt like I had this huge secret that I wasn't allowed to tell anyone. I was having issues in and outside of school when I suddenly lost the motivation to do anything. I was so sad, exhausted by life and I was only 15. Like I said, I constantly had that thought in my head that said, "if only you knew." I was too young then to stand up for myself and have the confidence to share my struggles with anyone else. I had a tough time growing up, I was always in therapy with a seemingly endless list of problems but I am here now sharing with everyone that it is okay. What I went through and what others go through, whether it is mental health or addiction problems is a defining point in a persons life. Because I had to face those demons I have learned how to be strong on my own. It has taken years to get to this place and a lot of work but it was so worth it. I used to be envious of people that seemed to have no issues and life looked like a breeze. I honestly can say although there were some very dark times, I would never trade my life for theirs. Everything that I went through that I thought was tearing me down actually built me up. It gave me thick skin and the power to have faith in myself. Even in sobriety I have dealt with some things that usually would have spiralled me into some very self-destructive behaviour. Instead, I took these moments and let go of the pain it caused me. I practice accepting that there are people, places, and things that will forever be out of my control and that is okay! To stay positive during the hard times you must have faith that there are better things to come.
Life is full of ups and downs but the key it is how you choose to handle them. With every negative emotion there is a positive emotion and vice versa. With the bad times remember that this too shall pass.
My Tips On Staying Positive!
1. Don't compare yourself to other people. You are uniquely you and you should own the special person you have become.
2. Stay present, let go of the past. Holding onto resentments will eat you up. Let go of the burden of anger, forgiveness will give you a sense of relief.
3. Be authentic. You should be able to look in the mirror at the end of each day and be proud of who you are. Kindness will go a long way.
4. Love yourself. Put yourself first, be your own best friend! The relationship you have with yourself is the only one you have guaranteed for a life time, so cherish it.
5. Rise above what society tells you to be. Don't do what is, "cool," do what is right.