After my relapse, I was struggling to even put one foot in front of the other. I did not want to talk to anyone, I did not want to work or do my homework, and I made it a point to avoid certain people. I was embarrassed by my weakness and by the marks on my arm.
And then I went for a run on a sunny day.
My roommates and my doctor are baffled by my incessant need to work in a run every day. They don’t understand what is so appealing about not being able to breathe, sweating to death, and dodging other pedestrians and cars. All I can say is that it makes me happy. It wipes the negative thoughts out of my head and puts me on a good course. Granted, I am sporting a stress fracture in one shin and was told quite adamantly that I need to not run for a few weeks, but hey, who am I to pass up a few relaxing miles?
That is beside the point, though. What I am trying to get across is that no matter the adversity facing you, there is always a ray of sunshine peeking through the darkness. I know that your head can be a scary place. I know that the anxiety can be crippling to the point that you may feel physically ill. However, I also know that happiness is possible even in the darkest of times. Don’t run from it when it presents itself. Trauma and illness are not a choice, but misery is – and it is the wrong choice.
What makes you happy? Hold onto that. When Kate found me on the bathroom floor bleeding and in tears, one of the first things she asked me was: “What makes you happy?” I had to really think about it, and I understand if you have to, as well. When the darkness is all you can see, it can be difficult to even remember the last time you actually smiled.
But she reminded me that there is good in the world. I thought of my family – of my dad and his stupid jokes, of my sister and her awesome cooking. I thought of my friends – of Jaycee and her insane hair, of Austin and his goofy laugh. It was hard, so indescribably hard to let in the light, but when I did… The sun came out.
The sun always comes out if you just hold on through the night. Find what makes you happy – hold on tight and don’t let it go. The waves may crash again. The fear may cripple you. But I promise you – I promise this not the end. You may lose people, money, jobs, pets, things, etc. but this is not how your story ends. You deserve to keep living – to see the best sunrises and sunsets, to run through the sprinklers, to be held, to feel the rush, and to be kissed like you never have before. You deserve the world and so do I.
So, wait for the sunrise. Recognize the beauty in the stars, but wait for the light of day.
It is so worth it.