I think the last 8 months have been among the hardest I’ve ever faced, and that’s saying something. I’ve gone through horrible depression, mania, anxiety, panic attacks, and that’s just the side dishes to massive upheaval in my life, the figurative rug being pulled from beneath my feet and my world getting shaken to its core. And yet, looking back, I am in a sense, happy that it happened.

I’m not happy about all the heartache and the pain, of course. I am not particularly happy about the challenges I have yet to face, but surely must, but I am happy that I was put through the wringer and came out on the other side of it even stronger than I was before. You see, I slowly started to realize something all those months ago. What I realized was that I had been living in denial. I wanted to believe everything was OK. My relationships, my career, my life in general. After all, I should be happy, right? I’ve come so far, really. I really have. I have risen from a childhood of abject poverty, raised in an abusive, dysfunctional home environment, I have overcome my mother denying me a formal education and I have a BA and I live in a foreign country and speak a foreign language AND WHY AM I NOT OK???!!

I wasn’t OK because I was fooling myself that the life that I had found myself in was the life I wanted. Sure, there were and are parts of it that made me happy, but there was a big part of it that didn’t make me happy and I didn’t want to admit it. My world coming crashing down around me was the impetus I needed to move on and really finally find myself. The fire of pain burned away all the excuses and the denial and the fake illusion that I had built up around myself. For the first time in forever I could admit to myself that I wasn’t happy. Which doesn’t sound like a good thing, unless you realize that until you realize and accept that you’re not happy, you can’t do anything about actually finding the road to real happiness.

I was scared of change. Scared of pushing the boundaries of my life. Not in a sense of career or anything like that, in terms of relationships and lifestyle. And when that shit is not going well, nothing will. And it didn’t. The shock of my long hard lonely trudge through the darkness of depression (which I should add will never be entirely over for me thanks to the gift that keeps on giving that is Bipolar Disorder) seems to have wiped away all of that. Yeah, it still stings, like a motherfucker. But I have salve now, the operation is done and I am resting, so to speak.

Change is hard. Big life changes especially so. But the longer you put off confronting how you really feel, you can never hope to really get to the root of what is making you unhappy, I think. And I learned that lesson the really really hard way. But, y’know, lesson learned anyway.

But not all change is bad. These days I’m feeling pretty happy, and I hope it continues.

I just wanted to share that with you all. Keep smiling, and keep changing. Never be afraid to embrace how you really feel. ¬†Because if we aren’t honest with ourselves, who can we be honest with?

To thine own self be true.

Have a good one.

Yours,
Eric

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