Over the holidays I had my ten year high school reunion. Ten years is a long time and I unwillingly replayed in my head all of my major experiences since then. I feel like most people first experience trauma in their teens. The last ten years I had countless traumatic events, that now, I am just so fucking proud of. Every choice that I made, every goal I did or didn’t reach, I am so proud of. I look at the girl/women I was at every particular stage in my life and I am SO proud of her. She ran on chai tea and didn’t have a clue, but forged ahead not giving a damn. She slept through most classes in college; the only thing she actually showed up for was working in the theatre department’s costume shop, but she was following her dream of working in fashion. She was devastated by failure, ridden with anxiety, but she was tough as nails. I like to think of myself as being made of something really strong; unbreakable, indestructable, resistant to corrosion maybe, with the highest strength-to-density ratio of any other metal… like titanium. She was made of titanium. “Bullet proof [with] nothing to lose. Fire away.”
DON’T see anxiety and depression and the feelings they incur as failures. They are not. They are out of your control. THAT is the secret to surviving mental illness: seeing your light inspite of it all.