I was raised in good home, but everyone has their demons. My Dad was a functioning alcoholic with an anger problem and my Mom was hugely co-dependent. They fought all the time growing up and when they weren’t my brothers and I braced ourselves just waiting for them to start again. When I was 12 they separated and it was like my whole life was a snowglobe that was turned upside down. My brothers were already out of high school and could move on with their lives, but I was tossed between my parents, oftentimes living out of a drawstring bag I carried with me at all times with a change of clothes and my toothbrush. My parents really do love each other, though. So they cleaned up their acts, both going through 12-step programs and counseling so that they could finally be together again and after 5 years, they remarried. They are proof that real love doesn’t come easily- it is fought for. In the midst of all my trouble at home my mind started to wage wars on me. I struggled with depression since I was a child and not feeling good enough or like I fit in anywhere. I was lost, and around when I was 13 I started to question every miniscule move I did, whether it was the “right” thing to do. This may sound a bit confusing to you and I promise I will tell more of the details of my illness in later posts, but these questions and uncertainty started to bleed into my everyday life and stop me from functioning. I started to have problems in school, I could barely eat or drink, and I would sometimes stay awake for hours rechecking doors and locks. My Mother finally took me to counseling. I was nervous and scared the first time I went and I felt like an outcast. I wasn’t sure if things would ever get better, but they did. I was diagnosed with OCD and my family and I decided the best course of action would be for me to go on medication so that I could get back to living my normal teenage life. The change was so remarkable that I promised that I would never let myself get back to that point- the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, where my mind was locked in a continuous prison that nobody knew about, and the place where I hid my struggles from the rest of the world. I would do what it took to keep myself mentally healthy.
Looking back, I see that my faith is what got me through the dark storms. I knew from a young age that God was with my family and that He was working in my life all along. When my OCD raged the hardest inside me, I was given promises that helped me fight another day. My faith is what wakes me up in the morning and inspires me to be a better person for the people around me. I love the quote “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Everyone is writing their own story, and each one looks unique. I want to live in a way that accepts people’s stories and struggles, and reaches a hand out to them on their journey to find their way, even if it looks different than mine.
Fast forward years later and a lot of life has happened- I found an incredible man to spend the rest of my life with and I chose an industry and a career to pursue that makes me come alive. More than anything, though, and through whatever medium I can do it through, I want to help others and inspire them. I want to give them the hope that called out to me in the dark, the hope that said, “Today is not where it ends and someday there will be a light at the end of this tunnel, even if it’s not today. You are not alone in this place.” I’m thankful and hopeful to have found that place here with guys. Can’t wait to chat more!