This time of year has been really hard for me in recent years. Okay, maybe just this year and last year, but still. This is abnormal because Memorial Day Weekend typically kicks off the summer season here in Michigan. Following the holiday in remembrance of fallen military members, while everyone else seems to be excited for the longer days and warmer nights, I'm still shaking some depression and anxiety I acquired over the last few years.
Perhaps you've heard of the app called "TimeHop" which is similar to the feature on Facebook called "On This Day" where you can see posts from that date years ago. With TimeHop, you can see posts from multiple social media platforms whereas Facebook's On This Day is restricted to Facebook itself. Sometimes, looking back on those posts is a blessing and other times it feels like a curse.
This is one of those times I feel it is a curse.
For the past week or so, I have been seeing posts I made that brought me back to what turned out to be a really sad and hard time for me. At the time, it was exciting and new and I was more than ready to take on a new adventure. I've talked about it before on my old blog (link), but it has taken a new turn.
Now it's 2017 and I've faced some of my demons that arose from the "Nightmare in SWPA" as my friends and I call it. They're easier to deal with today than they were on this day last year and even on this day in 2015. Every day around this time, when I'm faced with a TimeHop or an On This Day notification, I make a conscious effort to take a deep breath, look at what happened and remember that above all else, I learned from it.
Recently – around Mother's Day – my mom asked me if I would have been able to live with myself had I not taken the plunge, the risk, and went out of state for this job. I surprised myself with my hesitation. I didn't regret the decision overall, but I did – I do – regret being ill-informed and ill-prepared for it.
The situation only heightened my anxiety to astronomical levels following a demure, mild level while in college (which I felt was normal while in college). It was followed shortly by a slowly, yet aggressively growing depression. It took a number of months before I found the internal strength needed to seek out help facing those demons. Now, through therapy, I've found this time of year easier to deal with than previous years. I still get sad when I think about the what-ifs, but now – instead of looking at it in a negative way – I look at it as a way to fuel my next chapter to be even better.
So what's the moral of this post? Don't be afraid to reach out and make a change. Even if it turns out to be a terrible change, you still did it and can learn from it. If something is bothering out and pulling you down to the darkness of depression, don't be afraid to reach out for help. I know that oftentimes, just asking for help seems like a bigger mountain to climb than that issue which you need help with. But it's worth it.