I am twenty-six years old and unmarried. I have bachelor's and master's degrees both acquired within the last two years - and over $100k debt of student loans to go with them. I have been unemployed for the last four months, and have gone through close to a dozen job interview processes. I apply for four to five jobs a day. I have been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and I am still working through recovering from PTSD I was diagnosed with in early 2015. I am plus size and struggling between embracing healthy habits and being unkind to myself for not having a smaller body. I am still mourning the grandmother I lost over a year ago.
When I read back on that paragraph it gets kind of hard to breathe. Things feel dark and I wonder what the point is of any of this. So here's what I've gone to telling myself right after:
I have a boyfriend who adores me and the feeling is mutual - seriously, I am marrying this man. I have a roof over my head and a partner who is equally as educated and financially stable. I saved enough money ahead of my move to pay for my personal bills for a few months. I have not struggled to buy food or necessities since resigning from my last job. My sister just got married. My other sister is expecting her second child - and she's healthy. I danced with my brother a few weeks ago. I hugged my father and mother on the same day a few weeks ago (I hadn't seen my entire family in the same room since 2008.) I am finding myself in my blog - all of my platforms are doing extremely well. I just had a blog post go viral as I was writing this post. I am BEAMING.
For every obstacle in my way I have a blessing that seems to counteract it. This isn't because I'm lucky or because God is "blessing me more" than anyone else.
In July I hit a pretty hard low. I was having a hard time leaving my apartment, eating, or even leaving the couch to shower if we're being transparent. When I found myself coming out of the low I decided to begin digging deeply into myself and my life and looking for the blessings; the good moments, the ups, the "okay so this is shitty but THIS, THIS RIGHT HERE" parts. Since consciously working on that I've actually had a hard time feeling sad for long periods. Am I stressed? Yes. I'm worried about a lot right now, but for the sake of my mental health I'm actively trying to focus elsewhere.
You see, it's very easy to name the amount of things that are going wrong in your life. Those of us who struggle with our mental health know that sometimes we don't even have to consciously look for the bad in our lives - our minds naturally go there. In therapy I learned how important it is to be conscious of what you're thinking and when or why you start thinking that way. It's important to treat your thoughts as things you can combat or shift away from - not inevitable clouds that you can't move away from. Grounding yourself and trying to remember the good paths you can take can do so much to lead you away from the overwhelming amount of stress most of us face on a daily basis.
You have a million obstacles in your path.
You have a million blessings standing on either side of that path too.
Look for the good, no matter how small or how insignificant you think it may feel to others. Hold on to your blessings. Give your blessings prime space in your mind and in your heart.
* This post is a response to the Day 1 Prompt of my #WahYouSayinJournal 30-Day Challenge. To read more about the journal and download the PDF, click here.