A lot of people think that I have my life together. I am in school. I have my own apartment. My bills get paid on time. But in all reality, I am lost as hell. Over the summer I had my first boyfriend, got dumped by my first boyfriend, moved to a new city alone, and started chiropractic school all within the time span of two months.
Moving to a new city to a studio apartment and living by yourself for the first time is very scary. Then when you add the emotional turmoil caused by your first boyfriend leaving you a week after you move-in—I guess you could say I was and still am—a mess. What can also be said is that all of these events occurring at once has been a humbling experience and has only made me stronger. For quite some time I focused on all of the bad things going on in my life. I was dumped. Most of my friends were all back in my hometown. My family was spread across the country. My pets were at my childhood home. My new classes were difficult. And perhaps the thing that I thought was the worst: for the first time in nineteen years, I felt absolutely alone.
This negative outlook on life caused my mental health to spiral. I began having panic attacks to the point where my body would tingle. I would wake up in the mornings and make panicked calls to my best friend, Ava because I couldn’t stop crying. I would lock myself in my apartment after classes in complete darkness and lie down until I would fall asleep. I would force laughter when I was around my friends, both new and old. I even considered getting back on my old antidepressants because I could feel myself losing myself. I was not Lindsey anymore. I could say that for the second time in my life, I was at an all-time low. Rock bottom. I knew I had two options: continue to suffer or fight like hell to regain the parts of myself that I had lost. To be honest, I did consider the former for a split second because being sad seems easier than working to be happy. But then I reminded myself how much easier it is to be happy, once you reach happiness than it ever was to be sad. I chose to fight like hell.
I started by cutting off contact with my ex-boyfriend and a close friend that we share. I pierced my nose, nipples, and dyed my hair. I scheduled an 80-minute reiki cleansing session to cleanse my entire being of the negative energy that is deeply entwined in my soul. And I started to focus on the good. I had the chance to have a fresh start. I have some of the best friends I could ask for. I am enrolled in the school of my dreams. But more importantly, I am alive, and being alive is without a doubt the greatest gift anyone could ever have–because without life, you can’t be sure of what you would or wouldn’t have. Cherish and appreciate life because I can guarantee you that someone somewhere would do just about anything to give someone that they have lost just an few extra minutes of life.
Right now, my main priority is myself, and I have come to realize that that is an amazing perk of being single. I have the time and space to do whatever the hell I want, which is just another perk of being on your own. Well, actually, whenever I tell myself that I am alone I remember a conversation I had with my brother a few months back. I was 18 and had just moved into my dorm in Chicago at DePaul University and I had a similar, but less severe, feeling of loneliness. My brother had told me that although I may be physically alone, I am never alone in all actuality. He told me that I will always have him, my parents, my sister, my true friends, and all of my extended family. This is something that, in my current situation, I have allowed to drift from my mainstream of consciousness. But as I make my journey back to happiness, it is something that I will remind myself of every single day. I know I may be lost right now. I know I still get flashes of sadness when a memory of my ex crosses my mind. But, whenever I feel this way, I tell myself something that another good friend of mine, Yuliana tells me all the time, “It’s okay to not be okay.” That is perhaps one of the most important things that one can tell themselves. I tend to let myself feel defeated when I feel sadness; but, then I remind myself that I am not defeated, I am just human.
There is nothing wrong with feeling pain, sadness, anger, or frustration. Feeling emotions and expressing emotions is completely normal and actually healthier than keeping them bottled up inside. I know that this will not be an easy journey, but nothing worth having comes easy. And I am so fucking worth it. Keep pushing forward. Xx
“Relearn your knowledge, we change and alter the stream of water. The game, don’t be another machine.”“System” by Clockwork Indigo (Flatbush Zombies & The Underachievers)