In my last post I made a comment on reactions. I know this is something that is difficult and not even close to being simple…but nevertheless it is important. The life that we are living is going to be filled with people who are put here to build and test our strength. The stupidity and the carelessness of others is out of our control and it is ultimately inevitable. No matter how good of a person we are or how selfless our actions are, we will never have complete control of the world that surrounds us. Whether is is nature or other people, some things are out of our control…and that is just life.One thing that we can control is the way we choose to live our lives and react to the good and bad things that happen.

Starting with the bad, I know at times life seems impossible, but we must fight like hell and carry on. We are powerful, resilient, and flexible beings. We are able to withstand great trauma and pressure…we have the ability to adapt to many different circumstances. Our bodies can utilize different systems and our parasympathetic or sympathetic nervous systems can change the way that our bodies function in order to survive. Survival is written in human DNA and survive is what we all must and will do.

When things go bad, it is okay to recognize that it is bad. Do not ignore the bad because that will lead to nothing good to come. Acknowledge the bad, even look yourself in the mirror and vocalize the bad to yourself. Feel the bad. Experience the bad. But then tell yourself that this bad is not forever. You have to realize that whatever has happened has happened. The past is tricky because although the past can effect the present, the past is ultimately the past and it can never be changed. I am going to say that again. The past can never and will never be changed. No matter what we do, no change will ever occur to the past. What can be changed is the future. We can better our mindset and try everything in our power to make this life a better one. I know it may sound silly, but you really do have to tell yourself that everything will be okay. Talk to yourself and be there for yourself, because if you are not there for yourself…why would the world? Even when the bad seems to be the end…you have to try and ease your reaction in a different direction. Once you start to focus on the way you react to things, you will notice that the anger, sadness, guilt, jealousy, and despair that you feel won’t last as long. If someone does something that would normally make you angry or if someone hurts you and makes you sad…you can feel that emotion, but work on feeling it for a shorter time. Life is too short to be clouded with negative emotions that ultimately only take their toll on the self.

Now for the good, each and every time something happens in your life that makes you smile or makes your eyes light up, thank the universe. Even if it is something as simple as hitting all green lights on your way home or getting eleven chicken nuggets when you ordered ten…smile because as cliche as it may sound, the little things in life are often the profound ones. You have to find joy in all things in life because this life we have only lasts for a set amount of time…and why live it with anything other than joy? Step outside and look around you. The sun is shining, there is that plentiful oxygen in the air, and the sky is blue. Even in the wake of a storm. The smell of oncoming rain fills your nasal cavity, the booming sound of thunder and lightning vibrates your tympanic membrane, and the breeze chills your skin. You are alive and you are feeling and experiencing the beautiful world around you. Once you start to feel joy in all the things that surround you, you will notice that joy will be abundant in comparison to despair.

Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. Do the world a favor. Choose to be happy. It takes effort. So much effort. It will not come easy. You need to tell yourself that you are worth it and I’m telling you right now that you are worth it. You need to decide to react to things that have happened and that have yet to happen in a positive way. That test you are dreading? Stop dreading it. Thinking that, “I am going to fail,” “Nothing good will come,” “I should have studied more,” that will not change anything. Instead think, “I will do my best and the grade I receive is what I receive and it is not reflective on my ability or who I am as a person.” If you don’t get the best grade…accept it and move on. What is done is done. That relationship didn’t work out? Be sad about it if you may, but then realize that it happened for a reason and it cannot be undone. Heartbreak and sadness are inevitable, but happiness and joy are always possible. Some things may take longer to get over and to grow past…but as long as you tell yourself that you will see brighter days…keep on keeping on. Your reactions lead to actions which leads to changes in your life. Your reactions are very powerful. I want you to understand that as deeply as you can. We are all in this life together and we all experience hurt and trauma. You are never alone, so please never feel that way. You have the power to control the way you react, take charge of your life and commit yourself to yourself because you deserve that. Make your life beautiful despite the unavoidable evil that lurks in the dark depths of the universe. You have the choice, so choose you.

First things first…

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)