The Future and You

Let’s all sit and share our feelings.
Okay, I’ll go first, since you all insist.

If you have, for some odd reason, chosen to keep up with this blog, then you probably know about my emotional problems and that I have an endless list of them. Yeah, I’m an emotional wreck at least 135% of the time. It’s a great attribute to have. I get job offers left and right. Anyways, I’ve been diagnosed with depression for a few years now, since high school. Here’s the thing about being depressed at a rather young age, you never really expect to live for very long. Yup, this is going to take a turn. I am now 21. If you asked 14 year old me, I would probably tell you that I never thought this would happen. I never imagined myself growing up, going to college, getting internships, joining a sorority, and eventually (and hopefully) graduating. I never thought I would even reach the age of 21. This is all very strange for me. I never had plans for the future. I never thought this would happen. That’s what being depressed at a young age feels like. Now that I am at this age, I feel so lost. I don’t know what to do. I didn’t prepare for this. I didn’t prepare to live this long. That must sound morbid and messed up but it’s true. Now I’m thinking about the future, what kind of jobs I want to apply for, what grad school I want to go to, what kind of life I want to live in the future. I feel like I’m 10 steps behind everyone because I never thought this would actually happen to me. Sometimes it hits me that I’m in my twenties and I get chills. It’s a strange thought. I don’t know. I’m just a bit taken aback.
But here’s why I find joy in this revelation.
I made it this far. I did it. I survived. Every day I’m alive, I am beating my own illness. Every day that I refuse to give in to my illness, I win. With every day that I get older, I become stronger. I am living a future that I never saw for myself. I am living a future when I didn’t ever believe that I had a future. I haven’t achieved a lot of the things I wish I would’ve by now. I am terrified of the future and I am unsure of so many things but I am damn proud of myself for getting this far. I have a future to be terrified about. I have a lot of catching up to do but I’m doing it. I’m alive. I survived and I will keep surviving. It’s a small victory and it’s a constant battle but it’s something. I am stronger than my mental illness. I am better than my depression. I am alive. Every day I get myself out of bed and do normal people things, I am beating the shit out of my depression and it feels hella good.
If I can find the strength to take one step, you can too. Life isn’t all fun and games. Life sucks and it’s not going to ease up but you’ve made it this far. You’ve survived. You are alive. Even if you haven’t had the same issues as me, even if you don’t have some kind of mental illness, you are here, you are strong, you are alive. Remember that. Don’t be sad with every hour that passes, be confident that you did not let that hour destroy you when it could’ve. Build the years, find your strength. Choose happiness. Choose to live. Choose yourself.
I am so grateful that I did make it this far. I am glad that I didn’t kill myself. I have miles to go but I’ll take it step by step and I’ll fight til the end.
Please don’t give up. You have a future. Your future is waiting for you. Don’t let it down. Every day is an accomplishment and don’t ever forget that. Stay strong. I believe in you. I hope that you wake up one day and realize how far you’ve made it, how strong you’ve become, and importantly, how great you are. I hope you surprised yourself. I hope you choose to live.

-jl

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