“We push ourselves because we have to; not because we like it.”
Sometimes it is an absolute struggle to get out of bed in the mornings. There are days I would rather sit at home with a good book and not have to worry about reports, phone calls, filing, and data entry. However, if I chose to sit at home I could say good-bye to that paycheck. Paycheck….that word holds the power and the push to get me out of bed.
I’ve really been focusing this year on a healthy and stable lifestyle. I’m practicing more positive thinking. I’m eliminating negativity from my life. For once, I am focusing more on me. This is hard for me. I am always the type of person to put other’s wants and needs before my own. It has been draining and probably the cause of why I’m sick more often than not. This year is about me. My wants. My needs. So far, it has been completely edifying.
I remember a time when all I was doing was pushing myself just to live. About eleven years ago, I had been dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts, and stress for three years, and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I wanted something different for myself. I wanted my life to become normal. Being depressed twenty-four seven will wear a person out. I wanted for once to feel free.
When I went to school, church, or anywhere, I would put on a happy face but really be hurting on the inside. Every night for three years I would pray to God to help me. I would beg Him for peace. I waited and waited but nothing changed.
Meanwhile I started talking to my friends, and I thought it would help to tell someone about my problems. I never will forget how much my friends were there for me. My friends were always there to talk to me and give me encouragement. No matter how much encouragement I got it just did not fix the hurt inside. In spite of encouragement, I needed something more than kind words. I felt like I needed someone to wrap their arms around me and hold me, and tell me that they loved me. Finally, on February 8th, 2001 everything changed.
I went to school that day knowing I would not return the next week. I took in every face, every smell, every memory and just held onto it; for it would be the last. I went home that afternoon making my final plans. I planned to go my church service that evening so I could say good-bye to the people who were there for me. I appreciated it and was thankful, but I could no longer take feeling so hurt and miserable. I went expecting nothing "important" to happen. But deep down I had a feeling that something was about to happen. The church service started out great. About half way through the service, the pastor Eastman Curtis, stops speaking and the whole sanctuary becomes silent; he said these words that changed my life. "Someone here tonight is dealing with suicide and I want her to come forward."
At once my heart stopped. I could not think! I could barely move. Finally, I got feeling in my body, and I walked forward. The pastor put his hand on my shoulder, and he prayed. As he prayed, I felt like this weight had been lifted off my chest. It felt amazing. Then the pastor looked in my eyes and said, "I see the change in you."
As I walked back to my seat, my friend grabbed my arm pulled me to her and hugged me. I wanted to cry because I was so happy. She kissed me on the forehead and told me she loved me. I knew that she meant it, and that's what made me happier. When I went home, I laid in my bed too overjoyed to sleep. I was free. I was finally free.
Whether or not you believe in the power of prayer, it doesn’t matter. Whether or not you believe a miracle happened in my life that night or not, it doesn’t matter. I know what happened.
I am here today because I pushed myself to go to church. My almost farewell has brought me to where I am today. I’m here because I pushed myself to hold on. I pushed myself because when all I wanted to do is give up. I pushed. I pushed and look. I’m still here and I know God had a hand in it.
I shared a piece of my heart because no matter how tough life gets, we have to push. We have to push ourselves because life does get better. I promise. I’m a living example that life does get better.
In college, I had a wall of confessions….it consisted of ten positive things I had to say about myself before I left my dorm room for the day. It worked. It was the best medicine I could give myself.
Today, I have four confessions. I don’t always say them every day, but I’m going to start.
1. I am who I am. I have a right to be here. I have nothing to prove.
2. You’re original, cannot be replaced.
3. Be fabulous. Don’t let one thing ruin your life.
4. Control what I can control.
If you ever find yourself dragging your feet, just know that if you give yourself a little push—you might end up surprising yourself.