Life changes and everything with it. We get older. Form new friendships and sometimes lose old ones. Days go by faster and before you know it, a whole year has passed. You are no longer the person you were all that time ago. There were things I was afraid of. People I thought would be in my life forever. And my education I was trying to complete. Now...that all and more has changed. I became a better version of myself.
One year ago, I was scared of failing myself and those around me. I wanted to be perfect in life. Trying every day, I pushed myself past my limits. There were times I would make myself so sleep-deprived or weak from not eating for two or three days. I would stay up all hours of the night studying to just pass one little test. That test causing me anxiety about how it would affect my grade. Even go as far as calculating how it would affect my overall GPA.
Sometimes, I didn't realize I was hurting myself more to please others. Just continued to go day-by-day trying to meet everyone's expectations. My schoolwork and mental health suffered because of this. I became depressed and anxious all the time. My anxiety filtered into the school where tests became one of the most stressful times during the semester. I lost interest in the activities I loved doing most. Writing and running became just another thought where I used to always make time for both of these things. They were two of my greatest passions in life. My body became neglected because I didn't feel like I was able to make time in my schedule to eat.
One year ago, I was going through a difficult time in my life. I experienced something awful and was trying to pick the pieces up and put myself back together. There were times where I didn't even want to get out of bed or I would cry myself to sleep most nights. It was hard to process what had happened and it took a few months of therapy for me to finally learn how to cope with my emotions. I was just starting to heal from it all.
Then, I hit another wall where everything became too hard to deal with. I became isolated from people and it began to trickle into my family life. My parents were always trying to get me to tell them what was going on, but I wouldn't let them in. My sister, who is also my closest friend, became another face I saw rarely throughout the week. Friends turned to acquaintances.School turned from a joy to a chore.
It all became too much when one of my closest friends turned on me. They spread nasty rumors about me and told people about a very personal thing that had happened to me. It came as a huge shock because I trusted this person with everything. We had grown so close and eventually, they were one of my best friends. That was the final nail in the coffin. I broke.
One year ago, I was desperate to get away from people. I wanted to be alone and just try to get through each day without a problem. I began hating myself for not being good enough. Every grade I received was criticized by myself. I hated how my grades had become and that I wasn't as concerned about school as I usually was. This criticism turned on my own self-image. I hated how my body looked. I wanted to lose weight and look prettier.
One year ago, I was struggling just to survive. I wanted to be better not for myself, but for everyone around me. My friends, family and significant other.
After all this and one year later...
I fought to overcome my depression and anxiety. Yes, there are still days I suffer from it and neither will ever go away. However, I went through therapy and opened up to my family about what was going on. As cliche as this sounds, it is true. My family became a huge support system for me. I could go and talk to any one of them about something I was struggling with or just needed to get things off my chest. They all listened and talked with me about these problems rather than simply ignore it.
I became one of the editors for the Odyssey team at Creighton University. I met so many creative writers and got to improve my own skills as a writer. I get to share things with all you readers such as this article. My personal experiences can be used to help those I may never meet in my life, but receive encouragement from something I write. My passion for writing has been growing once again and I find myself writing more and more each day. This truly brings me joy because I love the idea of creating a story all your own.
My mental health has improved and it is still a work in progress. I've been learning how to take care of myself more. Also, I am running once again! Something about the freedom to just let your feet carry you seems adventurous. I love the feeling of the cool air on my face as I run along a path. The freedom to not have to think and simply enjoy my time outside.
My education is changing for the better. I'm finally going to be doing what I always wanted to do in life. I'm working on becoming an engineer and this spring is the start to a whole new path of opportunities. I'm moving on in my life and doing what I'm passionate about. Not for others or for expectations...for me.
One year later...I honestly did not think I would be where I am today. I am the happiest I have ever been and feel confident about my future. I have found a man who is loving and kind towards me. He cherishes me for me and loves me with all my flaws. I am forever grateful for him. My family and I have grown much closer. We share more memories and each day we make new ones. My friends are all genuine, caring people. I could not imagine life without any of them. As for myself, I'm in a good place and things are looking up. I'm proud of myself...
I'm proud of how far I've come from one year ago.