Life isn't easy. Things will happen that will change who you are as a person. Things will happen that will make you grow up quicker than expected. Things will happen that will change your outlook on life. Things will happen that will make you wonder, "Why me?"
In the moment, going through tough times and accepting the reality of things will feel like absolute shit. It feels like your entire world is falling apart or as if nothing is stable or secure.
Fall semester of 2017 was that period for me.
Before the semester started, I had just gotten news that my best friend and her family were going to get deported back to El Salvador. I was devastated by that news. It made me sick just thinking about the fact that Trump decided to turn his back on those who were seeking asylum from their home country. More than that, I never thought that my own best friend would be affected by these policy changes.
All throughout fall semester, I was going through a mentally-draining breakup with my now ex-boyfriend; first boyfriend, first "I love you," first guy I made serious plans of the future with. I shattered when it ended. I didn't know what to do with myself or how to deal with this heartbreak. I completely lost myself and didn't really know who I was without him
And in December, I got one of the worst news of my life. I lost my father to pneumonia.
Words cannot begin to describe the pain and loss I felt. I was devastated, depressed, and furious as to why this had happened to me.
My dad was in India when he got sick. I was in Florida, taking my finals at UF and getting ready for Christmas break. I was unknown to the fact that he was sick. By the time I had found out, it was too late to book a ticket and visit him.
Within three days of finding out, he had passed away.
There's a different kind of pain associated with losing a parent at such a young age. At first, I refused to believe it was true. As time went on, our friends and family members called us left and right to give us their condolences, and reality started to settle in.
Among all of this, I was failing my classes. My GPA had slipped below a certain threshold, so much so, that I got kicked out of the college I was in and had to, abruptly, change my major.
Throughout the entire semester, I never wanted to leave my bed, was constantly crying and didn't have a sense of purpose or saw the 'light at the end of the tunnel.'
It's cliché to say this, but as time went on, things got better.
Don't get me wrong, there were plenty of moments where I broke down crying or couldn't find a way out of my own toxic thoughts but having healthy distractions and doing meaningful work helped me overcome my hardships.
I found ways to distract myself from the pain. I dove into reading, painting, cooking, listening and playing music, working out, hanging out with friends and figuring out my college career.
I relied on my friends and family members to help me brave through the bad times. They reminded me that I wasn't alone on this journey to healing. They reminded me that no matter how bad things got, I will always have their support and love.
A note to anyone who's going through something similar, or feel as though there's no way to recover: It will get better. It always does.