Life works in the most mysterious ways. Remember that because it’s going to be the central focus to this one. Sometimes, the most random things happen, but they can be the most incredible things. It is these moments that really make us think about both life itself and the people that come into our lives.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve experienced some of my lowest lows. I have battled with varying degrees of anxiety and moderate depression. These were once things that I guess I thought at one point or another wouldn’t affect me again. After going through some of my worst moments at the beginning of last year and eventually recovering mid-way through the year, I thought it was over and that I was free of the mental restraints on my life. However, after an extremely stressful period in my study, the anxiety returned, and made life difficult again. I explained this more in depth in a previous post on mental health and my own journey, which you can find here: https://jjsoutlook.com/2019/03/29/my-story-living-with-anxiety/ if you haven’t already read it.
So, going into 2020, I thought things would be better. It started off nicely, with my grandfather staying with us for a couple of weeks throughout the bushfires, providing the opportunity to spend quality time with him. However, a few weeks after he returned home, we were saying our final goodbyes, and he tragically passed away. It was by far one of the most emotional times I have ever experienced in my life. I don’t think I really realized the impact it all had on me until a few months later. Upon reflection, I thought about how we had been so lucky to have had those two weeks with him, and how everything in those two weeks had worked out so well. And it made me think about how life is so strange that way. It was as if, despite all the bad that had happened throughout the bushfires, something good had come out of them.
A few months later, I began to spiral again. The anxiety returned and the depression followed. I just want to explain this a little more. Since my anxiety returned at the start of 2019, I go through this cycle of being anxious and then becoming depressed because of the anxiety and how it affects my life. It can be a real challenge to navigate. A couple of weeks before I started back with my studies after a short break, I became anxious about even the smallest things. It was a truly trying time. And it continued for weeks. I ended up going to see a GP, who was so considerate and easy to talk to. It was a real blessing. It was during this time that I realized the impact that seeing my grandfather in his final days had on me. I wouldn’t change it though. After a series of appointments to set up a mental health plan I started seeing a psychologist, who I continue to see periodically to this day, and who has been so helpful in providing me with a number of strategies to deal with my anxiety whenever it turns up.
They say everything happens for a reason. Upon reflection of the last two years, I believe this to be true. By extension, I believe that everyone comes who comes into your life does so for a purpose. I believe that last year, when certain things happened to cause my anxiety to return in force after a six-year hiatus, they were necessary, and that the anxiety had to come back. Now that does not mean I wanted these things to happen. But in some sense, I’m kind of glad they did. I think they needed to occur, so that I could actually face my anxiety and find ways of dealing with it rather than suppressing it and allowing it to build up over time. I needed to as they say, ‘face my demons’. And while I’m still getting there, I’ve definitely gotten better in the last couple of months.
I have only really come to understand these things over the last few days. I guess amongst all the politics I’ve been talking about this week, something really cool came out of it all. And it just made me think about how, when you least expect it, something new comes along that makes you realise just how mysterious life is. And whilst you may lose things, while you may struggle, you really appreciate moments of unexpected amazement that turn up. People we’ve know for years can exit our lives, and new people can enter. But along the way, we learn things from these people, and from the experiences we have, and we grow.
Upon understanding all these things over the past few days, I’ve become happier, and more at peace with certain things. I suppose I blamed myself for things that happened in my life over the last couple of years. At some points, I can honestly say I wished time machines were a real thing. But now, I can say that I don’t feel like that is necessary anymore.
It truly amazes me how sometimes the most random of things can have such an impact on your life.
Social media is something that can be somewhat toxic at times, particularly when you’re a Conservative like me. Most of the major social media platforms these days tend to be filled with Left Wingers who always want to argue or insult. It is an echo chamber. But every now and then, you come across someone really nice and genuine, and they also turn out to be Conservative. It’s truly incredible. Conservatives really are some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.
So yeah, life works in mysterious ways. Sometimes you go through hell, and you wonder “why?” But then you come out the other side to a find a ray of light, and it helps you realise that you had to go through the difficult things to learn, to grow, and to become a better version of yourself. Personally, I am so grateful to have come to this realization over the last few days. It’s been enlightening for me.
That little bit of hope within me is starting to burn brighter.