“Those streetlights passing, happen to be just like moments passing in front of me. So, I hopped in the cab and I paid my fare because I know my destination but I’m just not there.”
I have dreams. I have visions. I have hopes and aspirations for my life. However, the one thing that I don’t have is a time-chart and outline for where I need to go, what I need to do, and how to get there. I find myself staring off into the distance and trying to grasp on what I need to do next. I’ve been working on praying and walking in faith continuously but I still end up a little afraid.
Since my baptismal in April of 2008, I have grown leaps and bounds spiritually. I have shied away from most temptations that I’ve battled with in the past to become a better son of God. I would even go far enough to say that my spiritual growth has resulted in the progression in the rest of my life. I am mentally tougher, more physically fit, emotionally stable, trending financially positively, academically successful, and yet, I still feel like I am so far away from where I am supposed to be. I even struggle more with the concept of knowing I am heading in the right direction but question my pace and worthiness.
I doubt myself because I don’t feel special; I get frustrated because I know my fears are warrantless, but I still feel these things. It was a part of me doubting the part that held on throughout the pain and heartache. I used to imagine myself as a being split into two. One side plagued with doubt and hoping desperately that nothing is special in me so I can fail and be average. During my bouts with depression, this side was the big boss of my mind and heart.
One the other side was a small voice saying keep going. It was the part of me that looked at the world around me and turned down the life of Detroit’s Westside. It was the voice that told me to leave before I ended up like the many people I left. It’s the voice that said, “I know this hurts now, but I have something better.” It’s the voice that said, “Why can’t it be me to change the world. I’m worth it.” This voice kept getting louder and louder.
Eventually the voice of the self-loathing and self-hate that I internalized from nowhere started to be drowned out by the internal cheers. I didn’t lay down and die. Many nights I wanted to give up because life was too hard. Friends that i sacrificed for turned their backs on me. Family members slandered my name. Money was nonexistence. I had no energy to do anything. I just wanted to hide from the quickly approaching adulthood.
But daylight eventually came because I didn’t quit.
I stayed away from home. My family was toxic at the time. I lost a lot of friends but I learned that you will eventually make new ones. Girlfriends, money, fame, friendships, jobs, all came and went. But, the one thing that remained the same was that I was still alive. I still had another day to try to do just a bit better. With each passing day, the negativity faded. Now, that part that was fighting for dominance is barely a whisper. I have some down days, but very few.
What helped me?
- Self-Affirmation – For every negative thought, you have to combat with TWO positive thoughts. It’s almost like diluting the fear in your life. You have to keep adding hope and love to wash it away.
- Detoxing – This can be from impurities in your skin to toxic people in your life. You can’t hope to change your mind and heart holding on to poisonous people.
- Activating Self – Do something. Find something you love or would like to love that doesn’t require others. YET, sleeping and watching Netflix doesn’t count! We tend to become more passive when we struggle with depression. I started working out and writing music.
- Celebrating Wins – Start off with the easy wins. I woke up today. I ate a meal. I let someone know I was okay. Then slowly expand to more ambitious steps.
BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT YOU ARE HUMAN!!! Don’t be hard on yourself. We often become hardwired after years and years of negative thinking. Don’t expect years of negativity to be undone in a couple of months. The key is patience and don’t give up.
I could talk about this even more but I am running long. Anybody struggle with self like I have? Have any success stories? Any tips that I didn’t mention? Leave any comments, questions, and such in the comment section below!