The last couple of weeks have been a challenge. I’ve been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury that has definitely thrown me off my game, and I have been struggling mentally because of it.
That being said, despite the ups and downs, where I sit now as compared to even a year ago is huge. I haven’t self harmed in over two years. The suicidal thoughts I’ve had chronically for years have dropped off significantly. I am making forward progress. I have a lot to be grateful about.
I have friends who supported me as I have gone through hell on earth. I am slowly finding a new direction, a new purpose. My wife has stood firmly by my side as I have grappled with these demons.
None of this means I am “cured” though. There is no cure for mental illness. It is just a matter of learning how to cope and deal with the hand you are dealt. I can’t change my past. I can’t change other people. What I can do is change my perspective.
And I can be grateful for what I do have. My wife. The editor at the local paper who lets me write to my strengths and is giving me a chance to get some work published. At this point I’ll take the experience over the cash quite happily.
Until recently, while contemplating which direction I want my life to go, I never gave much thought to writing. It was something I did decently in high school, however I never had a passion for it. My passion was in helping others.
When I was forced to leave EMS due to my deteriorating mental health, I was devastated. The ensuing four years have quite honestly been the darkest period of my life. I was adrift with no purpose. Not being able to help others left me with a huge void. And the realization that I would have to help myself. That was a scary realization.
It took time for me to come to terms with the course correction my life had taken. However, I have begun to realize that just because I am no longer involved with EMS, I am not done with helping others. I still can. The way I am helping others is just taking a different form. If this blog helps only one other person, it will be doing what I aim to accomplish.
My life may be significantly different than I had it planned out to be, but I am grateful. I am grateful for the roof over my head. I am grateful for my wife. My friends. My dog. The fact that I can afford to have a computer to type this on. Food in my refrigerator. My faith.
I don’t have a lot of the newest gadgets, or newest vehicles. What I have is deeper inside, and makes me feel rich beyond my dreams. More so than having everything in the world. I have hope. I have gratitude. I have the knowledge that with everything I have overcome in the past, getting through the future should not be an issue.