It's that time of year again, where memberships to gyms are purchased in bulk, health food goes flying off of the store shelves, and everyone resolves to do something different in the new year. We make these huge goals for ourselves, but nine times out of ten, they are so awfully vague that the reason behind your resolution is lost. For example, let's take a resolution like "Go to the gym more," while that is indeed an admirable goal, why exactly do you want to go to the gym? To lose weight, to tone up, sure. But what are the smaller goals behind that resolution? Do you want to lose X amount of pounds, or are you there to build up your muscle, are you planning on running a marathon this year?
Kind of understand what I'm getting at? I learned the hard way that while the big goals are great, and they are indeed something to work towards, we often have to start small, very, very small. Leading up to, and after the birth of my son, I suffered from severe depression, which was only exacerbated by his birth, and thus became post-partum depression. Life was a sheer living hell, and everyday was a constant battle within myself. I eventually got the help that I so desperately needed, and learned that little goals were the foundation of achieving our larger goals. We're never going to be perfect, so why try? But we can achieve our goals through little steps.
When I was in that particularly dark place in my life, even getting out of bed and getting dressed was an impossible task. Why bother? I thought to myself. It's not worth it. I'm a terrible mom, anyway. I was plagued by these thoughts every hour of every single day. Eventually it culminated into a suicide attempt, which I luckily did not succeed in, but ended up in the hospital where I did get help. We were given work-sheets each morning, and we would fill them out with three small goals that we wanted to achieve that day. Everyone's goals were different, mine consisted of things like getting out of bed, getting dressed, brushing my hair, calling my husband, telling him I love him, etc.
My stay in the hospital was followed up by intensive 7-hour therapy each day of the week for a whole month, where we were once again given the goal sheets. Eventually, it became second nature for me to write down what I want to achieve each day. Ever since I had my little guy, I had always wanted to start a blog, but I never thought I could, never thought it would be worth it, I thought, why even take the risk? I'll just fail, anyway.
But after I finished up my therapy, I began to take the little steps necessary to starting up a blog. I began with writing down ideas for posts, thinking about what I would write about, how often I would post, etc. Eventually, I created a Blogger account, and opened up Corter Moon. After that, I purchased a domain name. About a month later, I chose a blog design to purchase. It was a process, but one I am so glad that I chose to do. Having a successful blog is my dream. I'm chasing after it, little by little and bit by bit. It's those little steps that get us to where we want to be in life.
I'm proud to say that it has been five years since my suicide attempt, and each new day is better than the last. I actually wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose. I'm a mother to a beautiful little boy, and wife to an incredible man who has stuck by me through thick and thin. There is so much to be grateful for, and I actually feel things again, as opposed to that dark and numb feeling that accompanies depression. I won't lie, I do have days where I feel myself slipping back into that dark place, but I do what I need to pull myself out of it, whether it's calling my doctor and getting my medicine adjusted, or something as simple as distracting myself to put my thoughts someplace else.
I used to be so ashamed of saying that I had a mental illness. I mean, I'm not over-the-moon about it, but I'm not ashamed anymore. It took me a long time to get to that place, though. It's hard, its tough, and it's downright scary. The fear of judgement is always there, that when you tell someone about your illness, you'll get that "Oh, she's crazy" look. These days, I have adopted the attitude of "I-don't-give-a-fuck-about-your-opinion-of-me." Sure, I still have days where I feel that insecurity about it, but they are far and few in between. The most important part, I tell myself, is that I'm doing right by me, and that's all that matters. It's those baby steps that I take each morning when I get out of bed that count the most. This year, that's what I resolve to do, take smaller steps.