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New Blog Post By Emily Braun – January 16th, 2019

Cheers to Knowing Me

At this holiday time, most people are saying the old cliché, “New Year, New Me.” However, if we’re pouring drinks (spiked or sparkling) and making resolutions, lets cheers to “This Year, It’s Me.”

It’s been about four months since I’ve written for NAMI, still doing some poetry of my own here and there, but in this time of absence I’d always felt something missing. I stopped writing for a while, trying to grasp the college lifestyle, busy with homework, work, exploring clubs, maintaining a workout schedule, learning to walk closer to The Lord, and most likely socializing too much. Since its winter break, I wanted to get something posted for readers, and I realized I had an old blog from about the first week of college typed that I never posted. I remember having three very important people read it and feeling very nervous about its message. After reading it through, I realized it still needed posted. This is no longer because I need the support from those specific struggles I had been writing about, but because now I can share that I’m not dealing with this episode of relapse any longer. Also, the trip in this essay was a big part of a recovery processes, involving a lot of self-evaluation.

My Lost Blog of 8/20/18

Where there’s breath, there’s hope, hope that this life you’re living can and will get better. It’s a process. Walking these roads will leave your feet swollen and swore. The sand beneath you may sift away as you drift into shadows of your dimmest thoughts. Dim, but not dark because that means the light has been shut off. This flame inside you is fueled by the oxygen in your lungs, and with every tear you shed, you learn the process of progress—that fury of the fire within—is slowed.

            Lately, my fire has been an array of smoke signals. They know I have potential, but I haven’t reached the colors that will make my mark and paint my picture in this lifetime. I hit a relapse. Just like a former alcoholic can pick up a bottle again or an abuser can relapse into hate and force, a suicidal tendency thinker can want to wish it all away again. There are floods everywhere that have the capability to put out my fire. This time is was inconsistent love, sporadic friends, constant anxiety, insomnia which led to exhaustion, and not knowing what my heart trusted in or desired. The littlest thing that may be brushed off by someone can blow up into an insurmountable depression or anxiety attack for someone dealing with those disorders. It just so happens that my obsessive thinking and stressed demeanor allowed many things to overflow at one time. My flames started to dim. What I needed was peace. Peace within my mind, surroundings, peace with my body, and people.

However, without life there is no need for oxygen, without oxygen there is no fire. So many times, I’ve wanted to give it up, this life, but then I’d never get to show the world how bright of a flame I’m able to put off. Maybe just maybe, my fire will one of these days will be the light in someone else’s life. These are the good thoughts that are tucked in the back of my mind, telling me it’s worth the stay, making sure I make good decisions. Being that I’ve been down this road for a while, I’m capable of tracking when I need to ask for help. Nights would pass by that I cried myself to sleep simply feeling lonely and empty. I’d call my mom into my room because I was scared of myself and the thoughts I was having. I told her I wanted back on my medicine because I was feeling as if I wanted to die again. A couple of weeks later I sat down with my family and psychiatrist. As much as I didn’t want to be back on my antidepressants, I wanted to be happy that much more. Sometimes we hit boundaries and downfalls. My fire hit a brick wall and couldn’t get through it, but I knew that I had to keep burning. Within a few days, I was sleeping better and feeling less anxious. On a sourer note, my emotions are at times a little more numb, or I felt too tired with the medicine, for I keep myself on a busy schedule to defeat this issue.

Also, I had left for a college orientation camping trip which turned out to be its own mechanism of treatment for the way I’d been feeling, shortly after my doctor’s appointment. I was with nineteen other people that I did not know, in the wilderness, with no phone. I had to be with myself a lot which is the hardest company for me. Throughout, this full week experience, however, I did not feel lonely once. I had the comfort of personal peace amid the tranquil and aesthetic scenes of the nature I was surrounded by.  I wanted to make the best impression I could for the people I was meeting. They were from all over the country. I put on my best face and most outgoing attitude as if nobody could ever imagine the depressive stages I’d recently been through. I noticed that with the right thought process I could be as happy as I wanted, but it all started with the order of my mind. I started making new connections with myself and personal positivity as I hiked through the woods, taking in the creation of Earth around me, almost feeling privileged. New connections also formed with each and every other trip participant. We leaned on each other so much that week and eventually got so in tune and deep with each other that we sat and shared our dimmest struggles. They now knew, but they weren’t going to see. One boy came up to me after the heart to heart and told me sharing me story gave him the strength to get his own battle with suicide off his chest. Together we built a campfire and I just needed the little kindling of medicine to keep me going.

Overall, I’m thankful for what I’ve been through. It’s taught me the leaps and bounds that I am truly capable of and given me more sticks and stones to burn off, to defeat. Right now, I have oxygen in my lungs and a fire in my heart to make a statement in this life, to be someone else’s light. There will always be things in life trying to put out my flames, but I’ll bounce back. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again. Remember, with every breath you take, your eternal flames are rising. Save yourself from the dark. Don’t put out your fire.

Revisiting the idea of self-evaluation, I look back at this and wish I would have been documenting my life through blogging and inspiring others this whole time. Writing got lost in being off on my own; I forgot to be me. So, it’s the start of 2019 and a new semester. I want to write, persuade, inspire, study, embrace, reach out and speak because that’s me. Instead of just changing me, I’m going to better me by being me, and I’ll remember those things that I love, things that make me feel most productive and relevant to this world amid all the distractions. Often, I struggle to find my calling, but this past year has brought so many things to my attention, and I wonder what exactly I’m meant to do in life, or a career. If I learned one thing, it’s that I should never stop writing no matter how I’m doing it because it’s me.

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