There’s some sort of comfort knowing that there are people out there making systemic changes. Great ones. Ones that really will disrupt our ecosystem and have you stop and think. I think we’ve all had enough change, it’s time settle in our seats. Our world just needs a little dose of happiness.

Adjustment Disorder. Situational Depression. Anxiety sprinkled with Depression.

Kay, that last one came from me, but doctors really have a label for everything. When you go to the doctors, and then they tell you that you check off more than five of the recognized diagnostic symptoms. That can be a little…scary. I was told that someone who has high-functioning anxiety, has the great ability to suppress or diminish the appearance of disruption in daily activities. (Yup, that’s me!) My issue with labels are, once you become the textbook definition of something, reality hits. On one hand, labels bring clarity, but I find that misdiagnoses and overuse of the word, diminishes the severity of the actual illness. There’s a fine line between being sad/upset and being depressed. (Or maybe I’m in denial)

It’s tricky because anxiety and/or depression can look like you and me. There’s rarely a moment that I have to myself. The intrusive thoughts are hard to shut out, the jittery hands that constantly needs something to fidget with, and the all-consuming “What-if” that can be triggered by…everything. I’m never…. alone. And when I am alone, it’s… why do I feel so alone?

I’ve always told people that what makes me happy, is seeing others live their purpose. Finding that purpose, nurturing it and living it? Oh man, that’s true happiness in a glass right there. I’ll take an order of that please!

Coffeeshops are festered with people consumed in their own little wonderful world. I can sit there for hours listening to hearty laughs, replaying of the same damn TikToks (well, maybe not this) and those menial exchanges that in fact, aren’t so menial. Seeing other people live their lives, hearing them laugh and whisper inside jokes that no one but them has business knowing. That’s what makes me happy.

Those connections that we have with people, memories that we make… sometimes we forget how precious they are. The good ones are preserved, but so are the bad ones. They remain untouched as time goes on and as we begin to piece ourselves together again, we keep the ones that help build us up.

But what did I have to live for? For awhile, it felt as if I was living because others needed me. They need you to cover a shift. Can you grab it when you come by? When can we schedule our meeting for?

I get it. We all have responsibilities.

But when all you feel is the pressure of responding to others in an orderly fashion and that consumes your day, you start to miss out on these little milestones that everyone seems to hit. You become too tired to care, not because you don’t want to, but you’re so exhausted with yourself that any energy that’s left to scrape is used to breathe.

The goals of having my own classroom, starting a family, having a future… stopped. crossing my mind because for awhile, I didn’t think that I had one. It wasn’t the anxiety that was pushing me anymore, it was the fear of whether tomorrow would come. I think I preferred the anxiety instead.

The moment where you heart beats a little faster, I missed that feeling of being alive. That reminder that regardless of what is going on in your mind, the heart always beats if you let it. You want to do your part, make the memories, the whole “leave the world in a better place than you found it” kind of thing. Sometimes that’s hard to do and you need reminders. Just a little nudge to keep you going. Splash cold water on your face. We have all bad days, and sometimes they are really bad. But you know what? Sometimes all you need to do is to close your eyes, lie down and take breaths. Try it.

Someone once promised me that it will all be okay if we just took a deep breath. So far, it’s worked. So take one now and think, “Well, what a damn journey.” (My student wanted to throw an f-bomb here. None of that on my blog. We’re keeping this PG, folks)

Thanks for listening. Well, reading actually.

Co-written with R.

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