If you look at me you would have no idea that I am in recovery from anorexia. If you watch me throughout the day you wouldn't know that I suffer from depression. If you talk to me you wouldn't know that I struggle with crippling anxiety. If you see me in the workplace you wouldn't know that I struggle with enormous fear and self doubt. If you watch how I conduct my life you would have no idea the pain that I have been through.
I am grateful for every day of my life. I am naturally an optimist and see the best in everything. I try my hardest to live every day to the fullest and count my blessings as often as possible. I try to keep it all together. I try to keep my personal problems to myself and out of the work place. I try to be a role model and an example of generosity, kindness, strength, positivity and resilience. I try to help others by lending a listening ear, a compassionate hand or a "you're not alone" whenever possible.
Some days this is exhausting and hard to keep up with. Some days I struggle to find reasons to stay in recovery. Some days I believe that I will always be haunted by my past. Some days it takes everything that I have just to get out of bed. Some days I am completely overwhelmed by the world. Some days I just have nothing left to give.
I've been in recovery for a year and a half now and it's amazing to me how far I have come. I am both proud and astonished by some of the things that I have overcome. I never thought I would get to this place. In a lot of ways I feel like I have done the impossible. And yet there still seems to be so much more to do. I still feel like things are difficult. It seems like once I work through one layer of stuff, there is always another one waiting underneath that gets me before I can even come up for air. It feels like it's always something and it's defeating.
I know this is how this works. I know that it's a process. I have experienced enough joy and freedom that I know that this work is worth it. I know how far I've come and that full recovery is 100% possible, even for me. I know that I have the tools that I need and the support system on my side. I know that I can do this and all I need is time.
I am not writing this post for pity or sympathy nor for people to tell me "It will get better", but instead as a reminder to show others kindness and compassion, especially when it seems like they may not deserve it. On rough days one simple smile or gesture goes a long way. We don't have to understand or even know what someone is going through to brighten up their day. On the average day, I keep my story and struggles to myself for a lot of reasons, yet sometimes wish others knew and would cut me some slack. We all struggle, suffer and go through times in our lives that are difficult. We also persevere, overcome and achieve amazing things everyday. The human spirit is an extraordinary thing. I use this quote often but it seems like a good way to end this post. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.