IMG_4398It’s an awfully strange thing, you know, my history with mental illness and how the same has really helped define my life and who I am.

It’s like this battle has taught me so much about life, about what’s important, and about what’s not so important. And while I wouldn’t wish this illness on anyone, it’s like, I’m in some messed up way thankful that I’ve had these experiences. That anxiety chose me. That depression chose me.

It’s made me more empathetic to the pain and suffering of others. It’s made me a warmer person. It’s helped me to be much less judgemental, and on the contrary much more open minded, towards, well, pretty much everyone and everything.

I feel like I’m more in tune with my emotions, that I’m more self-aware and that I’m essentially a better person because of my struggle. And I mean, I’m really very proud of the person that I am.

Anyway, I’m at this place in my life right now where I’m just completely trusting whole heartedly in the power of everything that is.

I’m just surrounding control, and placing my fate or destiny or what have you in some unknown entity that I don’t even understand. I mean I don’t even know what I believe in.

But I’m kind of a super believer in the cliche that, you know, whatever is meant to be will be.

And I’m finding peace in that. Like, inner peace. And that’s obviously a good thing. Being at odds with yourself is no fun, and trying to continuously follow some preconceived notion of a timeframe in this life, or some schedule of where you’re supposed to be by now is, well, just so unsatisfying.

It’s great to have ambition, and to be determined to succeed and do well. But don’t forget that the goal of success is happiness. If you’re successful and unhappy then what the hell is the point?

I think that’s what I learned most in 2013 when I underwent a major depressive episode, that nothing matters if you’re unhappy. That all the money in the world means nothing.

You know, this whole journey that we’re on is a pursuit to attain the ultimate goal which is just finding inner peace and contentment and, well, happiness. I mean I really think it’s that simple.

Obviously, we’re also here to proliferate the species, but I’m trying to not go all Darwinian on you here right now.

Just think back to the last time you felt totally and truly happy. What were you doing? Who were you with?

Well, my darling, do more of that, whatever that thing is!

I’m not talking about the kind of “happiness” or relief that comes from a bottle, or a drug, or sex or whatever vice it is you may or may not use. I’m talking, the last time you were completely and totally happy.

The last time you laughed so hard your cheeks hurt. Your stomach hurt. That feeling, well, that’s the end goal. That total sobering, heartwarming kind of happiness doesn’t come from your next degree, or the amount of money in your savings account.

That’s a feeling you can’t buy. But it’s something we all deserve. And we’re all capable of having it. In fact, if we’d all just get out of our own way for a minute and stop stressing over all the insignificant details of our daily lives, I think we’d all be a whole lot happier.

Obviously, you’ve got to do the laundry, and the dishes, and pay the bills, and go to work. Some of you are raising families. I can’t even begin to understand how stressful that is and I won’t pretend to.

All I’m saying is find the time to do whatever it is that brings you peace and happiness. And in so doing, don’t do any harm to anyone else.

I know I’m going to deal with the highs and lows of mental illness for the rest of my life. And I’ve come to terms with that. And that’s why I’m letting go of worrying about things that are essentially unimportant. The things that you can’t change.

There’s no sense in dwelling on anything that you can’t change. It’s like this, you get a speeding ticket you’ve got to pay it. Don’t let that get you down for days on end. Let that shit go. Someone said something stupid or you said something stupid you regret. Forgive and move on or apologize and move on.

Life’s too short to get caught up in the things that you can’t change.

Your time is better spent elsewhere.

I guess this is what anxiety and depression has taught me. Above and beyond all else, happiness is the key to life. And nothing else matters if you’re not happy!

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