baby steps still move us forward

** trigger warning **

this post discusses depression and suicidal ideation. we encourage our readership to proceed with kindness, intention, and at your own will. be well, always.

A lot of times as women, we find ourselves so caught up in the perfect image. Our preoccupation with our own becoming often leads us to the tendency to disregard the fact that we need to take better and more holistic care of ourselves. Ironically enough, we don’t hesitate to care for everyone else, but the seasons of change that we experience personally have an effect on us that we tend to ignore.

Photo by Suad Kamardeen

One day you can wake up and feel as if you’re Queen of your kingdom, and then other days when you wake up struggling to balance the weight of the world you’ve succumbed to carrying. I am here to remind you, that regardless of your life’s current positioning, to always remember who you are. When things get thick, something as little as eating breakfast when you don’t normally or taking on a new project outside of your comfort zone is worth granting yourself credit for. Don’t give in to self-doubt, or allow it to have the best of you, because every little step indicates that you’ve made it further than the day prior.

When we provide ourselves grace by choosing to spend more time with our emotions in a way that allows for processing. We have to ensure that we’re taking self-care days, analyzing the barriers in our day-to-day lives, and being honest about what is most important to sustain our physical and mental health. On days when I would have breakdowns at work, struggling to perform the best I could and worrying if I was going to be fired as a result, the only thing that I could think about was how mentally and emotionally I just was not there. But what if we didn’t wait until we got to that point? What if we took inventory now?

When I took the time to do just that, and truly remember the root of who I was, I could no longer choose to sacrifice my mental health. Not for a corporation that held me to a 9-5 standard, not for my depression, and not for the depths of my own loneliness. I decided that I deserved time to myself, instead, to reflect on exactly what was more important.

Mental health isn’t something you can rush. You have to take your time with it. And even still, some days are easy and others are not. When I reflect back to 2013-16, when I was at my breaking point and unsure if I would survive my own sadness, crying so much I had my own river, there were many times that I considered suicide. And now, standing in my own survival, I realize that I’m grateful I didn’t. I accepted that depression has to let me go and anxiety cannot hold me any longer. Six years later here I am breathing, smiling with joy and living to enjoy another day.

The pressures of life are at their peak when anxiety arises - from the racing blood, to pacing thoughts, to taking everything personally, to consistent overreacting. But when we realize that life has its ups and downs but we can’t let depression win. We have to choose ourselves. We have to stand our ground. We have to decide that although we have had our share of battles, we have to fight back.

In time I have learned how to love myself and embrace my inner beauty, flaws and all; the freedom that comes with it, is more blissful than I could have ever imagined. So, in turn, I tell you not to ever for a second think YOU don’t deserve that too. We owe it to ourselves to be happy, to smile with passion, to look in the mirror and see strong women who have overcome the inner battles we didn’t think we could. Whether the battle is getting out of bed in the morning, fighting temptation to eat that donut, or crying when that’s the only thing that seems to bring forth comfort, do what you must to put your spirit at ease.

It's going to take some time to get where you want to be, but trust the process and don’t give up. Failure is just an invitation to try again. Try as many times as necessary. Triumph will be yours. Remember that you’re fighting for you: the old, the current, and the future. No step forward is to small. Baby steps will always count.

With a strong love for animals, Daisa is an upcoming blogger that shares her passion through her words when she's not providing support through corporate for customers throughout the United States with a well-known retailer. With every effort she offers support mentally, emotionally, and physically to every one she comes into contact with. She believes love is free and encouraging words are the perfect way to align us all with it.

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