I wasn’t looking forward to writing this post. I’ve been doing so well for the past couple of months, I like being strong again rather than feeling weak. I also didn't feel like announcing to the world that I failed. But, life happens and things set you back. Something major happened in the past week that felt like it was going to break me or send me spiraling, but I decided that I needed to write about it.
This whole blog would be nothing without struggle.
Here’s what happened:
I have been dead set on being a Leadership Major here at the University of Richmond basically since I stepped foot on campus. Like, “I can’t picture myself doing anything else”/“This program was designed for me” kind of dead set. I never even considered another path.
For those of you who have no idea what a Leadership major is, because yes it is pretty uncommon in universities, this is what the Richmond website describes it as:
For me, it just meant that my indecisiveness was finally rewarded. I could study so many things that I am interested in and also apply it to being a leader, which I’ve always loved.
I applied a couple of weeks ago, thinking it was more of a formality since this was my path of course. I didn’t need an application to tell someone that. Yet, clearly it didn’t say that enough because I got rejected.
Is it the end of the world? No. I can keep taking Leadership classes and even reapply next fall. But, it obviously hit me hard.
I did the typical self-doubt spiral: Am I good enough? What did I do wrong? What is wrong with me? Yet, more importantly and why I think this post is so important to share with all of you, that self-doubt spiral lasted about 30 minutes. That’s it.
I called my mom, my roommate, and my friend, sobbed a bit, and then swallowed my pride and went on with my life. For those of you who are dealing with depression or have ever dealt with it, you know how much of an accomplishment that is for anyone with mental illness. I just found out that, as dramatic as it may sound, my entire life plan was just thrown out the window. I am not only Type A but a huge planner, this shook me to my core. Yet, I could take a deep breath, and understand that something good will come out of this. I will make something good come from it.
Do I still get sad about it days later? Absolutely. It comes in waves. But this DIDN’T break me. I threw all of that self-doubt out the window with my life plan. I don’t doubt my accomplishments or who I am.
But this is a learned skill friends, and I’m still practicing it. That’s why this is so important to share.
One of my best friends, who has also majorly suffered from mental illness, used to always tell me when I was at my worst, lowest points last year that: “I am living proof that you can and will get better.” It makes me smile to think that I can say that.
Struggle is what breathes us back to life; this is a wake up call for me. I didn’t get something I wanted or thought I deserved. This happens to everyone. But, how I lift myself off the ground again is what will make me a better person. Not wallowing in self-pity. Yet, what has enabled me to recognize this and actually do the heavy lifting is by going through and dealing with depression and mental illness. Those in their lowest points don’t have the capability to be strong. I do now.
So, for all of my friends and for the people struggling with whatever they may be going through, I’m telling you that it CAN and WILL get better. You’ll be able to receive heartbreaking news and NOT let it break you. It will shape you. I am living proof.
So, all of that is to say that I am fine. Better than fine.
Keep going, friends, and I will do the same.