1-800-273-8255: The Sun Will Rise Again

As I lay in the dark last night, my mind wondered to everything I’ve gone through in the last couple of years, as it sometimes does. In the beginning of this path, I had no idea what was in front of me and the mental toll it would take. It’s hard to imagine that I ever contemplated taking my own life, especially when I had worked so very hard to remain in existence.

Not long after I was discharged from the hospital in June, I was sitting solo on my balcony watching the sunset. In that moment, it meant something more than usual. In awe of how the one thing we can count on is that the sun rising and setting each day, while the world spins madly on. As the suns rays were coming to a close, I could feel the colors of the evening sky running deep through me. What was left of daylight beamed through my fractured body and scars. Suddenly my head felt like it was above the cotton candy skies, and I forgave myself for ever contemplating taking my own life.

Depression is cancer itself, once it creeps in, it doesn’t feel like the sun will ever rise or fall again. I felt so alone, despite all of the loving support I had surrounding me. The days that I was unable to walk because my neuropathy was electric, or feeling so isolated from the rest of the world that I shut myself out from everything and everyone. During that time I tried as best as I could to write and share what I was enduring, particularly on the mental side of things. I’ve never revisited any of those blog posts, I can’t. Life is easy to be scared of, especially when your world can be as dark as the nights sky.

Thinking back to walking for the first time after each of my surgeries, or how terrible the pain of it all was, seemed like it was never ending. It felt like I’d never heal, but months passed and seasons changed and every time I had a huge roadblock in front of me, I somehow found inner strength to keep moving forward. It would have been so easy to give up by now. But I didn’t.

The way you approach life is a choice. You may be facing something tiring at the moment, or feeling cynical. You may want to give up, wondering what this life is all about. No one has the manuscript, we are all just winging it, hoping for another sunrise tomorrow.

Life, one day it’s here and then it’s gone. My life, your life and anyone out there contemplating suicide is worth living; our lives are worth it. There is no replica, this is it. You don’t have to be swallowed by the sea of sadness and depression. Know in your heart that someone out there cares and loves you. You are never alone.

If I was able to swim my way back to shore to witness that beautiful sunset, so can you. At sunrise you have a new day, an opportunity to entice your soul into living your best life despite your circumstances. Getting up each morning is your greatest gift and continuing to live when you want to die is ultimate bravery.

If you or someone you know suffers from depression, don’t give up on them. I was so fortunate that no one gave up on me. If you have contemplated harming yourself, please, please don’t give up. Take time to watch the sun rise and set, for it’s proof that no matter how dark your world is, we can experience beauty at the beginning and end to every day.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 — available 24/7.

You are loved and worthy of your life.

PS- Please share and pass this message along.  If it can help just one person, we are making a difference!

Love,

Britt x

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Fraudulently Inspiring:

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I wish I could tell you where I go when I go quiet. It’s often when I feel my walls crumbling down around me. Lately I have been struggling to find purpose in my life, but I know my weaknesses and I know my voice and writing happens to be just that. I know I shouldn’t abandon the one thing that gives me purposefulness and solace in my lowest of low. When I feel weak it builds the walls around me up , strengthening the world that I live in.

Pain has been something I’ve been dealing with lately, a lot of cracks in my everyday life that darkness seems to have been setting in much more than light. I’ve needed to find my way back to my latest disgrace. Feeling as though I am a fraud in the light of inspiration that so many find me to be. How can one be inspiring when I can’t even feel my feet below me? I feel lost and sleep the hours away under the spell of depression.

My Doctor gave me a month break from chemo as he sees how tired I have become from all of my treatments. After the month is over I will resume back on chemo as well as begin a clinic trial, which is not approved by the FDA. Of course all of this makes me nervous. It’s a constant reminder that my life is in the hands of medicine, in poison. However, I am going to take full advantage of this month and get plenty of rest, per Doctors orders.

I feel stifled by the air in my chest and the anxiety that I am currently enduring. My heart is flooded with emotion, not with haste but an understanding that I am what I am and my life is how it is. All I can hope is that one-day my scars will be healed and all of this pain will be far away. That I can learn to live with what I am, full-fill my dreams and that this fickle flesh will not go to waste.

The reality is that I have no time to spare, I have to put up a fight and rise to the occasion. Find my purpose in what I love most, which is writing. Get back in touch with my one true love. Find consolation in the people that believe in me, so I can still believe in myself. Coming out of the woods by choice and be sure that I can see a new start.

Thank you for bringing me out of the cold. Let’s hope the darkness in my head is tamed  and the sunshine beams through instead.

Love,

Britt x

☀ Welcoming Summer ☀

 

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Summer solstice is upon us and I have finally begun to see the sunshine, as my gloomy and opaque clouds have parted. It has been nearly a week since my mental breakdown and I have been trying to look at each day with a new/different perspective from the last. The change in my demeanor has certainly not been effortless, but rather a solid attempt to find my bliss and discover my life, post remission.

For as far back as I can remember, I have always held goals, both from a personal intent, as well as academically and professionally. While I was moving forward with my treatment, my most important goal of all was surviving and beating the cancer that resided inside of me. I had become out of touch with any other goals outside of remaining alive and once I no longer had to fight everyday to remain, my “usual” goals no longer suited my life. In fact, the goals that I was so used to having became disconnected all together as I found myself with new realities; i.e.- health wise, professionally, personally and otherwise.

After reflecting on my ongoing depression since emerging from cancer, I realized that a key element that was missing in my life and even perhaps evidence of why I was depressed in the first place was due to not having goals and aspirations. Many of my previous goals before cancer died; along with the person that I was the day I was told of my disease. However, within the last week, since my mental calamity, I have been pushing myself, even if my efforts are starting out small, I figured that you have to start somewhere. Each day I have filled up my time with exercise and getting my blood moving with some tai chi and yoga, along with meditation, support groups, social outings and even simple things like taking the time to return phone calls, emails and text messages, which is something that may seem small, but became extremely difficult for me to do within the last few months.

It’s truly astounding how much can change in a week. I went from being on the edge of a cliff, to feeling peace, calm and dare I say it, happiness. In part, I realize that being a goal-setter is a part of my nature and without presence of objective ambitions, my world turned to nothing but doom and gloom. Surprisingly, just within the last few days, I have been riding out such a good wave that I have found myself in such a happy state of mind and didn’t even cry when seeing The Fault in Our Stars. How is that even remotely possible?

Nevertheless, I have made it a goal to keep goals. I truly feel that goal making will help me to realign my wants and needs that I have for my future and keep me on a path of contentment, even perhaps challenging myself from time to time. To start off, I have made a list of some summer goals and wishes to get me through the season and pave the path to getting back to an enjoyable place within myself and my status quo.

Here are some of the goals I have set for myself. What are your summer ambitions?

Eating: More regularly. Since my chemo began last August, my appetite has been lackluster. I would like to start eating three healthy meals per day and only occasionally treating myself to popsicles (even though they are sugar-free).

Drinking: Vintage cocktails. I’m not much of a drinker, but I’d like to take advantage of the cool, summer cocktails that Downtown Phoenix has to offer. My favorite right now is Hendricks and Lemonade and I would also like to pay a visit to the newest cocktail parlor in Downtown Phoenix, Bitter and Twisted.

Practicing: The love of authenticity, to respect and accept myself, my reality and see the good in situations, particularly those out of my control.

Mastering: The enjoyment of alone time and the art of time maintenance. I put the pro in procrastinator…

Learning: To free myself from fear and trying new things. Also, how to keep my plants ALIVE.

Trying: To be a better listener. Over the last year, everything has been about my cancer, thus missing out on some major things my friends have been going through. I’m finally in a place where I can lend an ear…just sayin’!

Playing: Outside. Although I live in the hottest place on Earth and we are about to embark on Arizona’s WORST season, I want to enjoy the outdoors (even if it means sitting on the patio of my favorite brunch spot). That counts as outdoor time, right?

Finishing: What I start. For example, I just made a six-week commitment to attend a cancer support group every Wednesday. So far it’s been week one of six, of which, week one was insanely intense. However, I am determined to commit and finish, with hopes of some liberation.

Listening: To the new Lana Del Rey album, Haim, Wet, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Lucius, along with some old faces, Fiona Apple, Lily Allen, CCR, Simon and Garfunkle, Death Cab, Brand New, RX Bandits, Good Old War, Saves the Day, Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind, Frank Sinatra, Sherwood, The Beatles (((and the list continues))).

Reading: More in general and spending time at the library and bookstores, discovering new reads and getting lost in the pages. Also, finish my latest book, #Girlboss.

Remembering: To take care of my thoughts when I am alone and take care of my words when with people. Oh, also remembering to take my medications…everyday.

Wearing: Fun summer dresses and flirty skirts, but most importantly wearing sunscreen in this blazing heat.

Cooking: Ugh, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a cook, nor do I want to be. However, perhaps I can just *help* around the kitchen a little more. 😉

Working: On the girl I was too lazy to be yesterday.

Traveling: Here, there and everywhere. Before I was sick, I was quite the little adventurer. I’d like to go on a few little trips to California over the summer and then I have a BIG trip coming up at the end of summer, but the location is top secret. Hint- it’s not a trip to the loony bin (again) and it’s outside of the United States. EEEEKKKK!

Wanting: To practice what I preach. I often find myself setting such high standards for everyone else, yet I don’t hold myself accountable at times for the standards in which I set. Also, volunteering at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and hopefully lift the spirits of young children battling for their lives.

Love, Britt x