I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.

It’s been so long since I put my thoughts to paper and I know that a blog has been well and truly overdue. I haven’t wrote in such a long time and this is due to a number of reasons and for the first time in a while, they are all extremely positive.

With the end of the year in sight I thought a reflective blog would be fitting. As you all know, my blogs are always wrote with a hope and view to helping others and I hope this one does just that. For those who have read my blogs from the very beginning, you will know just how tough things have been at times. I hope that this blog “from the other side of the road”, is able to show you too, that there is light at the end of that tunnel.

This year has been a stark contrast to last, to say the least. As with everything in life, there has been the odd set back here and there, but all those setbacks have launched me into greater and happier times and I am looking back on this year with nothing but positives. If you have got yourself through the darkest of times, there really is nothing you cannot overcome, believe me.

When you’re in a tunnel of darkness with no end in sight, it can be pretty easy to feel that you will never be able to overcome your demons. I too used to feel exactly that. I thought I’d never feel truly happy again, but I’m am now speaking from a place of sheer empowerment and happiness. I am so proud of the choices I have made over the past 12 months. These choices have enabled me to get to this place and it really is down to one small reason; knowing it’s ok to not be ok.

Although I may not have realised it at the time, the moment I wrote my first blog was the start of an upward trajectory. I learnt that being honest about the things I am going through, with myself and others is the very start to getting help. After my first blog, I became fearless and unafraid of what the world had to say, because I knew that at the same time I was trying to help myself, I was also helping others – and that meant everything to me.

I then had the confidence to throw myself into a new and challenging job. A job that has pushed me out of my comfort zone at times and has truly made me grow as a person. I now know, if I believe I can do something; then I sure can! Your job is such a huge part of your life and if it’s not challenging you and making you happy, you need to change. Things like this can quickly become the biggest root of your troubles.

So I urge you, if you are in a dark place at the moment, really take a look around you and ask yourself honestly, is there anything that is making you truly unhappy that you can change? This can be a whole host of things. It may be your job, your friends, your relationship or even your location. I know that sometimes it is not as easy as the above, but these things can definitely be a factor. I knew that there were a number of things making me unhappy, but that my job was something I desperately needed to change, to at least take a step in the right direction. The moment I had the courage to change this, everything else started to slowly fall into place.

Since starting my blog and changing my job, I have gradually become motivated in so many other areas of my life again. Situations are no longer daunting… I get excited to see people, to go out and have fun, I look forward to exercising each day and I am hopeful for everything the future holds.

There’s no quick fix to getting through the tough times of depression and I know that it’s going to be a work in progress. But as everyone says, life is a journey and happiness is not a destination. If you are in the midst of depression and anxiety right now, try and make some small changes each day and I promise that they are going to have a positive effect on you and your happiness long term.

It may sound cliche but the beauty of experiencing depression is that you learn to appreciate not only the days you are super happy, but the “average” days too. These are the days you yearn to feel “normal” in your dark times. The days where you feel unquestionably happy are the proudest days and when you look back at yourself one week, one month or one year ago from this place, you truly see how far you’ve grown and what you’ve learnt along the way. We are actually the lucky ones. We’ve learnt to feel things that some people may never, ever be able to feel or appreciate, and for this I am grateful.

So depression… I am sure we will meet again some day, but for now I’d like to thank you for making me a stronger person and teaching me things so early on in my life. I know that if you ever come back, I will remember how I’m feeling at this very moment and it will give me the power to push through on the days where everything feels too much.

For now though, I’m appreciating everything in my life. For Scotty, my family and my amazing friends that have looked after me and reached out when I needed them the most and loved me when I wasn’t so loveable. I’m very proud to say that for having the courage to get through these days, it’s enabled me to break away from antidepressants, be excited to get to work each day, to challenge myself at new things and also plan and begin a new adventure in Singapore in January with Scott and Buddy. I really am so excited to write the next chapter when I’m down there too.

Small steps in the right direction is all it really takes, no matter how “small” those steps that may be for you on tough days.

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean.

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