Stop and Smell the Roses

*Warning Triggering Content*

Springtime is the time of year in which many of us look forward to.  It’s the time of year for new and exciting transformations.  It’s the time of year when the temperature begins to rise to a more humane degree, the days start to get longer, the birds begin to chirp, the grass gets greener, the trees come alive again and the flowers begin to bloom.  Spring is a time for rebirth.

Rebirth is defined as a time to flourish, rejuvenation, revitalization and a renewal that comes after a decline.  This week will mark four years since my illness began and I am still waiting for that rebirth.  I am still waiting to flourish, to become rejuvenated, revitalized and feel a sense of renewal.  With every passing day, every passing month and most certainly with every passing year I have heard my depression and anxiety tell me in a very unsavory and enticing way that I have no purpose in life, that I am a burden to those who love me and that they would be relieved if I were gone, and it also continues to tell me that I am a complete and absolute failure.

Failure is a necessary part of life. Everyone will fail at some point in their journey through life.  Without failure we may not learn some valuable life lessons.  Without failure we may not learn what success feels like, and without failure we may not find our inner strength.  For me failure has become an overwhelming daily emotion, one that I can’t seem to find my way out of.   Some days may feel worse than others, days where no matter what I may have accomplished I still feel like a disappointment or days where I can’t seem to handle the simplest task at hand, and especially the days where my mind takes me far away from reality.  These are the days that make me feel like giving up is the only option.

The human mind is a very powerful tool, sometimes it can be your best friend and at other times it is your worst enemy.  When suffering with depression and anxiety I can certainly tell you that it is without a doubt your worst enemy, a nightmare to be exact.  It evokes feelings of dissatisfaction, anger, regret and weakness which all seem to play a role in believing that you are a failure.  My mind continues to tell me many lies and exaggerations in my convictions as I am unable to find an ounce of self-compassion for myself while carrying this weighted-down, undesired emotion.

The definition of compassion is very straight-forward, it means to ‘suffer with’.  Self-Compassion entails showing kindness and comfort toward you in the same way you would ‘suffer with’ or do so for others.  Being Self-Compassionate means that you understand that you are by no means perfect or capable all of the time and that it is also okay if sometimes you may fail.  I am well aware that by increasing my Self-Compassion and becoming more gentle and mindful of myself will have monumental benefits for my recovery, slowly eliminating any harsh judgment and feelings of failure.

But four years ago this week I lost all sense of self-compassion, along with my ability to see the many new and exciting springtime transformations that have occurred each year since that day back in April 2014.  Even though I have continued to watch the temperatures rise, the days get longer, the grass get greener, the trees come alive and the flowers begin to bloom, I have only been able to see these transformations while standing in the rain, under the dark and dismal clouds.  Each of those raindrops relentlessly represent how my illness has made me believe that I have no purpose, that I am a burden to those who truly care about me and that I am a failure.

For now as I tirelessly stand in the springtime rain waiting to flourish, or become rejuvenated and revitalized, I will begin this coming year by learning how to stop and smell the roses more often.

Author: Kim Fluxgold

Wife, mom of 3 beautiful children, dog lover, creative sole and children's book Author. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.

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