The 4th of July has always been a day that has been marked by insane adventures for me- this year I was moving in 95 degree South Carolina heat after spending the weekend in the mountains, two years ago was spent at a theme park with my family, four years ago was filled with creating new art for an upcoming move, and seven years ago was spent on a family vacation through Tennessee. Just my parents, sister, and I on a month-long trip through the state.
I had happened to have just gone through a traumatic break-up, was experiencing some really dramatic highs and lows in rapid fire, and was battling some of the ugliest internal monsters I had ever seen. I was on a speeding train towards disaster.
Because of the glory of the Timehop app, yesterday I had the jarring experience of looking back at the photos from the vacation (below). That person is someone I don’t recognize anymore- so thin and gaunt, hiding anger, anxiety, frustration, depression, self-loathing all beneath the surface of a too-tight smile. That person scares me and comforts me. Two months after that vacation, I hit rock bottom and started to seek help. That moment in my life represents the worst struggle and the best decision I have ever made.
In a perfectly serendipitous turn of events, I ended up in the Smoky Mountains once again this 4th of July weekend. This time, my days were spent relaxing with my family, the datemate, his family, and friends. I felt calm, controlled, and happy. It was the perfect way to mark year 7 on my journey towards getting better. Every single day is a struggle, but that doesn’t mean that you give up on finding serenity. It makes the great days even sweeter, the love even deeper, and the hopefulness even stronger.
Enjoy the small things today. Find something beautiful. Cherish it. You ARE making progress.
This past weekend. Vacation with the datemate. My progress.