My last post on this blog is from December 2015, wow. Nearly three years ago I was denied from graduate school and starting my first “real job” out of college, and it’s funny to me to go back and read my thoughts in that season of life. I was so anxious to get my life started, get a job in my field, continue my education, and become an adult. What was I thinking? Haha, kidding. But actually, if I could go back and tell my 22-year-old self to stop worrying so much about the next big thing, then I would. However, I am pretty proud of the realizations that past me made regarding my identity in Christ. If anything, God used that weird transition season to root some solid ideas into me, which would continue to grow until this day.
So here’s a little recap of the last three-ish years. I’m still at that same job that I started when I wrote that last post. I’ve learned so much being in the mental health field, and real-world experience is invaluable. The adjustment to the job was difficult at first, and then I got the hang of it, but now I’m growing tired. They say that we tend to hold an average of seven jobs in our lifetime, and I know that this is not a permanent position for me.
I got into grad school the following year, and started working towards my masters in fall 2016. I had to take a semester off due to some nonsense with my internship and some other factors, so I’ve only completed three semesters since then. I struggle every day with the fact that I should have graduated with my masters this past spring if I would have been able to do the program full-time. Then I have to remind myself that I probably still wouldn’t have been accepted to the school if it wasn’t for my current job. I start my internship this upcoming semester, and I still have two more years of a jam-packed schedule and no social life before I’ll finally finish. I suppose taking four years to finish my MSW is better than never finishing it at all.
I’m still volunteering with the student ministry at church, which I mention starting in my last post. The 7th grade girls that I met that month are going into their sophomore year of high school this year! Talk about feeling old… Those girls are incredible and I’m so glad that they’re in my life. Despite my insanely busy schedule, I can’t imagine not being their small group leader and hanging out with them on Sunday evenings. I think that the Lord has really taught me a lot through student ministry and through getting more involved at church. My community there has been my strength and support through so much over the past few years, and I feel so blessed to be a part of a healthy church family.
With all of that being said, I want to talk about one other thing that ran as a main theme though my past blog posts; mental health. Part of me is really glad that I documented my thoughts and struggles with my mental health all those years ago. It’s neat to look back and read what was going through my mind in one of the darkest seasons. I am for sure not 100% “better” and I still struggle daily with some things, but I can definitely look and see the progress that has come. Anxiety still consumes me, but those days are fewer and farther between. Panic attacks almost feel like a thing of the past. Depression is probably the little monster that is still living strongest in my world right now, but even that ebbs and flows. I feel confident in saying that I have made great progress in coping with my own mental battles and 22-year-old me would probably never believe it.
When we’re in the midst of darkness and hardship and sorrow, it’s so hard to see the other side. Believe me, I know. And I also know that it’s hard to believe the people who are saying those things to you when you feel like no one can possibly understand. But if anyone is reading this who feels that way, please, hold on to hope. I can’t tell you when it will get better or how it will get better, but it does. I have personally struggled with mental demons since high school. They didn’t just all go away one day either. It’s more like they go into hiding for brief periods of time but then come back out to surprise you. But you get better at fighting back, and you learn about yourself, and you get stronger every time. Yes, I still have days of hopelessness, and yes, I still have to battle scary thoughts, but I also think that I would not be the person I am today without God using those battles for His good.
Without rambling on too much, I just wanted to drop in and say hey self, you’ve come a long way, and I know that you think that you’re currently in a dark season of monotony and that you’re stuck in a cycle of unhappiness, but remember, joy comes from the Lord not your circumstances.
I feel like time moves so slow and so fast at the same time. Maybe I’ll check this page again in another two or three years and reflect on how much further I’ve come. Maybe life will look completely different that I anticipate. But regardless, I feel like God is moving and working in my story, just as he was back in 2015. He intended for this chapter of my book to look exactly how it looks, but I also sense a new chapter will be starting really soon, and I can’t wait to find out what it’ll be.
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