This I Believe

Sara - Harrisonburg, Virginia
Entered on March 16, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe we are all stronger than we think we are.

Depression runs in my family. I ache over things in my life, the people I’ve lost and the failures I’ve created. I’d be lying if I said I never thought about driving into oncoming traffic, or that I didn’t sometimes think about how I could hurt people who love me by not eating. I can’t say I haven’t cried so hard some days that I felt might choke on my own sobs. And there were others when I curled in bed for hours with stuffed animals – clinging to them and that lost sense of safety I grew out of when I became an adult.

The day I chose to grow up was the day I decided to leave my husband. Before, I was a child. I made no decisions, had no responsibilities, spent money and had fun. But I didn’t own my life because independence scared me. And so I remained jealously silent as I watched my friends etch out a place for themselves in the world while I continued to ignore life beyond my protective bubble.

I was naive to think it would be easier on my own.

Shortly after my divorce, I lost my job and my apartment. I lost many friends. I lost money and family. And I lost the love of my life.

Recently, a friend told me that he believed most people would’ve given up by now. It’s not that I didn’t want to. It’s just that there was always something else I wanted before my life was over.

I couldn’t define what that was, but as I began moving past each successive failure, I realized I was quietly accomplishing something I hadn’t set out to do. I was learning about myself. And liking parts of what I found; forgiving the rest.

It takes strength to continue through the worst of what life has to offer and harder still to find those days when you can smile. But I do. It’s worth it in the end, because what I found; what I continue to find – is myself.

I believe all of us want more out of life than what we’re getting. Pain certainly shows us what we don’t want. The motivation to get past it can lead us to ourselves and reveal just how strong we never really thought we were. But actually are.