I’ve always been one to crave security. My element of risk-taking hasn’t typically extended far beyond staying up slightly too late the night before an exam, or trying a new dessert because trying new foods honestly frightens me sometimes. Because of my yearning for some sort of emotional safety, I’ve found a home confined in four walls, walls that I thought I always needed in order to make sense of who I am and what this world is… but I was wrong.

I was wrong about needing a specific diagnosis of an anxiety disorder or depression to validate that I, in fact, have been feeling something far beyond my ability to describe adequately.

I was wrong about thinking that I was entirely alone in a sea of thoughts and mental pressures and stress that no one else had ever experienced or understood. I forgot how many of these feelings are inherent in our human experience.

I was wrong about thinking that I needed the security of assigning myself to a specific list of mental health symptoms, because in the end, it only hurt me more.

I am finished living a life that revolves around the world within the troubles of my mind, because the worlds within my heart and my field of vision are far greater to me. I am finished living in fear of losing myself in an unusually ferocious laughter, or feeling like every little mood swing is a sign of a chemical imbalance. I’m finished living like a simile, comparing myself, saying “I wish I were like them,” “as good as them,” and so on. I’m finished living in constant fear of when my laundry will be finished and when my last breath will be. I’m finished listening to my worst nightmares, and feeling like they’ll come to fruition, because chances are that they won’t.

Well, I say I’m finished–finished once and for all with everything that gnaws at my spirit from within me… and that is more than enough to expect from myself for now.

No, it doesn’t mean that my challenges will disintegrate or disappear forever. It doesn’t mean that I’ll be able to shake the pebble out of my shoe, but it means that I’ll learn to accept it… because it’s something that is a part of my life, but it isn’t a defining factor like my shoe choice is (kidding).

With every ending, there is a new beginning, and with all new beginnings comes an unlimited supply of hope, or at least as much hope as one can see. God, please help me to see it all.