I went through a really difficult period in my life not too long ago where I felt like I’d hit rock bottom. It was only a matter of time before I realized that nobody else was going to get me out of that pit of despair—I had to do it myself. I eventually did and I’ve never felt better.
I’d just come out of my first long-term relationship.
My relationship with my first “real” boyfriend completely fell apart after almost four years together. He was my rock during a couple of particularly bad times in my life, including the deaths of my two beloved grandparents and I honestly didn’t know how I was going to cope without him.
I didn’t know what I wanted.
My ex and I had broken up in large part due to the fact that I didn’t have a clue what I wanted anymore from dating or from life. Understandably, he couldn’t just keep waiting around until I figured it out and I had to accept that I’d lost my best friend as well as my BF.
I was completely lost.
I was so unhappy with my ex and so confused about what I wanted that I didn’t even know who I was anymore. When I looked in the mirror, I honestly didn’t recognize the person staring back at me. Gone was the carefree, fun young girl who was always up for a laugh. Instead, there was a scared, serious, uptight person in her place who didn’t belong in my body.
I’d drifted from all my close friends.
I moved away from all my family and close friends to be with my ex, so it was a pretty nasty shock when we split up and I realized that everybody had moved on with their lives. I had to move back in with my parents and grovel to my best friends in a desperate attempt to get my life back on track with my favorite people around me.
My career was a mess.
At that point, all the jobs I’d worked previously in my life weren’t right for me. They made me miserable. When I left college, I was so adamant that I was going onto bigger and better things, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I was always stuck in dead-end jobs that I didn’t like and didn’t suit my skillset, and I had no idea what I was supposed to do to fix it.
I kept getting sick.
I was so unhappy mentally and emotionally that it started to take its toll on me physically. I was constantly off work sick with various viruses. The scariest moment I had with my health was when I had to visit the ER because I couldn’t breathe. I ended up spending the day there with a severe respiratory infection, and that’s when I realized that things had to change.
I had to take control of my life.
I’d been letting my fear about what was next for me and my upset about my breakup completely rule my life. My negative emotions were affecting everything that I was doing and I decided that enough was enough.
I made a plan.
I decided that the best thing that I could do for myself was take a time out from life. I saved some money, quit my job, and put in a plan in place to travel the world. I refused to be the victim any longer. Instead, I was going to be that girl that everyone else aspired to be because of her brave actions and determination to do more with her life.
I put everything into my relationships.
Even though I no longer had a romantic relationship in my life, I put all my time and energy into my other relationships. I made the most effort I’d ever made with my close friends to make up for the fact that I was a total jerk while I was coupled up. I spent quality time with my family too, but most importantly, I prioritized looking after myself.
I got my health back on track.
Because I was taking better care of myself and I had my travels to look forward to, my mental health improved, which in turn helped my physical health as well. It was a revelation after many months of illnesses and distress, and things were finally looking up for me.
I put dating on the back burner.
I decided that I needed to make the relationship with myself the best it could possibly be before I could even think about introducing another person into the mix romantically. Sure, I went out bar-hopping from time to time and had fun, but I kept my distance from guys until I was truly ready to invest emotionally.
My happiness eventually returned.
It took a long time and didn’t happen until a few months into my travels, but my happiness eventually made a (long overdue) appearance. And you know what else? The carefree, fun young woman came back—and she’s still here to this day.
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