“If someone as rich, as famous, and as powerful as that person can think that all is lost in the world, what makes me safe from the dementors that live within?”
Those are the thoughts that have been running in my head as news outlets reported on the deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. The dementors they lived with felt familiar. Long before I came to understand that dementors lived within me, I was simply a college student trying to make it through. The dementors continued to torment up to my late 20s. As I have continually mentioned in this blog, I had an Instagram worthy life on the outside but on the inside, I was tormented by my own demons.
I was working in a high profile Public Relations job (think The Devil Wears Prada) and I felt like a fish out of water. I liked the work, genuinely getting to know people, and helping share their stories but I did not particularly love the pressure to socialize. I wanted to connect with people in an authentic manner and not just because I wanted them to post about my product. It added to my already poor mental state. The pressure of the job plus the expectations of the people around me led me to slowly chip away on the inside. I was a ticking bomb and nobody knew.
In 2016, I fell in love, got married, and was momentarily freed from the dementors up until I rejoined the world again. By the end of 2016, I was an emotional mess, the dementors were winning and yes, thoughts of suicide has crossed my mind more than once. Having left with no options, my husband and I moved to the States and while it did not start out smoothly – being stripped away from everything made me refocus on what was important. With none of the pressures I have been carrying for as long as I can remember, I was free to become myself.
At one point in my life, I had everything a girl could ever want and yet, I was miserable on the inside. Today, a month shy of turning 30, I spend my days quietly doing the work of my hands, serving my husband, talking with God, and just enjoying life. I have learned to stop looking over my shoulder – that has helped a lot. I have stopped looking at what another person had and what I did not and that has made all the difference.
Thoughts are very important and I have learned to value meditation – of simply breathing in and out and thanking God for what is in front of me. All we need is today, God will take care of tomorrow. It all beings with gratitude and we have heard it said a million times that social media can be a form of torture because we see a world that we cannot have. But if there’s one thing I have learned, we do not really own anything, we are simply in the flow of things, and what we set out in the world, we get back.
I am not perfect and the dementors still come from time to time but by God’s grace, I am slowly overcoming it but only because people were bold enough to ask me how I was doing. So it helps to be persistent, to ask questions, to probe a bit even when people say they are fine. It is love that makes the world a better place and though we have all been hurt and some stories simply cannot be repaired, we can still love those who are present in our lives now and most importantly, we can learn to love ourselves and from there, we move forward and we believe that there is always always something to look forward to.