I feel like I’m in the best mental place I’ve been in for a long time now and I feel like I’m so much less interesting and insightful when I’m happy. I don’t know the word for it but I feel like I have less to say when I feel more content within myself. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at right now; I’m still in debt, not really financially secure and still in a job that contradicts with my core values as a person and offers me no real fulfilment as a human being, but rather is actually very mentally and emotionally taxing at times, but I feel the most grounded and at peace I ever have. I think my relationship has a lot to do with it because I’d never been in a relationship with someone who is so wholly accepting and supportive of who I am as a person until C. She makes me take myself so much less seriously and I’ve never experienced this level of comfort within another person, but most importantly within myself.
I’m 26 now and I’ve been both vegan and sober for over a year and I feel like both of these life choices have completely opened my eyes to my place and (in)significance on Earth. I don’t mean insignificance as a negative thing, life is fleeting and one day my existence will be irrelevant but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try to further lessen my (negative) impact on my environment. I feel more awakened to the damages humankind’s very existence causes; I want to feel wholeness but I don’t want to detract from my surroundings to achieve that. I want to do as little harm to others and by practicing that, I will do less harm to myself. I find myself needing to immerse myself in nature frequently to feel grounded. All I wanted for long as I can remember was to ‘just be happy’; as if that is a guarantee of any decision or situation, but I’m learning that happiness shouldn’t be a goal or an expectation. I lived so many years trying to fill a void within myself when what I really needed was to learn myself and actually get a grasp on who I am and what I value. Sobriety and veganism have awakened me and enlightened me to parts of myself and the universe I didn’t understand or know existed and I’m so thankful for the lessons they’ve allowed me to learn. My heart still feels heavy some days but I feel a connection to others and myself I’ve never felt before and it makes me feel so full of hope. Every life has significance and learning that my own is part of that has allowed me to have hope for my future and my ability to beat my demons. I will no longer invest myself into shallow and pedantic things that will leave me unfulfilled, forcing me back into the vicious cycle of bringing harm upon myself as punishment for feelings of discomfort or displays of vulnerability. I won’t allow myself to rely on suffering as a means to feel alive and as though my existence is valid. I feel like I’ve dusted the darkest corners of myself. I used to think I felt empty when my depression was at its worst but I think what I actually felt was full of nothingness, I felt like I was constantly suffocating and like I couldn’t breathe. Whereas now, I feel empty but full of clarity, I don’t feel heavy anymore and I feel like I am open and unrestricted. Everything is temporary, even the looming sadness I just couldn’t seem to let go of, I just had to learn to stop drinking the poison.