This past Monday I was approached by a friend at the end of what seemed to be a very long day.
“Tell me one thing about your day that you really enjoyed.”
For a person who gets the Monday Blues pretty regularly, this was a hard question for me to answer. After carefully contemplating, I responded.
“My drive to and from work. I rolled my windows down and turned my music up, and for a little bit, it felt as though I didn’t have a care in the world.”
Something as simple as a morning/afternoon drive was the one thing I looked forward to that day and still do most days. The little time I took out of the day for me made some of the unbearable days seem a little more bearable.
A few days after that conversation, my sister sent me a link to a site that shared over 20 photos and stories of people with depression who found strength and comfort in the tattoos they chose as daily reminders of how far they had come. By the time I came to the end of the slideshow, I could feel the sense of loss and defeat that these people had been through, but I could also see the strength and empowerment they felt from overcoming their daily battles.
It was then that I looked down at my wrist and realized I was one of those people, too. The simple tattoo I have on my wrist says Breathe. I got it after my mom had been hospitalized from cancer and saw how hard it was for her to take a simple breath or to walk up a flight of stairs.
I realized how much I had been taking my life for granted. I spent most of my days feeling sorry for myself or questioning why I was put in certain situations. I was blaming the world for all of my problems but not doing anything to change my life. Don’t get me wrong, I still have plenty of those days where I just want to wallow, but now when I’m having one of those days I look down at my wrist. I see the reminder for me to take a breath, slow my life down and, instead of getting overwhelmed at the big picture, live in the moment. I wrote this the day before I got the tattoo:
One word. It’s a part of every second of every day. It’s supposed to be one of the most simple things a human can do. But sometimes life and events can get in the way. And what was once simple, is now more difficult than ever. It’s in these moments that you have to remember you’re stronger than you believe. Just breathe.
Some days are harder than others, that’s no surprise, and sometimes even having a reminder or something to look forward to each day isn’t enough to change the hard days. But some days it really does help.
Even in our darkest moments, we need to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Because, no matter how far away that light may be, it is there.