To sum up my life in 2016- to now 

2016 was one of the most changing years in my life so far.

I had made the biggest and hardest decision of leaving the school I had spent two and a half years at in the most beautiful state of Vermont.

I struggled with the early education major; so I changed it. I then grew unhappy with the change to communications and struggled to motivate myself in my major classes.

I thought to myself everyday, I should never had changed my major. I would be accomplishing so much to be learning about early education.

I had to make one more change; a drastic change. I went back home to New Jersey.

I had to trust that it was OK to take a break from your education to focus on bettering your mental health.

While taking this break, I got a job as being a nanny for two of the most loving, fun children. What better way to gain more knowledge about children than to basically be a mom, right? I spent the past 10 months caring for these children like they were my own. I slowly began to feel a love for them, like they were actually my kids. They taught me how to care and cherish the simple things in life; to not focus on the negative. They put a smile on my face on the days I didn’t want to smile. They showed me that life can be whatever you chose it to be as long as you work hard. They made me happy.

During my time as a nanny, I also became a substitute preschool teacher at the most wonderful preschool. After only working at their summer camp for the past four years, they also wanted me to be there during the school year. I was overjoyed. Every time I go, it reminds me of what I am striving for. It makes me happier each time and I grow more and more excited about having my own class of children to teach.

As the months went on, I started to want to be around people my age again. I wanted to be responsible for only myself again. I wanted to be back in school learning how to become the best preschool teacher I could be.

I was having panic attacks and went through medication changes. I finally had my diagnosis other then “generalized anxiety disorder”, which I believed, wasn’t what I was feeling.

I was diagnosed with “borderline personality disorder.” To sum it up, I experience the extreme end of each emotion. Although it was upsetting to hear this, I was relieved I finally knew what I had so I can get the right treatment. I started to read and educate myself more on this disorder. I’m now learning Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). DBT teaches four sets of skills : mindfulness, distress tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotion regulation. It has been helping me get through each day.

Some days are harder than others, but for the most part, I feel in control of my life now. Mental health is important and getting help is important.

I am now attending college at my own pace and I am striving to get my early education degree to work at a preschool. I am striving to become a teacher, my passion ever since I was a kid and I couldn’t be happier now with my education change. Although I miss Vermont so much, I still have good memories to remember my journey in another state. Trips to Vermont are definitely going to happen this summer.

Well.. 2016..thank you for teaching me it is OK to not be on the same path that your friends and people your age are on. It is OK to take a pause in life to regain a healthy mindset. And it is OK to not be OK.

Thank you for taking the time to read 🙂

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Danielle

Oh the things I wish I could say to you.

This is all sinking in at once. I had tried to suppress it in my mind for almost two months. Maybe I was in denial, maybe I was really in shock.

Well now, I am exploding of sadness, fear, and hopelessness.

I just don’t see life the same way anymore; as if I needed another reason to hate it. I don’t know if I ever will be happy again.. and that scares me. It scares me because what if I want to chose giving up instead of striving to keep alive. What if everything becomes so overwhelming and all I want to do is give up and can’t stop myself? What if I just keep living everyday for now on with a painfully fake smile on my face?

It pains me so much when people ask how I am because all I can say back is “good”. But in reality, I’m not good. I’m not okay. I am hurting. I am suffering. I am out right miserable.

I can only describe this feeling as a constant dull pain in your chest, headaches from racing scary thoughts, the feeling of being stuck and not wanting to go on, and the guilt in feeling happy.

Sleep is hard, eating is hard, waking up is hard, getting out of bed is hard.

You never realize how much grief affects a person until you’re going through it yourself. This is the most painful thing that has ever happened. There is no going back to what my life was before. There is no going back to what was important to me before. All that is important now is not giving up. All that is important is to keep living until the pain becomes less and less miserable. Is that even possible? Is it possible to have a life worth living after an incident like this?

I don’t know how people did it. But then again, having borderline personality disorder added grief x10. It hurts so badly and no one understands to the extent of what I’m feeling. They don’t understand I am falling apart before their eyes.