“We fall down, but we get up.”Donnie McClurklin
In this “next level” that I am in, I have been mostly focused on my inner self. I have “challenged” myself to do things daily to form better habits and to ensure that I am managing my stress, anxiety, and depression. Many of you know one or all three of those and it is not always a fun experience. Now all the things I am doing to help myself are not all new to me. I used to have a great morning routine (and evening routine), work out at the gym 4-5x a week, daily walks, eat healthy meals, get 7-8 hours of sleep, paint, journal, read, etc. I did all of this with 2-3 jobs consistently over the years. So what happened?
Do you ever feel emotional, physically, and mentally EXHAUSTED? Like no matter what you do, you just can’t get out of this?
The last 4.5 years has been a little rough. I was in a pedestrian accident and had knee surgery; my grandmother was put on hospice care; my brother died at the age of 33, only 7 months after being diagnosed with colon cancer; my family has been through so much pain and heartache, we can’t seem to heal from it. I have had more people I know die from cancer over the last year alone. My family drama never ceases to end and I always feel like I’m the one still trying to hold everyone together. Trying to keep peace and love in the air. If I’m silent about it, then I feel guilty.
With all of this and more going on, the hardest thing was losing my brother. That changed me forever. With that change, my anxiety became overwhelming. Everything triggers that loss. EVERYTHING. But in the spirit of my brother and the plea for my sanity, I had to make another change.
I had to remember (or find) my purpose again in life. I had to remember that death isn’t something we can escape and I am still here living and breathing (even if with more aches and pains). I AM LIVING. I HAVE LIFE. What would my brother or the others do if they still had their life? They certainly wouldn’t complain. They would be GRATEFUL for another chance. A chance that I already have.
Towards the fall of 2018, I began this new journey. I found a new therapist. (Side note: don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether you pay for it or you find a close friend or hell a stranger. Just do it.) I got back into a morning routine- this time with the help of Habit Nest’s “The Morning Sidekick Journal”. I journal daily with “Practice You: A Journal” by Elena Brower. I have started a NEW thing: Meditation (with guidance from the Calm app). I am on a 40-day streak! I am writing down 10 specific things I am grateful for daily. I am walking and exercising, eating healthy, sleeping BETTER. The list goes on. But with that motivation kicking back in. I also began this blog and let me tell you. This is not easy, but you have to WANT it. You have to be THANKFUL for your past experiences and you have to look forward to what is unknown. I am not an expert, I do not have it all together. I still breakdown (trying not to this moment), but I am so thankful for this time that I have given to myself. I am thankful that I do have a support system. I am thankful that I did acknowledge my feelings and that I acknowledged what my body needed. My motivation lies within me, but it is guided through my HEART. And honestly, that HEART is my brother. Whatever I do, I am doing it because he can’t and he is watching me so proud.
Whatever it is that you need, you find it and you never let it go. This is your life. You create your happiness and you create your sadness. Be thankful for your life and every second you have of it.
Peace and Love,
I dedicate this post to my brother, James “JP” Payne II. 1982-2015. He is always by my side.