Recently in my life, I have come across several profoundly “broken” people, primarily women, but some men as well. I know these words might be hurtful to some, but it is true. We are “broken” not because we are weak, or because we are bad people, but because we have endured such terrible, cruel things in our life, that we are damaged. I’ve been alarmed to find so many broken girls, girls who struggle daily with panic attacks, with fear, who make bad decisions over and over, all rooted in the way they have been treated throughout their life.

As a woman who has endured through much of what I see in the people around me, I can’t help but be sympathetic. There was a point when I was so traumatized by what I have been through in my life, I was nearly non-functional. Panic attacks, flashbacks, constant fear, all plagued me daily, until I made some really hard decisions to change my life. I was lucky to have some really amazing friends to help me through that time. But they didn’t fix my problem, they just provided me guidance, support, and stability when I had none. No, looking back I can see that I was the one who overcame my own issues, I endured through the panic attacks so bad I was sure there would be no tomorrow, and I found that, not only is there a tomorrow, but it is full of unlimited potential, and it is beautiful. I don’t claim to be fixed, I know I am still, in many ways, healing, but now I see how far I’ve come, and I share what I have learned. My experience was unique, and I recognize that; I had to deal with transition and overcoming the childhood trauma, one right after another, if not simultaneously. But I still think the lessons I’ve learned might help others, so I wanted to share.

The most important lesson, and it sounds incredibly cruel, but in the end, you are entirely responsible for yourself, and you cannot rely that anyone else will take care of you. If you find someone who can help you, that is fabulous! But in the end, at the end of the day, it is you who are responsible for yourself, for your bills,  and your happiness. If you do not pay your bills, you’ll find your power and phone shut off. If you cannot make yourself happy, you might find yourself depressed and spiralling. If you can find a way to claim your own happiness, you can always stop your spiral, and when people are there for you, you’ll be even happier and stronger, but you will not need them to save you whenever anything is wrong.

The next most important lesson, is that all things have a start and all things have an end. Even if you are in the middle of the worst panic attack in your life, you can rationally point to when and where it started, maybe even why it started, if you’ve experienced enough of them. And, logically, you know every prior panic attack you have had has had a beginning and an end. So a safe conclusion can be drawn that the current panic attack started, and it will end as well. In this way, it is possible to get through any panic attack, because you know it will eventually end and you will be back to normal again. And once you recognize there is a start and an end to it, you can push towards that end faster. You can learn to take steps to make the panic attack go away faster, deep breathing, meditation, a stroll in the woods, a good cup of coffee, whatever it takes.

There is a commonality in both these pieces of advice. Both are about you taking control of your situation, and you improving it. It is all about you. It’s hard, but it’s true. And, its good. You take power of your life. You are empowered to fix your own issues. And once you can fix these problems, its easy to see how you can change other things in your life. Afterall, if you can overcome the most terrible terror and fear, something like climbing a mountain, riding a roller coaster, getting a new job, even something so mundane as paying taxes, it all seems so much easier in comparison. You take control of one part of your life, and it empowers you to take control of more. Then you can get yourself out of your difficult situations, and prevent yourself from getting into more bad situations, and slowly you can take control of your entire life. It’s hard work, but its more rewarding than any other work I have ever done, and the results are unlimited potential in a future I never expected to have.

Maybe this is just the ramblings of my caffeine-riddled brain, but tonight I got a really good picture of how far I have come since graduating college, and with how many people I see enduring the exact same thing I went through, I just wanted to share my thoughts. There’s a lot more to say, but for now, I hope this advice helps someone out there!

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  1. Fantastic Blog Keep it up!


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