People generally gain confidence from their past successes. Yet for me, it is my failures that stick with me, feeding the self-doubt and self-esteem issues that pour out of my depression. I relieve those failures over and over again, and my anxiety causes me to be stressed out, worried that I’ll make the same mistakes again. Recently though, I was presented with a reminder of a past regret, behaviors that came from my then undiagnosed mental illnesses. And I realized I just didn’t care.
Maybe it is the months and years of therapy I’ve gone through, or maybe it is the medication. Maybe it is both. Whatever the reason I realized that those demons were in the past. And for once they were going to stay there. I realized that this past regret, which I had carried with me since high school, no longer mattered because I was no longer the same person I was in high school. I have grown in so many ways.
And this might not seem like a big deal. But for me it is huge. For me it means that I am looking at myself objectively, and looking at who I am today, not who I once was. In so doing, I have exorcised the demons of my past, freeing myself from a darkness that had weighed me down for so long.
The victories we win over our mental illnesses might seem like small steps to those who haven’t been through our struggles. But exorcising demons is always a reason to celebrate. Because these bright moments can help ward off future demons, offering more good days and less time lost in the darkness of the past.