Below is the third installment of "Share yOUR Inspiration" from a friend and colleague, originally shared on September 15, 2015. She has been an avid follower of Inspired Wit and a blogger herself for a while so, of course, I wanted to feature her as a member of the Inspired Wit community. With love and joy, it is an honor to share Carol's story!
When Marge asked me to write for her, other than excited, I felt honored. I didn't know who Marge was until she participated at the same talent show I did and everyone was like "wow, who is this girl?" Shy Marge was this radiant, sweet girl that caught everyone's attention and had won first prize.
And who am I?
Those who know me will tell you I'm crazy, sociable and funny.
Those who don't will tell you I'm cold, snobby, and have RBF "resting bitch face".
But let's take a look behind the scenes.
I grew up in Greece in an upper middle class family, the youngest of three girls and had everything my little heart desired.
Parent's favorite? check
Popular among friends? check
What more can a girl ask for?
Because that reality for me came effortlessly, I assumed that things would always be that way. The summer graduating high school and prior to college, my father died unexpectedly. My mother fell into a depression and my sister was trying to hold it together and parent me so I didn't fly completely off the handle. So I was shipped to America to pursue an education and become a human being.
Great! I thought! I can keep doing whatever I want and with everyone being far away, no one gets to tell me crap. Through my whole five and a half years of college, my mother was depressed and my relationship with my sister, who was playing mom, was almost destroyed.
In the mean time, I was living in a dream world thinking, "this is awesome, fuck you world!"
Reality hadn't hit me yet...
Upon the end of my college year, my older sister asked me to move to NY and work for her. "Even better," I thought, still far away from home and making my own money.
Within 2 months of being in NY, I met a hot, Greek man. He was hard working, kind and ambitious, and we fell in love. I started to like the idea of not being alone and placing parenthood from my sister's hands to someone else and sure enough, within 9 months, we got married. I had found a lover, a friend, a father and someone to rely on, so I wouldn't have to deal.
Of course, after 8 years (since my father's death) of keeping it all in, depression came and swept everything. The norm is that you 're the happiest when you 're newlywed, yet I was a mess. Panic attacks and constant fear of everything. My husband would come home from work and I'd be on the floor crying.
I was feeling completely out of control. All these years, I had no real control and everything was a reaction. My marriage was a crutch and I wasn't strong enough to take control of my own life. I was 24 years old, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, newlywed to a man that adored me and just fucking miserable.
I had no job, no money, no friends, and my husband's love wasn't enough to not make me feel like a fucking loser. I did not love myself. I had lost weight and wouldn't look at myself in the mirror because I didn't feel beautiful.
I had to get help. The thing that I've learned... and am still learning is that whatever happens, I am ok-we all are ok- no matter what. We are the only ones that control our fate, our happiness. Everything is a matter of the choices we make and we have to believe that everything will work out. It's called adulthood.
What I didn't know, which made this even scarier, was that I thought that I was the only one in the world dealing with this. I felt there was something seriously wrong with me and that other "normal" people didn't experience the same feelings. I felt shame and guilt and I felt that I always needed to feel ok all the time or else that meant something was wrong with my brain... but a lot of people, this may come as a shock, feel this way every day.
So, what is Carol doing now? I managed through my depression and anxiety to only keep a job, but excel at it. I am now living alone and learning to be ok with it (it's better everyday!) I have wonderful friends I can count on and the biggest thing is I'm really getting to know Carol and what she likes.
It's scary, there is no guidebook, and most times I'm playing it by ear, but life is beautiful and limitless and I always say thank you for being blessed, every single day.
Conclusion: If you're in a dark forest, it doesn't matter where you go, you just need to keep moving until you find your way out.