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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Second Chance Living

So, I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time.

I've been thinking about the events that led to my dealing with PTSD. I've been thinking about how much I would share, and what I would not say. I'm still thinking.

There are stories, friends, that are better left untold. There are things that happen in real life that make the scenes from books that keep you awake at night seem like shadows under the bed, easily dismissed by a flashlight and a mother's kiss. There are real-life monsters, and they walk around in human skin. I don't like horror stories. I don't read them, and I don't write them.
I have decided that I do not want to talk about the past. I don't live there anymore, though my mind occasionally conspires to drag me back. I live in today, in the present, with my kids and my friends and my family. This is where I choose to take my stand. This is where I will stay, and this is what I want to write about.

Sometimes the only way to move forward is to take a stand.

Life is weird sometimes, when you're living on your second chance. Some of us made bad choices as teens and young adults. For some, those bad choices led to endings, of freedom, or of life itself. I have mourned friends whose choices led them away, along paths where I could not follow. I have learned from their mistakes, but have, to my continual amazement, been spared. I am a living second chance. I often feel that I owe it to those who were not given that gift, to make the most of it.

Living on a second chance means that I don't take anything for granted. It also means that I don't have the same perspective as many of my friends and family. I don't see opportunities in the same ways they do, and sometimes that causes frustration. Why wouldn't I want to go for the management position in the company I work for? I could do the work easily enough, and the pay is reasonable. But it would mean giving up too much of the precious time I have remaining with my kids- while they're still young and living at home. I can't make that sacrifice- the money's just not worth it.

My heart. My loves. My life. 

Why do I "waste" my time on writing fan fiction and making silly Youtube videos, playing a children's game and hanging out with people who do the same things with their spare time?
Because, friends, there simply is not enough joy in this sometimes-dark world. There aren't enough smiles to go around. There are shadowy places in minds that are too often left unexplored and unlit. If my goofing around in a Minecraft world, or my writing stories that bring heroes to life brings even one person a bit of joy, a glimmer of hope, and gives them the nudge they need to feed their own creative spark, I will gladly labor for as many hours as it takes to make that happen.

The further I get into Youtube, the more fun I have.

I am one of the lucky ones. I fell into a pit, and was trapped there, by the subsequent depression and anxiety related to trauma. But I have a pretty amazing family. We're not perfect- who is? And parents who, while they made mistakes, loved me and wanted the best for me, always. Those are powerful weapons in the fight against depression, and I consider myself most fortunate.

The purpose of this entry, and of this blog, is to light candles. To reach out to those who are living in that dark place. To let you know, you are not alone. You can fight back. You can find joy. You are worthy. You are loved. You are wanted. I've been where you are, and I've found my way out again. You can do it. I believe in you.

"What if I fall??"
"Yes, but what if you FLY?"

Remember that life is an adventure. Live it. Learn from it. Never stop believing. There is power in faith, and in hope, and in love. Light always wins over darkness. Always.

Safe travels, friends.


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