We’ve all heard variations of the quote “when life knocks you down, get back up, dust yourself off and try again”, right? Although quotes like this are great and can be inspirational, I can’t say I agree entirely with them. I don’t mean to sound negative here, it’s just that from my own personal experience I have learned that it takes a support system to help you get back up and move on, because sometimes you just can’t do it on your own.

A little over a month ago my mother received some news from her doctor, news that no one ever wants to hear. It’s the kind of news that sort of punches you in the gut and takes your breath away – and not in a good way. It’s the kind of news that sends you into a depression and makes you hate the world and everyone in it. As easy as it is to fall into this dark place, I have recently learned that it can be just as easy to get out of it and turn on that positivity light switch that is somewhere inside all of us.

It was my support system that helped me find that switch.

I truly believe that without family, you have nothing. Ever since my mom’s diagnosis our family has been there, by our side, making sure that my parents and I are doing fine. Whether it’s a daily check in message, a home cooked meal (trust me … there have been tons!), or just spending an entire day with my mom to keep her spirits up, our family has gone above and beyond to be there for us and WE CANNOT BE MORE APPRECIATIVE! My mother keeps saying ‘I don’t know how I will ever repay everyone’. The thing is, they are not doing any of this hoping to get something in return, they are doing this because they love her, they love us, and we cannot love them more for it.

I’ve always said that I have been blessed with the best friends anyone can have, but I can now honestly say that I am truly, BEYOND blessed. In fact, I don’t see them as just amazing friends, but I see them as family … like the brothers and sisters I never had. The night I shared the news with my friends they rushed to my condo just to spend time with me. I am grateful for that. I am grateful for the flower deliveries, grateful for the check in messages, grateful for the offers to come spend time with me and my mom, grateful for the offers to help with my puppy, grateful for the delicious food they fill our fridge with and grateful to my colleagues for replacing me when I can’t be at work. Sometimes when I take a moment to sit and think about all the support and help we are receiving … I cry. I cry because I am so thankful that we have the best people surrounding us.

During any difficult situation it’s easy to cut yourself off from everyone and just want to be left alone. Now, to be honest, I’ve had a few days like this … days where I just don’t feel like talking, and thankfully people have been very understanding of that, but I know the importance of surrounding myself with positivity and love so I embrace and accept it as best I can. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a fairly private person. I tend to keep a lot of things to myself and most of the time it’s not intentional. I am just not big on talking about emotions and feelings, I never have been, it’s just not who I am (my friends and family like to remind me of this from time to time!). So, when Tonina said she wanted me to write a blog for her site I instantly knew what I wanted to talk about, but at the same time was hesitant because I would be sharing my thoughts and feelings with people, most of whom are strangers and that was terrifying for me!! If there is one thing I can take away from this experience is that I cannot be afraid to ask for or receive help, and I need to open up and talk to people or else I will go insane!!

The best piece of advice I received came from the principal at the school I work for. He said to me, feel every emotion because its important. At first I thought I would struggle with this because I’m a pro at ignoring my emotions, but I learned that you can’t push them to the side because it can be detrimental to your mental health. I have learned to stop pushing the bad feelings away, to start feeling them, and to talk to someone when it becomes too much to handle. If I am having an intense moment of sadness or vulnerability I reach out to a friend or family member and unleash my thoughts. Then, when all is said and done, we move on and discuss something different. This has helped me immensely. I have always struggled with anxiety (something not many people are aware of) but I must confess, ever since I began feeling my emotions and talking about my feelings I have seen a difference with my anxiety and my overall state of mind. I don’t wake up in the middle of the night in a state of panic as much as I used to, I don’t have as many anxiety attacks at random times throughout the day, and mentally I feel a little bit clearer … which is strange considering the difficulties my family is facing at this moment. This just proves that we need a strong support system to help us in life even when we are hesitant. My support system has brought so much positivity to my life that I truly feel like I am a better person because of it.

So … to my amazing family and friends …. THANK YOU. Thank you for the love, patience, faith, prayers and guidance. But most of all, thank you for helping me find my positivity switch.

My parents and I will forever be grateful.
Love you all to the moon and back!!!!