I remember the days when it took everything I had to get through the next second of my life. I was so far down into that deep dark hole that nothing, not friends, not love, not money, not even my son could pull me out. All I wanted to do was to die, but it was not because I did not want to live, it was because I wanted the “pain” to go away. To try to describe the pain is nearly impossible. No words can describe the feelings and emotions that one feels while living in that state of mind. I often refer to those years as the depths of hell. I had no hope for anything and I did not believe I would ever be happy. Hell, I did not even know what true happiness was. Yes, there were periods of time when things were going well and I was enjoying life, but there was always something missing. I could feel emptiness inside. Many times it felt like a burning hole. I tried to fill it with people and things but eventually it would just empty out again and I would be left with that gut wrenching feeling of despair, fear, and heartache.

I was asked at one time by my therapist what I thought would help make me feel better. My response was to pull my brains out so that I could no longer think. It was always my thoughts that sent me spiraling downward. I grew up living with no self-esteem and lacked confidence in myself from middle school age on. I also never felt worthy of anything good especially love. It took years and years of enduring pain, suicide attempts, self-inflicted abuse, doctor visits, hospital visits, being on and off one medication or another before the light actually came on. Or should I say when I hit my bottom with a cocktail mixture of depression, alcohol, and drugs.

After two weeks in a psychiatric hospital, directly to a rehab facility for three weeks, I slowly began to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It was my light and it was calling out to me. Not only did I want to connect to that light that was shining so brightly but I wanted nothing more than to find this thing that they called TRUE HAPPINESS. That is when my journey began.

The first thing I knew I had to do was to find courage. The courage to change my life, my “friends”, my lifestyle, my behaviors and my thinking patterns. It wasn’t until I took a huge leap of faith and moved from Maryland to California in a blink of an eye that I came to find absolute true happiness. To be honest, I didn’t really have a choice. It was either do or die so I decided to do. From the rolling hills of the East Coast to the sunny beaches of Southern California to the Central Valley I have been on the greatest journey of my life; a journey that has led me to me, to who I really am. I never understood the expression “it is not the destination that matters but the journey”….now I understand it completely.

Having lived a life of severe depression, suicidal tendencies, abuse and addictions, I knew I had to take control; not only of myself but of my life so I started inundating myself with knowledge on everything under the sun that had to do with well-being, happiness, inner peace, meditation, nutrition and exercise. I even went so far as to research the workings of the brain, brain chemicals, and chemical imbalances so that I could better understand what was going on in my head and why. I forced myself to become consciously aware of how I was feeling and what I was thinking and if either one of them was not good, I did whatever it took to change it. Within a short amount of time, the positive emotions and positive thoughts dominated the negative ones leaving me in a better feeling place each and every day.

Finding the courage to change your life so dramatically does not come easy but it does come if you are willing to take that leap of faith and just do it. I know it is possible because I did it with the “knowing” that the “end” was just the beginning! You do not even have to do it all at once; I mean really, aren’t we all just a “work in progress” continually growing with each new life experience.

If you can start with one thing at a time, one day at a time, one moment at a time, you will find the power that lies within. Believe in yourself ~ you are worth fighting for. Find your own courage ~ know you can do it. Take control ~ you are the only one who can do it. Become aware of how you are feeling ~ if it does not feel good, change it. Allow your light to shine through. Last but not least, don’t give up ~ there is HOPE!

Author's Bio: 

Cindy is a Personal Development Life Coach. Her knowledge and expertise comes from 20 years of study, personal life experiences, and from working as a community volunteer and mentor. Cindy coaches people towards finding their own personal power through inner awareness; guiding them along their own unique path toward true happiness and life fulfillment. To learn more about Cindy go to www.cindy-ortiz.com. Personal Blog go to www.leaplikeafrog.com