Blog, Journal

The Incredibly Long and Endless Journey of Self-Fulfillment

Early in this blog’s history, I wrote a series of posts declaring my self-improvement intentions.  Though I haven’t always been moving in the right direction, I have managed to keep one foot in front of the other. Now, a mere four years, six months, and twenty-six days later, I’ve decided it is time for me to check in on my progress. 

The Incredibly Long and Endless Journey of Self-Fulfillment

Self-improvement is difficult. No, not difficult, endless.

Some of you’ve been reading this blog for the better part of four years and you’ve followed along as I’ve gone through some pretty dark times. Before I’d say anything else, I want to start by saying “thank you.”

Thank you for reading, thank you for encouraging me, and thank you for supporting me.

I am not a self-help guru. If you’ve stumbled upon this post hoping for the secrets of fulfillment and happiness, I’m sorry. I don’t have anything for you. Sure, I could give you some of the basics. I can tell you some of the ideas I’ve managed to glean from other, wiser sources. But, they would be me parroting someone else’s words.

What I would like to do instead, is share a little encouragement with everyone out there.

I genuinely believe that everyone who dedicates themselves to self-improvement can find fulfillment. For some of us, this is more difficult than for others. When I started on this journey, I was very much piled under my own emotional baggage. The last few years have been some of the darkest and brightest times in my life. I’ve learned to let go of some of my own anxieties, fears, and doubts. It wasn’t easy, and I haven’t completely pushed away all of that negativity. What I have managed to do, is simply refocus when things get dark.

One of the problems with the self-help world is the gap between those of us still struggling in the dark and the few who have managed to climb into the light. It’s hard to remember how bad things can seem when you’re on top. When you’re struggling, it is hard to hear what those who are not struggling have to say.

It’s easy for you, Mr. Guy-Who-Has-It-All-Together, try being me.

It’s important to remember we all have our own hurdles. Everyone walks their own gauntlet. The trials and tribulations of one do not compare to the trials and tribulations of another. As difficult as my journey has been and continues to be, fighting my own brain chemistry the way I do, I know there are others who have it much worse. No amount of positive thinking is going to overcome a physical malady. But, I honestly believe that attitude affects the world.

Depression is a sneaky bitch. It likes to lie and wait and ambush you and your guard is down. When he dies, it strikes hard. It can be difficult to overcome that. I don’t want to come off as saying just get over it. But, at the same time, you do have to just get over it.

It isn’t easy. And you have to do it more than once. In fact, you kinda have to do it every time it rears its ugly head. You never really defeat depression. You only subdue it. And it is oversimplifying the process to say just get over it. Because it takes a strong fight. It takes a lot of work. And no two paths are the same. I will say, I believe the first step for everyone dealing with depression is to decide they are going to start that fight.

And let me tell you, making that decision is never easy. Staying in the game with depression takes more energy than anyone could ever realize. Sometimes, victory is just surviving. And don’t think I don’t understand the struggle. I don’t need to think I’m belittling you or being condescending. I don’t want you to think I’m trivializing what you deal with. I’m not. I get it. I’ve been there. I’m there still at times.

I just want you to know, I think you have the strength to keep going. I think you have the strength to beat your disease. Now, you won’t be cured, ever. And that’s okay. I want you to give yourself permission to know that this is something you will struggle your entire life with. Sometimes, it’s going to get the best of you. That doesn’t mean you’re weak. You’re not weak.

I can’t tell you what your path will be. The only one who can decide that is you. I won’t tell you that it will be easy, or that it’s all about mindset. There is more to it than that. But, if I were to offer you advice, I would start with mindset.

Believe it or not, science actually has proven that neurology has a lot to do with the physicality of the human body. We also have learned, we can overwrite our own neurology. The adage “fake it until you make it” has some scientific bearing. You’re strong. The struggle might be taking you, but pretending otherwise does help some.

I told you, I’m not a self-help guru.

If you take nothing else away from this post, I want you to know I believe in your strength.

I believe that if you decide you are going to start the journey to self-fulfillment, you will make it. It might take years. It’s taken me four to come this far. I’m still moving. It might take you your entire life. You might never reach the true finish line. But I promise you; if you start this journey, and you give it all of your strength, you will feel better.

If you are genuinely curious about the resources I’ve used, the books I’ve read, and the things I’ve done that helps me the most, please send me an email or leave a message in the comments. I will happily tell you about my journey. If I can help one person, I will consider my life a success.

In the meantime, know that I believe in you, and wish you all the luck and strength. You can muster. You have a difficult and endless journey ahead of you, but I’m proud to share that road.

Published by M.A. Brotherton

M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.