It was March 2012 and I was struggling to make it to work everyday, struggling to make a home for my kids, lost contact with my best friend, involved in a toxic friendship with another, and kept finding myself in relationships with men that didn’t suit me only because I wanted to feel loved. I had hit rock bottom. I didn’t know what else to do. I was having panic attacks almost daily and popping Xanex like they were candy. I was in and out of my psychiatrist’s office looking for answers. I was depressed more than I was stable. I was so scared. Something had to change. With the help of my psychiatrist, I filed for disability and cut my hours at work. Once my hours were cut, I was able to come up for some air and start to make some changes. I stopped dating. I always knew that it wasn’t up to someone else to make you happy, you had to make you happy. It wasn’t easy. I had a lot of lonely Friday nights. Things were better, but I wasn’t out of the clouds yet. My toxic friend was living with me with her 2 children and they were driving me crazy. I was still more depressed than stable, but I was starting to make progress even if I couldn’t see it yet. The foundation was being built. In June, I was forced to quit my job because the company I worked for didn’t want to make accommodations for my illness. At the time, not having a job didn’t seem like such a good thing because that would mean I didn’t have insurance or a paycheck and I had just found out a few weeks before that my initial disability claim was denied. Things started to look up in July and August. I had a lawyer to fight my disability case, my toxic friend was moving out, I was taking classes to join the Catholic church, and I was looking for a part time job. After my friend moved out, I found out she was stealing from me. This is where I really started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I knew she was bad for me. I knew she was bringing me down and I realized that this was the perfect opportunity to cut ties with her without any guilt. This is where I began to change to more positive thinking. Over the next couple of months, I started doing things that I liked and started taking care of myself. I started to consciously make an effort to see the good in every situation. I was finally stable for more than a few weeks. Then weeks turned to months and months turned to years. I still have depressive episodes, but they are not as severe. By making a conscious effort to stop my negative thinking in it’s tracks, it has made me more conscious of when I am stable. More aware of when I am “too” happy or being more negative than usual. It helps me monitor my moods. I have made being positive a priority. I try to see the good in every situation. I read positive affirmations. I try to find joy in everything. I have enjoyed my husband and children more. My pets make me laugh daily. I can sit outside and soak up the sun and feel peace I haven’t felt in a long time. It is not easy. It is a full time job every day. Just start doing things that make you happy and other people happy. I don’t particularly like to go to Bass Pro Shop, but my husband does and it makes him very happy. Seeing him happy, makes me happy. How great is that?! I have reconnected with old friends, made new ones, lost weight and made a healthier me. I have an even more amazing relationship with my husband and I’m closer with my daughters. Being stable has never felt this good.