Mental health Life lessons depression Book review

If You Feel Like Giving Up Right Now, Read This First

( words)
*For representational purpose only.

Anyone reading my story without knowing me may think that my life has been a series of tragedies. I've been unfortunate to have a body that has been vulnerable to ailments, and had to go through a series of surgeries and treatments. I was diagnosed with hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) when I was just six months old. As a child of ten, doctors discovered a leak in my aortic valve.

While other children frolicked in school yards, I had to build my own playgrounds and secret worlds in recovery rooms and hospital halls. Doctors and nurses were my peers and playmates.

They tried to put off replacing the valve as long as they could but it was inevitable. I had my aortic valve replaced through a bypass surgery which was required to save my life. By the time I reached adulthood, I had undergone a major surgery that could have led to death. Not long after that, two years later I began to suffer intense pain in my hips resulting from a car accident. Doctors realized this was a result of Avascular necrosis (A bone condition with lack of blood supply to the bone tissue).

I faithfully underwent stem cell therapy, but I eventually required a double hip replacement in order to be able to walk again. However, the surgery was not deemed to be successful due to my cardiac ailment which could have been another knock at the pearly gates of heaven. However, here I am, walking and living my life to the maximum, sharing my story with you. In spite of all my hardships, I learnt how to greet people each morning with a smile on my face and hope in my heart. My experiences have taught me a lesson more important than anything I could have learned at school; the simple idea that I am in control of my own happiness.

Once I discovered that, no diagnosis could depress me. No grim doctor’s face could dim the joy in my world. I began to thrive in the face of adversity when I tapped into the eternal sense of hope that flowed through my faulty human heart.

It’s been a long, hard path I walk each day towards recovery. This journey seems daunting. On many days good health seems miles away from me and possibly unattainable, but it doesn’t mean my time on Earth has to be miserable. I’ve suffered immense pain, long stretches of hopelessness and depression, and have lived a life unlike that of many of my peers.

I spent much of my childhood in hospitals, with doctors being my playmates and hospitals being my playgrounds. I could not attend regular university and took correspondence classes in order to prepare myself for a future that always seemed one wrong move away from slipping from my grasp. But though this story might seem grim to a stranger, my friends and family will tell you that I am one of the happiest people they’ve ever met.

My secret? The hope that lives inside me. I decided to write my book, Inside the Heart of Hope, because I had a message inside me eager to be delivered to the world. It is a story of a strong will, perseverance, and optimism, which will move you to wonder if at all there are any limitations in life. I found a new way to recover from what others might consider a hopeless circumstance. By relying on the hope that never abandons you: the hope within your own heart.

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph always begins with you. When you look inside yourself, you will realize that nothing is impossible and that miracles do happen. You cause them yourself when you decide to look at what you have instead of what you've lost.

This is an extract from ‘Inside the heart of hope’, 

"In foolishness you’ll gain wisdom, by falling you’ll rise, in rebelling against God, you’ll accept him, by stammering you’ll learn to speak, and by hating you’ll learn to love. I say this, because I’ve gone through it, I’ve seen it. And with this said, I believe we are all strong enough to conquer life with a big broad smile.”

This keeps me going. If you’ve suffered tragedy, be it loss, a chronic illness, or some other traumatic incident, you may think your life is moving to a dead end. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

The life you are living is still worth savouring for every bit of it that you can salvage. Once you find that strength inside you, the inexhaustible optimism you feel will allow you to change not just your own situation, but the world around you! As time goes on, you’ll discover inside yourself an unlimited source of strength. It will guide you out of your darkest days and into the light of happiness. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is. The extent of your potential is achievable when you realize you are the person responsible for deciding whether your life will be a good one and living it to your fullest each day.

The scars on your skin will act as a map to the place where you’ve come from. It will no longer bind you like ropes holding you back.

Circumstances may make you suffer but only you can rid yourself of it. I’m not saying I don't go through bad days. In fact, there are days when depression knocks on my door. Days where I am weak, and the people who love me and take care of me are the ones who are strong. But instead of letting it drag me down, I take this as stepping stones in my path to overcome despair and disappointment. The days I have suffered most have been the days where I have been most loved and supported by the unconditional love of my family and the blessings of God.

Even my worst pain cannot tarnish the eternal well of hope springing from my heart. If you feel like giving up, give up on thought first, and give in to the realization that there are endless possibilities waiting to be discovered before you. And never forget that I am out there fighting along with you. I am living each day as fully as I can. May God abundantly bless you the way that he has blessed me. May you realize the blessings he has given you.

Have you smiled today for what you have? Have you smiled because your dream and passion are achievable? If I, who has lived more than half my life in a distraught state of health, can believe in being a brave child and live a bold life pursuing my passion of writing, cooking, painting, sketching, writing poems, why can't anyone else? Live, laugh and strive to make your dreams come true while you still have today, because you never know what tomorrow might bring.

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