Friday 31 August 2012

"I Was Here"

"I wanna leave my footprints on the sands of time
Know there was something that, and something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets
Leave something to remember, so they won't forget"
These are the opening lines of one of my favourite songs, a song that moves me and touches me and inspires me deeply: "I Was Here" by Beyonce.
I am someone who has questioned my life a few times. I have wondered if I was in the right relationship and if I was on the right career path. I have questioned my choices and what's important to me. And, on a few occasions, while in the stranglehold of depression, I questioned if life was truly worth living. Was there any point to it? Any point at all? The answer, thankfully, always turned out to be yes, it is worth living. Figuring out the point of life, of my life, was a bit trickier, however.
Faith is an important element in my life. Some people believe in God or Buddha. I believe in a higher power. But I am not necessarily speaking about religion. My faith is that there is something bigger than me and that there is a purpose to my life. That is a conscious choice I made because I knew that for me to be able to claw my way back up through the pit of depression, I had to have something to hold onto. I had to have faith.
So what is my purpose? How did I discover it? And what to do with that knowledge?
I believe that my purpose, the purpose of each of us, is to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. I do not mean perfection, by the way, which is an unrealistic and unworthy goal anyway! Our purpose is to learn and grow from our experiences, to touch others in a positive way, and leave the world in a better place simply because we lived. It's hard and simple and challenging and, in the end, worth it, I believe.
A consistent thought that I had through each of my depressive episodes was "why me" - why did I have to go through this hell? But why not me? One in five Canadians suffer from mental illness. I am not that special. I began to think about that, to figure out how to be a survivor. As I slowly accepted that I had to have some faith in life and purpose, it provided a little comfort to me that I had some choice - I could choose to accept these experiences, although painful and awful, as opportunities for growth. And a big opportunity to help others through their own dark times.
One of the biggest, most positive things for that has come out of my experiences with mental illness is my strong desire to be an advocate. I feel that I have found my voice, my niche. That makes me feel like my struggles haven't been all for nought.
As I sought out resources to support me on my road to recovery I came across Partners For Mental Health, a non profit organization in Canada dedicated to igniting social change and eliminiating stigma. Something about this organization in particular seemed to speak to me and I am really excited to say that I am considering some volunteer opportunities to work with this great group. I'll keep you posted!
Although I am currently well and not in a depressive state, I have had a challenging few weeks. I have again questioned my life path and wonder if I need to sweep one path for easier walking (a little maintenance!) or maybe strike a new path altogether, in a new direction. But one thing that I have not questioned is my purpose in this world. The compass for me in helping make my decisions is my sense of faith in that purpose.
When my time comes to leave this earth, which I hope will be when I am 102 after having lived a life with no regrets, only growth, I will have left my footprints on the sands of time. I promise myself that. Will you? I truly hope so - you have a purpose, too.
Please watch this video of Beyonce performing "I Was Here" at the United Nations Humanitarian Day on August 19, 2012. I hope this inspires you as much as it does me.

KB xo

P.S. Check out the Partners For Mental Health website:

P.P.S. Just for fun, here's another "anthem" to inspire you: "I'm A Survivor" by Destiny's Child



  1. Great sentiments & another inspirational msg of hope, I'm sure, for many of those with depression & mental illness. I have referred several '1 out of 5' Cdn people to your blog and they have found your words have strengthened their lifeline. And just so you know, you ARE so VERY special.

    xo L

  2. Thanks for your never-ending support and for helping me spread the word!

    KB xo


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