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What to do with your pain

If you're reading this right now, chances are you're here to escape from something.

Maybe it's the suffocating grip of depression, anxiety, or pain. Or perhaps you're not quite sure what you're looking for, but you know deep down that you need a hand.

Personally, when someone claims they can help me, my first thought is: "Who are you?" But life, especially the mental health part, doesn't always come with a neatly wrapped package.

It's tough to quantify, to prove that you've walked the path and can guide others. But hey, I want to try anyway. I won't bore you with claims of the toughest life or the happiest existence. What I do know is my journey from rock bottom to the highest peaks. And I know that I've never met someone who has a wider gap.

I've figured out how to climb out of life's deepest holes, and I want to share that knowledge, no matter where you're starting.

My existence has always been a bit of a puzzle. I don't experience the same innate happiness that people around me seem to share. Happiness, for me, is something I've had to create. If I stop, it drains away... quickly!

Sophomore year was the tipping point for me. I can't remember it even if I tried. I was miserable with myself and the way I felt, surrounding myself with others who shared the same brokenness.

We all know misery loves company. It feels validating, right? Someone else FEELS the same thing you do. Someone UNDERSTANDS! But here's where it gets tricky. This pattern, no matter how comforting it may feel, reinforces everything you already believe about the world.

Your brain isn't a muscle, but it acts like one. Every cynical tweet, every pessimistic thought, is a rep for your brain, making those negative vibes stronger. What you consume—social media, friends, family—it all matters. It's like a mental workout. So be intentional about what you're strengthening.

Junior year, I hit pause, embraced isolation, and those depressing beliefs started to crack. I was still thinking and feeling the same things, but I wasn't hearing it from 10 other people around me as well.

So, here's a quick exercise for today: Remind yourself that no matter who you are or what you've been through, you can make a life worth living. I can't paint the picture for you, but I believe you have the power to create it.

Today, I stand strong not despite my pain but because of it. And if there is one positive I can take away from my pain, it's my intimate understanding of it. As a clinical psychologist who has been there and done that, I have an understanding that goes beyond textbooks.

So, is your pain worth it? Absolutely. IF you want it to be.

If I can emerge on the other side stronger, so can you.

- Scott 

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