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Playing with the Cards Life Has Dealt

November 2
by
Nathalie Martinez
in
Health
with
.

We live in a small world where we must learn how to play with the cards we are dealt. Everything is part of a bigger picture and the slightest detail can make the biggest difference. Life is chaotic, confusing, and challenging, but that is part of what makes it beautiful and worth living: it is a beautiful disaster.


We ask ourselves why bad things happen to good people; we wonder why life is unfair. We live in a world with natural disasters, poverty, world hunger, war, and crime. Negativity surrounds us, but without it, we would not know what positivity is. How would we appreciate sunny skies without a little rain? If it never rained, then partly cloudy would be less than perfect.

Life is not perfect—everything needs a balance between the good and the bad—and sometimes, things are out of our control, but we must accept them for what they are and move forward. Learn how to play the cards life has dealt you.

I am still learning how to play, and I am doing the best I can. That is all we can do: our best. We all face different obstacles, some worse than others, but we are still living in the same hell just with different demons. One of my demons is depression.

Mental illness does not go away overnight. It is an everyday struggle consisting of medication, doctors, therapists, and yourself. You are your toughest critic, worst enemy, and the one person you cannot avoid. It is easier to fake a smile and pretend like everything is fine than to admit to others, sometimes even yourself, what is consuming you inside.

Depression feels like you are drowning: you see how close you are to the surface, but you still cannot come up for air.

You are falling apart inside with no way out. You become a different person and you miss who you used to be. You look at old pictures and wonder where that happy person went—you feel lost. Asking myself why this was happening to me did not help. Saying life is unfair did not help. Sulking in my sorrows did not get me anywhere. I felt hopeless, but thankfully I had someone who saved me from myself. He changed my perspective and brought sunshine into the storm clouds in my head. His name was Pablo; may he rest in peace.

Pablo was one of the greatest friends I ever had; he was an incredible person always full of joy—always lending a helping hand. He kept me centered. He always reminded me to count my blessings instead of my problems; he always gave the best advice.

He taught me how to see the negatives as blessings in disguises. Life is a learning experience and everything happens for a reason. It is hard to understand what that reason is, but I believe life is not meant to be understood. There is not a survival guide to life; life is not black and white—it is grey.

Perspective is everything: “some people look at sunsets as the end of something beautiful that once was: the day. Others see it as simply a new beginning to a different, but equally beautiful, thing: the night.” The day I understood everything was the day I stopped trying to figure everything out.

The day I knew peace was the day I let everything go—I let it all go.

My situation became irrelevant when I saw it as a potential blessing, as a learning experience, as an opportunity to better myself. I changed my perspective and I changed my situation. Everything happens for a reason, and like Douglas Adams put it: “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I [know] I have ended up where I needed to be.” I learned how to play the cards I was dealt with.


Stop focusing on the negatives and become the best version of yourself. Learn to appreciate what you have and make the best of it. Strive for excellence and never get discouraged by the journey because you are capable of doing anything you set your mind too.

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