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7 Things 2016 Taught Me

It’s almost the New Year and everyone I know is preparing for what we hope will be a much better year than 2016. I’ll admit, 2016 has been quite the year. Full of ups and full of downs- lots and lots of downs. But with those downs came some invaluable lessons that I never would have learned had I not gone through those trials. Below are the top lessons I learned in 2016. I hope you find some wisdom or lessons for yourself in some of them!

1.       I can and will make it through everything that I face.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn. I had to go through trial after trial to learn this. However, once you’ve been through so much, something just clicks and you realize that nothing is ever going to destroy you. Nothing that this world could throw at me is strong enough to knock down God and with him on my side, I am truly indestructible. I have lost some battles, but at the end of the day, I’m stiil alive. I lived to fight another day. So I count that as a win.

2.       There are people who truly want the best for you. 

For a while there, I had become jaded and bitter from all of the relationships and friendships that I had lost and in which I had gotten hurt. I started believing that I couldn’t trust anyone. That I was on my own and that I needed no one. I’m here to tell you, there are people who will hurt you, but there are also people who will do right by you. I’m a believer that everyone you encounter is to teach you something. Those people that I lost were simply preparing me to be the type of friend and partner for my forever friends and partner. I’m ready now.

3.       I am not, nor do I have to be, perfect.

Since restarting this blog, I have put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to make it be the perfect blog. The thing is, it’s just not possible. I’m still learning and I have a number of other responsibilities, like school and work, that keep me from devoting copious amounts of time to it. I also put this pressure on myself with school. Earning my first B in graduate school really taught me that I am not perfect and I really do not have to be. Even if I can only blog a couple times a week, I’m still blogging and that is enough. And no matter what grades I make, I’m still in school to do what I love. None of that defines me. And in reality, there is no perfect. There is only this imaginary construct of what “perfect” is. We create that idea of perfection. So, I’ve learned that I need to be okay with what I am and as I am now. THAT is my new perfect. 

4.       I have more than enough. 

I have struggled with finances throughout my adult life. Yet, the thing is that I have never not had what I needed. Yes, I have had to go without some things. However, I’ve always had what I truly needed. Learning that I have enough is freeing. I never have to worry that I might not have something I need. I think this is a state of being. When I am in this state of having more than enough, more and more is drawn to me. Being satisfied with what I have and not looking at others and what they have has been one of the greatest lessons. I’ve learned that I can never be satisfied while occupying my mind with thoughts of wanting what others have. Focus on myself and what I have is the only way to get to more than enough.

5.       I need Jesus.

During one of my slumps this year, I completely lost my faith. I doubted if God was even real. I wasn’t just mad at him. I stopped believing altogether. I have never experienced this level of emptiness in my entire life. I searched for the feeling I got from my experiences with God elsewhere. I researched the religion of my ancestor and tried to see things that way. Nothing fulfills me the way that Jesus does. And as soon as I was ready, he accepted me right back into his arms. I belong with Christ. Now I never have to doubt again.

6.       Doing what I love is the only way to live. 

I am not one of those people who can go to a job that they hate every day and live life passionless. That is not the vision that I have for my life and I have to work every day to get to a point where not only am I doing what I love every day, but I’m doing what I love for a living. My passion will be my work. I have learned that one of the fastest ways for me to get into a depression is to stop doing what I love. I need to write. I need to help others. When I’m not doing those things, it is pretty much like dying a slow death. 

7.       I am not my illness.

I have a mental illness, yes. But I am not that illness. It does not define me. It has shaped a lot of who I am, but it is not all that I am. I have noticed a lot of people say “I am bi-polar”. That is incorrect. You ARE NOT bi- polar. You HAVE bi-polar disorder. You are a witness to the illness. You are not the illness. When I started to identify with this illness, that gave it room to take over my whole life. There was no room for love or happiness or passion. It was all illness all the time, every day. Now that I know that my illness is separate from me, I am able to have compassion through the bad times. I know that the depression is a part of the illness, it is not a personality or character flaw. It is the illness. Having bipolar disorder is a part of my story, but it is not the whole story. It is a part of me, but it is not me. 

What lessons have you learned this year? Leave them in the comments below! Also, please subscribe and share this post if you enjoyed it! Join us on Facebook at!! I hope this helps.

As always with love,
Alli B
Sonny B
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Alli B is the voice behind She is a self-defined weird (queer) black woman who is a survivor of mental illness and childhood sexual trauma. She is a lover of people and a lover of God. Alli’s mission in life is to empower and inspire those who have gone through or who are going through any type of darkness. Her loves are her family, books, writing, movies, and football (Go Broncos!). The boring stuff: Alli received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies at Colorado State University in 2013. She is now working on her Master’s degree in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology and is expected to graduate in May of 2018. Alli's goal is to work with underserved populations of women and children through private practice. Her life goals include: running a successful blog, publishing her books, and becoming a successful therapist.

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