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What's in a Story? – #14

Nicole Daly

December 31, 2020

I’ve been feeling pretty low these past few months. The pandemic, mixed with my PPD and SAD, has made it almost impossible to wake up feeling any sort of inspiration lately. I’ve found myself in a deep, dark place that I swore years ago I never wanted to return to. I would never allow myself to get this bad again. But here I was, worse than I’ve ever been before, wondering, “how am I going to crawl out of this mess again?”

Photo of a barren tree in winter.

Photo by Nicc Daly

Everyone has that chapter in their book that they skip over when sharing with someone new. We post the highlights of our lives, skim through the mundane and leave out darkness.

But a lot of us live in the darkness every day. We are told that each day is another opportunity to pull up our socks, or fall deeper into the hole. I don’t really wear socks though, so I’ve been stuck here for a long time.

I think it’s good to allow yourself to wallow in the darkness for a while. Feel around and ask yourself those introspective questions that you refuse to acknowledge when life seems to be on track.

So that’s what I’ve been doing lately. Wallowing in my darkness. Revisiting my past traumas, that I’m only now strong enough to face.

I find myself drawn to the forest. I feel peace within the barren trees. Their beauty strikes me in a whole new way. The branches are dark and rigid and I see my soul within them. Reaching their black arms out to the sky like a million thoughts racing in my mind.

A photo of several barren trees in winter. It is dusk and the sky is nearly dark.

Photo by Nicc Daly

They are only celebrated when their flowers bloom, or when their leaves turn red. Not when they stand bare against the grey December sky.

I feel more alive, even if for just a few moments when I stand quietly on the forests floor and look up to the sky.

A mind that is cluttered.
A body that is battered.
A heart that is hurting.

A soul that perseveres through the darkness and finds the light again.

A photo of several barren trees in wintertime.

Photo by Nicc Daly

Sharing these parts of our stories is often really difficult. These chapters aren’t glamorous or exciting.

So while we may be tempted to skim over the pages in our own books that don’t fit the narrative, we need to remember that it’s important to share our whole story.

Because when we open up about our periods of vulnerability, we offer a light to others who might also be struggling through a period of darkness.


Nicole Daly

Nicole is a mother of two, and a dog mom to two Golden Retrievers. When she’s not seeking out the solace of sleep, she can be found exploring nature near the Nottawasaga River and propagating Monstera plants.

She has a degree in political science and an honorary masters in memes. These days, she uses her expertise of people management within the healthcare space and social connection as a part of the team at Last Draft.

Find her on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik Tok.


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What's in a Story?mental health awarenesssharing stories saves lives

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