On this day 12 years ago I woke up and emerged from my dark cocoon for the first time. Behind me was a devastated past, leveled by the wake of my pain and rage, and my many addictions. I’d lost everything; my pride, my soul, my hope, my dreams, my dignity, and perhaps worst of all, my daughter.
I rolled out of a strange bed in a strange place and planted my bare feet on strange carpet. I took a sober breath, and there it was, in the soil of my sadness, a tiny green sprout of hope. The air smelled sweeter, and when I heard the birds outside of my window, they weren’t the machine gun melody I’d remembered from the days before. They sang a song of reassurance, of encouragement, and rebirth.
That day I made a decision: I’d open my heart to these people and let them help me. I’d admit that I was powerless over so many things, and I’d be willing to go to any lengths to get better. I wanted to learn how to live differently, to be happy, fulfilled, and high on life. I wanted to put the past behind me and start fresh, and I wanted, more than words could say, to have my little girl back, and to learn how to be a good mother.
It took many years and a lot of stumbles to get to where I am today. I’m so grateful that I got right back up and tried again those times I stumbled. I kept searching for the light, kept seeking my own truths, kept opening my mind and heart for ways to continue healing from a (mostly) self-induced traumatic past, and I kept forgiving myself (and others) for not being perfect. I learned to be true to myself and to follow my bliss, and eventually my path led me to the amazing life I lead today.
But when I say amazing, I don’t mean easy. I’m now a single parent of four children. The past I left behind is riddled with broken pieces. The financial abyss is one of nightmares, of which I’m sure many of you can relate. Finally finding the right therapy for my Borderline Personality Disorder helped me recover from a hopeless state of mind and body, but I still have BPD tendencies, and I still have weak moments that bring me to my knees in tears behind closed doors . . . My life is definitely not easy.
But I’m a mother today, and I’m showing my children the way. I’m a daughter my parents are proud of. I’m a loving sister and friend, a giver, an encourager, inspirer, survivor, and overcomer. I’m a beacon of light and hope for those lost in so many dark oceans. I’m proof that there is a way out, and that all is not as lost as it seems. I’m following my dreams and showing you that it is, indeed, possible to go through hell and come out of it alive, and not just alive, but actually living life.
Today I’m grateful for my past and see it as an asset, despite the immense pain, heartbreak, and turmoil there. Not only do I use it all to breathe life into my stories, which, in itself is very cathartic for me, but I also use it to relate to others who may be experiencing similar hells in their own lives. I use it to bear witness. I use it to guide, love, and understand my children as they grow into adults. I use it to remember to be grateful for all I have, to cherish every moment I get to experience life. Because today, I get to, when there were many times I thought I never would. But I do, I am, and I cherish every second because nothing is promised. Today is a gift to that shattered young girl who will forever reside in my heart, the one I once thought would never make it out alive. She did. And I’m so very glad she did. ❤