It’s been a long time since I truly felt it to my core. Waking up with purpose. Killing it during the day. Staying up late to complete a project, or research, or write verses staying up late ridden with anxiety and depression and fear. Today, I felt it. Truly. Inspired by my work. Inspired by my progress. Inspired by my relationships.
You see. On Halloween night of 2014 my life changed. Every dream, every aspiration, every thought, and every action was obliterated right before my very eyes. It was the night I asked for a separation. I had been with my then husband since I was 18 years old. He was all I knew for my entire adult life until that point.
I won’t go into the nitty-gritty of all that went down: out of respect to anyone I may offend, but it boils down to lies, betrayal, and so much anxiety that my heart could no longer bear the weight. The years following go a little something like this:
I initially broke down. I can remember right after it happened driving down to my Aunt and Uncle’s House. Coldplay’s “Fix You” came on the radio and I completely lost all composure. I pulled over to pull myself together to realize I was in a Church parking lot. I prayed. I made it to their house. Shots of tequila, music, and dancing ensued – because if I got drunk enough, and pretended to be happy about the situation then all my fear and anxiety would go away, right? WRONG. My uncle laid with me on the cold bathroom floor while I prayed to the Porcelain God until the wee hours of the morning.
I made a lot of big decisions my first year. I filed for bankruptcy at 28 years old which was heart wrenching. I moved to align myself with my support system. I also struggled deeply with anxiety. It was in my first few months after my separation that I began to develop frequent, debilitating panic attacks. Always feeling like there was a fist in my chest, struggling to breathe, to eat, to focus, to do ANYTHING. I saw counselors. I took a variety of medications. I found a toxic relationship to cling to just so I could focus on anything other than myself. I felt like a mediocre mother. I LOST MY INSPIRATION.
The toxicity in my life continued. The codependent relationships. The anxiety and depression. At this point I was more aware of my shortcomings, but kept coming up short on how to fix it. I feared that everything personally was rubbing off on my daughter and I didn’t want her to see that part of me. I have an Amazon order history of self-help books that would blow your mind – and probably make you think I’m crazy. (I AM a little crazy, but that’s irrelevant). I changed jobs twice. Once to another hospital working the same specialty, but different shift. I realized very quickly that it was not the hours, but the lack of inspiration that caused me to move into a different direction. See my previous post for more on that:
So far, it’s been promising. I’m finally in a really stable place mentally. The fear of letting go and creating new dreams and opportunities for myself are ever-present. Things I used to trip on I’m learning to walk over. And unfortunately, none of those self-help books did a lot of good for me – other than make me question myself and try to self diagnosis shit and make mountains out of mole hills. When I stopped trying to figure out who I am is precisely when I found myself.
Inspired. I found myself Inspired.
This post focuses on a lot of the struggles I dealt with post separation. What I have been aware of since the first day of my separation is that I was so wrapped up in being a mother and a wife that I forgot to be me. While I felt I was losing, I had actually gained a few friendships that changed my perception about love. Because being loved doesn’t mean you have to be in a relationship. I found love in more places than I could have ever imagined. I will never allow the relationship I have with a man alienate me from anything I love. My family. My friends. My career. My passions.
Feeling empowered by resilience in the face of adversity doesn’t come early, or all at once – but eventually you look back and you see how you survived and it makes you feel like you can conquer the world. It took a hell of a lot longer than I wanted it to, but I’ve taken a full circle from Fear to Inspiration.
One Flawsome Momma