I wrote part of this on 12/9/2019 and I never hit the publish button. I didn’t finish my thoughts, at that time I was still healing: Today, I expected the same negative internal monologue that replays everyday, I expected a million thoughts to be colliding in my mind, a typical morning greeting for me, instead, I was greeted with silence. The silence frightened me at first, I didn’t know what was wrong, I wasn’t sure if I was truly awake yet, I had barely slept 5 hours, I didn’t expect utter silence. I rose from the bed after being lovingly attacked by my dog, as I went about my morning routine the silence in my mind followed me on my walk with my pup.I felt the cold breeze hit my face as I walked her, I looked around and actually saw without any running thoughts in my mind. The only thought that came through was “this is a nice walk, I love my dog.”
For anyone who has ever suffered with depression, anxiety, and PTSD like I do, maybe you will understand this phenomenon I felt today. I spent years trying to push away all the thoughts and pull forth what I needed to function in my day to day life, I refused to get help, especially medication help. I started counseling here and there, it helped some, but I was still closed off, afraid to let go of all the pain inside. A few months ago I was given no choice but to start on medication, I was going through major changes in my life and I was barely functional. I didn’t know what to do to fix it all, I found temporary fixes but it was short-lived, the darkness always took over, not always at bedtime, sometimes it hit me during work.
Monday, May 25th 2020.
I look at the Facebook memories from a year ago today, solely focusing on photos of me. I have been doing that every day since November 2019. Just looking back at photos of me, looking at my eyes, my smile or lack thereof. In some photos I don’t recognize myself, at least, it is not the person I am today.
Most of my life I have battled my demons that assault me in the form of depression, anxiety and PTSD. Now at the age of 38, I can freely speak of the darkness and pain that always lurked in the shadows of everything I did. I am proud of myself for fighting to live, the days where I struggled the most I pushed myself harder, I would not accept defeat. This has been my attitude most of my life, “I must keep going”. I kept going until I shattered, November 12th, 2019, I fell into the darkness and didn’t think I could come out of it.
November 12th 2019, a date I won’t soon forget. On that day, I could not tell you what was up or down, I didn’t know what to wear, I could not make my daughter breakfast. I began to hyperventilate and cry. I clearly remember the non-stop flow of tears, the pain in my chest as I fell to my knees and cried in the kitchen floor while my daughter watched. I could not stay strong any longer, I crumbled at her feet, even as I shattered I tried to comfort her and tell her I was “OK”. I clearly remember my words and her face, her words of comfort. It was then that I knew I needed help, I could not live with such pain and be the mother my daughter needed.
Today, I look back on photos, memories, and I’m thankful for the growth. I am grateful for peace, the stillness in my mind. I am living in the present and it is an indescribable feeling, I smile at the smallest of things, the birds chirping in the morning, my child’s laughter as she plays with our dog, I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and I smile. I feel. I’m no longer numb, I have a myriad of emotions, at times I feel more than one at a time and it is eye-opening. In the past I would hold everything in, I would not cry, the only way I was comfortable expressing emotion was through laughter. Anger burned inside me and scared me, tears made me feel weak, and any other emotion I reserved. I held myself together for so long it was no surprise that I could no longer keep it together. My mind and body were at odds, I was in pain emotionally and physically from holding everything in. But, I was afraid to fall apart, I always wanted to be the strong one for everyone, being a mom, a wife, a nurse, a daughter, a sister, etc, I tried. I tried to be superhuman and I realized I had a breaking point. I had to deal with my demons in order to truly experience life and be there for those I care about.
I no longer hold back, I speak my mind, I feel the emotions as they come and I have found a sense of peace. My body is no longer in constant pain. Self-care is key to keep me sane. I must put myself first in order to be there for others, my empath ways can make that task difficult but I have learned to recognize the signs of when I need to recharge. I have learned to use my voice. I am learning, evolving and I am truly happy inside.
I’m proud of myself. My journey is just beginning. I am worthy, I am a badass, I cry, best of all… I feel.