“WHAT IN THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!? Why are you such a disappointment?!? I’m fucking done dealing with you!”
January something, 2020. These words are burned in my memory in the same negative manner as a horrific accident or watching your dog die. You might think that kind of verbal abuse was coming from a former friend, romantic partner or family member. But you’d be wrong. These words came from a former coworker. Their identity is irrelevant, just as irrelevant as they are in my life now. But abuse burns and forever brands your soul.
Most days, a snide comment, angry note, group text or public humiliation of some form was thrown out. I became outwardly numb, always reassuring others that I was fine, bulletproof even. And nothing anyone could say or do would hurt me. What was happening on the inside was a very different scenario. I had experienced a huge heartbreak a couple months back. Already depressed with the suicide of a friend the year before, my failed marriage, lost friendships, the death of my mother 5 years prior that I never properly grieved, and other challenges with my job, I was nothing but a cracking shell of who I used to be. And one day, I broke. Shattered on the ground like nothing more than a pile of dust. And I wanted to die. Death seemed like the only way out. I would go to bed at night crying and praying to God to not allow me to wake up in the morning. But the one person who kept me going was my daughter. No one knew what I was feeling in the midst of this. I was still trying to lift everyone up and be the “light” I’d always been. Meanwhile, I was living in an empty, dark, lonely body. I thought I could fill the emptiness with meaningless flings. A few of them were actually good men. But, I didn’t like them because I didn’t like myself. I sought help and it also played a large part in the healing process.
Then finally...relief! I was relieved from my position at work and given the opportunity to return to the place I love. Once a medic, always a medic. I decided then and there, that I would give 1000% every day. I needed to prove to myself and others that I am worthy. Every day, I felt better, pieces of me started to come back and I was feeling whole again. I found myself smiling more, laughing and being a better mom. By the Fall, I was stronger than I’ve ever been. I finally felt like myself. I used my experiences to help others. But this time, I REALLY could help. I make it a point to assist and make people feel that they are important every single day. I never want anyone to feel like I did 11 months ago.
As I look back on the year, I think about everything that changed. Rock bottom was really just the first step on the staircase to the best version of me. And if I’m ever interrupted by people or thoughts from the past, I’ll smile and sweetly say, “You must have me confused with someone else.”
This has been a weird year for all of us. If anyone is going through a hard time, I encourage you to get help. I did. And I know I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t. I wish nothing but love and peace for all of you as we say goodbye to this horror movie of a year and look forward to brighter and better days!