Here I am, lying in bed with a man I’ve only known for a couple of weeks. My heart is pounding, and my mind is swirling, as I make my way to the bathroom to wash off everything from the night before. I glance up at my reflection in the mirror and don’t even recognize the woman looking back at me. Who is this person? What are you doing here? Why have you let your life spin so far out of control?
As I sit here writing about my reality, my hands shake, palms are sweaty and my heart is beating out of my chest. Should I be this transparent? I mean, I’ve shared so many truths about my journey, but there are a few things I’ve intentionally withheld. Shame, I guess would be the main reason. I rumbled with this story for over a decade. I’ve already made my peace with God and myself. Why tell it now? There has been a strong voice from within, for the past month that keeps telling me that it is time to go deeper with my truth.
As I glanced across the hotel room from my night of debasement, I see empty bottles of alcohol, drug paraphernalia, and clothes strung all across the floor. Piercing through the thick dark curtains a peak of sunlight catches my eyes. Oh how I wanted that light to go away. I didn’t want to see another day. As long as it was dark, I felt more at ease. After all, I find safety and comfort in the dark. I think it was because I felt I could hide. But I knew better. I was in a severe self-destructive cycle. Everything I was reaching for was to help soothe the pain that I knew was so deep it could never be comforted by outside forces. Still, here I was, again reaching for the easy way out.
Once I sobered up and returned home, the guilt and shame became so severe that I’d repeat the same behavior over and over again, convincing myself I could never be forgiven or become any better. This was now my reality. My new normal. My life. How could I ever change?
I don’t know when it happened, but what I can tell you is HOW! My cycle of self-destruction had to end. I knew this much. It had to cease, not because I wanted to be better for myself, but for my kids. I HATED who I was. I had to find a reason, and THEY were my reason. Everything about myself was deplorable. My initial reason for getting better was solely because I wanted to be better for my children. Once I found a reason, I had a purpose.
Little by little, day by day, I made one healthy decision at a time. I did the next ‘right thing’. I didn’t have the answers for what to do. But I did have somewhat of an idea between right and wrong. This daily regimen of doing the next ‘right thing’, has brought me to where I am today. As dark and ominous these moments were, I don’t think I’d be the woman I am today, had I not gone through this time. I needed to find out who I was NOT, so that I might discover who I WAS meant to be.
Once I began making the right decisions, I could now initiate developing more confidence in myself. That’s when I sprouted focusing more on loving myself, and learning more about the woman God had created me to be. It was at this time I rededicated my life back to God. It was only then He was able to heal my heart and repair all the brokenness.
I never wanted to mentally or emotionally relive that time of my life. But, if anyone reading this can relate to my story and are looking for answers and ways to get out of this way of life…KNOW that YOU CAN! I’m a living testimony, life DOES get better and YOU matter! God meets you right where you are, but loves you enough not to leave you there. He is waiting on you to decide this is not how your story ends.