December is a very difficult month for me. This week in particular.
Two years ago, on December 15, 2015, I found myself facing a separation and divorce. I believed that day would be forever burned into my mind as my worse day yet. My world shattered. The future bleak. No. I believed there was no future. It was gone along with my marriage.
One year ago, on December 11, 2016, I found myself very ill in a public museum where I had to rely on strangers to assist me and my children. An embarrassing and mortifying experience which landed me a hospital visit. I had to lean on my former husband which caused my healing heart to fall back open. The past 12 months were incredibly hard, I didn’t believe I could feel anymore lonely. Yet here I was, sick and alone in a hospital prepping for a procedure. I was terrified. I was confused. I was broken.
Not realizing it, I was on a thin thread of holding it all together. I had been so strong, that I didn’t see how sick I was. Not just with my body but with my heart and head as well.
My hospital stay was what finally caused me to fall apart. Many truths were finally revealed, which were harder to bear than I imagined. I remember saying, I can’t do this anymore. What else is going to happen? I am not strong enough to handle anymore. I can’t do this. I repeated this over and over. I was defeated.
The next months were the darkest. I spiraled into a deep depression. One that overtook me so quickly and quietly, it took me until the end of March to see how bad it really was. And it took a person who barely knew me to recognize my disease was doing the living for me.
And I fought. I gathered all of my courage and strength and went to battle. I humbled myself before family and friends. I increased my meds. I scheduled weekly therapy. I fought. And won.
This week, I am thriving. I can look back on December one year ago and two years ago and be amazed. You see, I believed I wouldn’t make it. I never saw myself in a place where I am happy. Happy in the way I am living. How I am living. Why I am living. I am in awe of where I was and where I am now.
It didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen because I sat back and allowed life to go by me. I am where I am today because I refused and still refuse to let my disease and divorce define me. Control me. Become me.
I still have a long way to go. To be able to say, I am no longer struggling with grief and pain. Maybe I never will be. And that’s okay. For it is those hardships that show me how far I have come. When I use to be cut down from the pain. When I use to let words and situations devastate me. When I use to let what others think bother me.
I have been dreading this week. I have been dreading the coming months. For winter is hard on my disease. The anticipation of all sorts of feelings muddled together. I was choosing to be scared. I was choosing to let the past decide how I face the day and tomorrow. Today, I see I don’t need to. Because I already got through the worst.
And I survived.
Not only surviving but thriving. Stronger. Better. Happier. My worst days (so far) are over. I made it through them. I grabbed a hold of the light. I trusted God to get me on the other side of darkness. And He did.
I am here. Two years in. One year in.
I will keep going. I will keep moving forward. If I face struggles and obstacles in the future, I know this truth. I will get through it. I will make it. I will.
Because I already have.
So will you. So have you. You will. You will look back in awe of all that you have conquered. You just have to keep the faith.
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. Proverbs 31:25