As I prepare to start another chapter of my life, I reflect over my journey; at times it is more of a labyrinth than a path, but I restrategize when I center myself within meditation rather than hang on the fringe of mayhem. Joy is a subtle reminder that I am still here.
In 2017, my world was turned upside down in so many ways. Losing my father to cancer, quitting my job, and relocating to an unfamiliar city were significant changes in my life. Moving was a chance at a new begininning. However, it would take several years of going through the motions to figure out how to get reclaim my life and heal the heartache.
Between December 2011 and January 2017, I lost my paternal grandmother, brother, mother, grandfather, two very dear friends, and my father. I also experienced physical violence on a date, and had PTSD and complex PTSD.
This familiar ache reminds me of 2002 when my grandma died. She was the only person who was in my life, my whole life. She wasn’t my grandma, she was my grandmom. I decided to write joy on a rock and kept it with me to remind me of the happiness she brought into my life; she would always be with me.
As a mother and survivor, my healing continue to take time. Peace & joy were not immediate. Far from it, but underneath the mask I wore, there was heart-work to complete. My steps forward were unbearable at times, but my spirit, heart,and soul, were unbreakable.
Losing too much within a short time, triggered self-doubt, pain, and anger. I was slowly moving through the stages of grief, but any remaining hope was deteriorating; my mental and spiritual health needed attention. And I decided to start an antidepressant for the first time in my life. And I was afraid of suicide ideation because other members of my family had failed attempts. I had a lot of pride about my survivorship; it was driven by resiliency and determination. I finally accepted medication as my pathway forward and didn’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed.
I felt peace. I wasn’t numb, but aware. I was not alone but connected to a circle. My grief wrestled tirelessly and finally danced with joy. Was it okay to feel freedom to heal, after being lost in so much loss?
Loss is not a stranger. Entering foster care at age 2 and 14, was difficult in so many ways. You figure out how to start over. And there are promises made that life will be easier but it is still hard. No more abuse, but there are nightmares and after shocks. You don’t wish to be touched. You still want to hide in the closet, even though you are safe from your abuser. There is an ever pressing belief system, that you should just be grateful for what you have VS. what you don’t have to face anymore.
I am healing, but feel grief and pockets of relief while carrying 10 gallon buckets filled painful memories and flashbacks with my past.
There are unusual expectations that once time has passed, that life will return to normal. But when nothing in life has ever felt like a traditional path, that’s where life tends to be a maze when you would prefer a ladder. There is never a typical grieving period.
What continued to make my life complicated in 2020 was suddenly losing a job during the COVID-19 pandemic. I managed to keep moving forward, because my antidepressant was working. When I look back, I am thankful for the doctor that helped me holistically. I was able to take everything I learned and made holistic adjustments in my life. Every degee of my 360° journey prepared me to reclaim my purpose to step into my future.
Healing is breathing when you feel like you lost your breath.
Healing is sleeping or moving when you feel too numb to move.
Healing is silent, but may appear as laughter or joy.
Healing doesn’t have to look like gratefulness, but may be expessed as gratitude.
Healing is creating and writing, but may also look like destroying journals or other artifacts from the past.
Healing isn’t time sensitive; it may take months, years, or decades.
Healing is not a prescription but may take an antidepressant and a copay.
Healing is growing, but can also appear stagnant and inconclusive.
Healing is a step forward, and sometimes invisible steps forward.
Healing is a soul-inspired journey and I am never giving up.