Sunday, November 11, 2012

Two Years Ago Today, Part 1

Two years ago today I was not a healthy person - physically, mentally, or emotionally. On the outside I seemed fine. Over many years I had mastered the art of pretending I was ok, and no one would have guessed just what was going on in my head and heart.

Two years ago today I sat in my townhouse, alone, on a Thursday night. After trying so hard for so long, the sadness and darkness inside finally swallowed me up. That horrible voice in my head became louder and louder, telling me that it wasn't worth it any more. I wasn't worth it any more.

Two years ago today, I spiraled so low that I thought life wasn't worth living. Anyone who knows the real me knows how dark a place that had to be, as I am often the sunniest, most ridiculously optimistic person you'll come across. I wrote letters. I said goodbyes. I took pills in amounts that one shouldn't ingest and swallowed it down with entirely too much alcohol. I made decisions that can only be made in the depths of depression and helplessness.

I'm lucky; I had someone that figured out what was going on and intervened. They called for help, got in touch with my sister, reluctantly got me in the ambulance. The night is much of a drug-induced blur for me, but I remember the sobbing and protesting and the feeling of complete and total failure. I couldn't believe that, in addition to all of the other things in my life I had effed up, I managed to eff this up too. In that moment, I really felt like things would never get better; that I would always be stuck in that dark, dark place.

But two years ago today, I was given a second chance. In the days and weeks that followed I experienced so much love and support that it made my head spin. I had no idea that I was that loved. Sometimes you just can't see the forest for the trees.

When I think back now on that night two years ago it blows my mind. Comparing where I was then to where I'm at now, on multiple levels, is night and day. As awful as it was, I needed to hit that rock bottom place in order to climb back up. As I sit in my bedroom in the Caribbean, listening to the sounds of the island, feeling the balmy night air through my window and reflecting on all the amazing experiences I've had over the past two years, it's hard to believe I ever felt that this incredible, beautiful life wasn't worth living. Every day I thank God for the second chance, for the people in my life who lifted me up and carried me through that ordeal and the following month...which would turn out to be the worst month of my life.

I know this next month is going to be hard. I know I'm going to feel sadness and loss and regret. But, I also know that I have come so, so far in the past two years and that I never plan to go back to that horrible place.  Two years ago I'd have never, ever guessed that I'd be living in a foreign country, doing what I love and being happier than I can really remember. I'm just so grateful that I was given the opportunity.

The past two years have taught me a lot about myself. Now, being in this place, I know that it was all worth it. I wouldn't be here if I hadn't broken down. This move, this new life, is my panacea. The ocean is my therapist, the sunshine my medication. I look forward to what the next two years have in store.

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