Five Years of Reflection; A Lifetime of Reflecting
Pain Pills numb but do not Heal
Five years of reflection, a lifetime of reflecting
A woman sitting alongside the riverbank reflects on her journey back to life after more than twenty years of hiding behind a cloud of pills and denial.
As the breeze blows and the clouds cover the sun off and on I can only hear the sound of the water and my heart beating. Many days and nights have passed from the time I began this journey and today it has been more than five years of thinking and fixing and learning all about me.
I used to be so afraid of everything. I was afraid of feeling and afraid of avoiding my feelings. I feared to lose what I had and feared that I had nothing to lose. I knew I was drowning and yet I feared to ask for a life vest. The more I feared the less I believed the less I believed the more I lost.
I wanted to keep my problem a secret yet I cried out in pain every day silently. I focused all my energy on everyone else and never let anyone focus on me. I was ashamed and confused and pushed everyone away and wondered why I always felt so damn alone.
Fighting the fear inside was the only way to conquered the lost soul that I was trying to hide. I wanted everyone to think I was that strong person that people admired and looked up too when in all reality I was so weak and fragile.
I fought judgment while judging myself harder than anyone. I wanted nothing more than a clean start and had no idea what this meant. I wanted to gain back my respect without losing it first. The day finally came when I would open my heart and mind up and show the real me to those who I would hurt the most.
Tough but Worth Every Second of Pain
This road would be the toughest road of my life and I would eventually lose all that I feared losing before gaining it back again. I would lose the respect I once had and I would lose the people who loved me the most and I would lose my mind for a brief moment in time. I had to lose before I could gain anything.
I had, to be honest, and face all the things in my life that were my fault and I had to admit to myself that I was hiding in a fantasy of perfection while dying in a reality of imperfection. I needed to admit that failure was not an option in my life at this point and time. I needed to let go of things that I carried out of comfort and as an excuse to be weak and different.
I spent so many days fighting for others to understand but needed to learn why others did not understand. I wouldn’t let anyone close enough to hurt me and in return would hurt those trying to get close enough to understand.
Without any idea how to fix me and fix them I would nearly lose my mind fighting guilt and pain and fear until I learned to stop trying to fix everything and just fix me.
I gave up the pills with so much support and without it would have fallen on my face, but I would have to sacrifice so much and nearly sacrificed the life I always wanted and never realized I already had.
The people who stood by me would suffer the most and I could spend the rest of my life asking for forgiveness or I could forgive myself and pray for the day that I earned the forgiveness that I would ask for.
I have learned now that I am not alone and never have been. The crazy illness that once plagued my heart and broke my trust had to be laid to rest in order to recover fully and successfully. I gave too much power to my past and the mind tricks that came from my memories. The memories that would haunt me and kick me in the ass until I faced them and took away their power.
I had to finally accept me for the person I was and quite giving power to those who would judge me for being me. I would have to stop judging myself and would stop giving other’s the right to judge me. I am me and if you don’t like me then get to stepping; I do like me and those who matter do too.
I am not perfect and my journey always began with fixing me. I wanted nothing more than to pretend that nothing was wrong and that nothing had happened. I did not want to admit that he still had power over me even after I took his power away. He had not only taken my body and mind at five but he had embedded fear in my soul that I would have to discard before it consumed me. He was the devil in the form of a dad, now he is just the devil behind bars. I will never again fear the man who will soon meet his own judge, God, and face his own fate.
I have learned to fear life is a waste of precious and valuable time that we can never get back. I have learned that without risk you will never receive the reward. I am proud of me for the first time in life, not for what I have done wrong, but for what I have done to right the wrongs in my life. I am stronger than I have ever been but I allow myself to be weak when I need to be. I know now that I do not always have to be the shoulder to lean on but occasionally I need to lean on a shoulder.
I know now who has always been true to me and who will always be true to me. I find myself letting go of control and having faith that no one can control me unless I allow them too. I take control of my life and I do as much or as little as I want without taking on the weight of the world.
I know the difference between being a survivor and surviving. I already survived the abuse, for I am still alive, but being a survivor for me means reaching for new and better each and every day. It means sharing when and where life offers opportunity. It means living every day whether it is a good day or a bad day I am still alive and still able to live life to its fullest. I now appreciate every sunny day and refuse to hide from a storm.
My family has paid the price from my own inability to face the bad and see the good in life. I couldn’t see how important I was to them until they had to choose whether to support me or abandon me. When the news broke that I was killing myself with a handful of pills and a heart full of loneliness, they had every right to walk away, but to my surprise, they opened their hearts, ears, and arms for me.
Help is a Phone call away
Letting Go for Good
This woman who sits here writing is only here because she learned to let go. I let go of the pain that haunted me, I let go of the fear that paralyzed me and I let go of those people who needed their space from me. Some came back, others will someday, and those who don’t, well that’s O.k. too.
I have lost so much while gaining so much more. Many people have passed since I broke my silence and much more will pass. I have grieved and wanted so badly for something to numb the pain in my heart and yet never will I ever use a drug to numb what I must feel in order to live.
So much hurt still lives inside of me and never again will the hurt take all of my happiness. I am allowed to be happy and when life gives me pain inside I will not hide from it. I will feel it and then give it to the Lord, for his shoulders are made for carrying me and all the pain too. My path of recovery led me straight to the Lord and with his help, he has changed my life for the better. Not through riches or treasures but through truth and vision. When we see clearly and honestly we can change our path and influence others on their journey.
I have a lifetime ahead to continue the battle to stay sober and sane, but today this river water and the sound of my husband changing his tackle five hundred times is music to my ears. Every few minutes he glances my way and I can see that he can see ME. Once again the person that he fell in love with has emerged and the person who unintentionally broke his heart has faded from sight once and for all. I have a new respect for the man who stood by me, and I can see in his eyes a new respect for the woman who has stood by him.
All the fighting and arguing, the misunderstanding, the courage to be honest and the bravery to take another chance on love has paid off and life is good. We learned to listen and began hearing what was behind the words. There has never been any doubt that we loved each other but there has been doubting whether or not love would be enough. Today as he stands there with that goofy grin I know that it will be better each and every day. We may beat to a different drum than others but as long as for being both hear the same rhythm we will continue to dance together through this life of challenges.
My children will someday learn to understand the things that right now seem so confusing and unforgivable. I have faith that one day I will watch them take their own journey of discovery and they will see the same light that I have seen. I know that I cannot control the timing of life and that I cannot worry about it until that day comes. I know that one day they will not blame me or judge me and will accept me and my life as I will learn to do the same for them, one day. I know that they will come to accept that my choices in life were never meant to hurt them or disappoint them, but in my own way, I was trying to protect them.
You know it’s funny to think five years ago I had people telling me that I would never make it this far. I saw others attempt and fail and I thought at times I would never make it through the pain and sickness. Today I am grateful to my family, friends, and God for my success. I never thought I would ever like who I was but the people who stayed by my side proved to me that I am the person that they loved and supported so who else would I want to be. I like me and I will never be perfect so it is perfect to just be me.
© 2016 Renata Kell