Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.
It’s past 2AM and I gave up trying to will my self to sleep hours ago. I’m the sleepiest person you’ll ever meet, but I never actually sleep. I decided to finishing reading Ryan’s Bed by Tijan. Well, I finished it and I had to flee my bed so my tears and snotty nose wouldn’t wake my husband.
I should have been warned by the dedication how deeply this book would resonate with me. The story line was obviously great or else I would have continued to binge watch Vampire Diaries for the fourth time. But as the book unfolded I couldn’t read fast enough. And the last three words will stay will me forever. (I’m already planning to reread with this new insight).
Anyways, this blog isn’t about Tijan or her books; although, if you are looking for a new author check her out. It’s about moving forward and healing. It’s about transformation and change.
The character in the book (Mac) lost her sister to suicide. She is lost and feels like she has lost her identity. She doesn’t know who she is anymore. She feels like she is going crazy. She is lonely and broken and misunderstood. She doesn’t have words to express all the little pieces left of her. And I haven’t related more to anything in a long time. [except maybe Lysa Terkeurst’s The Uninvited].
Last year was a demanding year to say the least. Some of it was fantastic; however, most of the year was some of the darkest times I’ve ever had. A multitude of things challenged my marriage. There was a devastating cancer diagnosis in the family. My dad was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease. And that same disease also ripples down to my brother and me.
2018 was full of tears. Tears streaming down my face in the shower. Laying on my bathroom floor crying in confusion. Screaming snotty tears in my bedroom rug. Looking up at the Christmas tree lights crying is desperation. Drunken tears. Silent tears. Terrified tears. Lonely tears. Maybe one irrational tear. Or the very worst- tears of rejection.
I told my therapist in December, I couldn’t remember a time in my life that I’ve ever felt so lonely. I was surrounded by my Christmas candles, married to the love of my life, in the house of my dreams decorated in Christmas magic. Yet, I sat in my floor and wept. I’m a floor cryer, if you hadn’t noticed by now. And then I cried that I was feeling that way.
Since 2014, I’ve been putting in the work. I’ve been fighting, clawing my way to get to this place. I’d been healing. Especially the last five months with my new therapist. But something happened, and in just a few days, I felt like I was relapsing and back to square one. I couldn’t see the progress I was making anymore. My little head was consumed once again with all of my demons. I felt stuck. I felt rejected. I felt inadequate. I felt hopeless.
Through all of the haze and heaviness I felt in my heart, I had an epiphany on New Years Eve. It’s a big date, so I guess appropriate to have a genuine eye opening moment. RJ and I went to an early dinner at my favorite restaurant. We came home and danced to our first dance song and read our vows to each other in candle light. Then we snuggled up on the couch holding our sweet pup. The boys were both passed out and softly snoring by 10:30. I tried waking RJ to move to bed and he simply replied, “This is so nice and peaceful. Let’s sit here a while longer.” Before I knew it I had tears streaming down my face. I thought it was because I was disappointed at the way our New Year’s Eve had turned out. I was bummed we had two trips planned and both fell through. I was annoyed that I planned to do sweet, romantic anniversary things that we weren’t doing. I was bummed the expensive champagne I bought wouldn’t be toasted at midnight. But I was wrong. I was crying happy tears. Peaceful tears.
I was crying because I was so overwhelmed with joy in that moment that I was alive. That I didn’t die on NYE2014. I was cuddled up to my sweet husband and perfect boy, and I was more content in that moment that I’ve ever been. I hadn’t relapsed. I realized I’m finally, finally truly healing. I’m becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. I’m transforming. I’m changing. I’m hurting so badly because I’m digging into the root of the pain and rejection to free myself. And for the first time, I’m embracing the pain.
“We must feel the pain the heal the pain. Remember: the pain isn’t the enemy. Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists. Pain is a reminder that the real enemy is trying to take us out and bring us down by keeping us stuck in broken places. Pain the the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination knowing there’s healing on the other side.”
The new year may not have started how I envisioned it in my head. But that’s okay. Because even if I’m the only one seeing my transformation (and my therapist), I’m still growing. I’m healing. I’m letting the past refine me, not define me. Im finally allowing myself a future.
PS- seriously, read Tijan. I recommend the Fallen Crest Series and Ryan’s Bed. And Lysa Terkeurst’s The Uninvited.