Second chances – Ready or not.

The last 4 years has been this never-ending cycle of change.

It was a scary thing to do. The day I decided to change my life path by ending everything I knew up to that point. To dare to dream of a life that was completely opposite of what I knew.

Some told me I was a fool and stupid for leaving my marriage. Others suddenly sided with me and immediately started bashing my then ex-husband because they always “knew” he wasn’t a good person. While a very small group of people told me it was a brave thing to do.

As time moved forward, I rid myself of the toxic people who called me foolish and those that only wanted to bash the marriage I had as well as my ex-husband. I couldn’t see myself continuing on with associating myself with people who obviously were never going to change how they treat others. I had witnessed it too often and overlooked it because I knew that’s just how they were. Yet for some reason I never thought about changing my own relationship with them until one day I realized it was time to move on from them as well.

I have been emotionally happier with that decision despite the feelings of loneliness. I know that it will get better over time but I have to allow myself to be happy first. I have to not worry so much about others or put them first before my own well-being like I had always done. The only exception is my concern for my children.

So over the last few years, I have been dealing with the depression and anxiety that formed the self-perception of how I thought I was supposed to act and behave. Especially when it came to relationships, friendships and just co-existence with others. I had gotten to the point of silencing my own voice and I struggled with that decision every day for well over 40 years.

I let depression and anxiety dictate how I felt about myself for the last 4 years. It was becoming a crutch. I know deep down inside that I am a capable, smart, educated and well-meaning person. I am honest, trustworthy, and have high expectations of not only others but of myself as well. That’s the true person I am.

I look at the wall of my military awards, accolades, medals, and certificates as a reminder every day that I can do this. I did all of that for 20 years despite the anxiety and depression. Despite the toxic relationships, becoming a single mother and the marriage that died a slow death. I maintained a sense of purpose, decorum and didn’t let others stand in my way. What changed? I was still the same person with the same thoughts.

The change was I started giving in to the depressive states. I quit learning new things, working out, and eating right, it began affecting my sleep. I started thinking that I was no longer capable of supporting myself and my children. The thoughts that they were better off without me starting filtering through every morning and every night. I wasn’t having thoughts of suicide, it was much worse, I was having thoughts of giving up who I am. I was giving up on the life that I have been given.

I felt like I was just becoming this burden to my children. I started the process of filing for disability for the depression and anxiety. The thoughts of being no longer useful and needing to have some way to survive became prevalent. Deep down in my soul, a voice kept telling me “this is not who you are”. I continued on with the process while asking the universe and God to “help me”.

All through this process, I kept reassuring my kids that things were going to work out. Yet, I really didn’t think this was the way I should be approaching everything but it felt like I had no choice. I was letting the depression and anxiety cloud everything.

Then this past week, I got my answer. The medical disability claim was denied. The letter stated “…your condition is not severe enough to keep you from working…while your anxiety and depression keep you from doing stressful and complex types of work, you can do simple, routine work…based on the evidence in the file, we have determined that you can adjust to other work…”. It was simple, plain and to the point. It was also the truth. I know this but have to let it sink in because I still have doubts about myself.

The very next day, I went to a local food pantry because we were running short of food and no money. During the customary bible study lesson, that accompanies the help that is received, the pastor said something that at that moment moved the way I had been thinking about myself. It was just a simple statement but it had so much more meaning for me. He said “…God does not think you are a mistake and your life has a purpose…” It caught me off guard because I know this is the one thought that always comes up when I am feeling at my lowest point. I have always had the thought that “I was a mistake and not meant to be here”.

These words were said by my mother when I was 12 during one of her drunken stupors. I believed it my whole life. I let those same words or variations of this statement said to me by people, friends, boyfriends, and my husband influence both my negative thinking and self-esteem. Anytime I was failing at something those thoughts were the first thing to pop into my mind.

Yet, all the evidence I have of the things that I have accomplished during my life completely contradict those words. So now here I am faced with the truth, I may be blemished, scarred, and have jagged edges but I am not completely broken like I thought or was made to believe.

So I have been given a second chance at becoming whoever it is I am meant to be. I am still not sure what that is yet. I still have my faults. I still have the depression and anxiety. I now have new thoughts forming in my mind about who I am and what I need to do.

So today is Sunday another day as well as a new opportunity to do something that I want to do. A new day to work toward my goals, find new ones and do what makes me happy.

Thank you so much for stopping by.

Have a wonderful week!

I hope peace, love, happiness and good vibes find you.

Suzanne

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