This will probably be one of the most transparent pieces that I have ever shared publicly however, it has been on my heart since 3 AM this morning therefore I am sure that it’s necessary.
This time last year, I was in a very unhappy place. Seriously. At this point, I would’ve just relocated to Alabama 8 months prior and as much as I tried desperately to be optimistic, I hated every single thing about it…EVERYTHING! From my perspective at the time, I had the worst job in the entire world, on top of that management was terrible, my personal income had become unstable and had dramatically decreased by approximately 85%, I was overweight and gaining by what seemed like the day, my self confidence was shot, savings was depleted (5 figures), life had gotten uncomfortable, I had ZERO I mean not one single solitary friend/fruitful relationship within approximately 170 miles and my new marriage of only 7 months wasn’t all honeymooning, sunshine and gumdrops. I cried A LOT, the strong woman that everyone had come to know had become so weak. I was completely broken and honestly had no true idea how I got there emotionally. It was like one day I was OK
and keeping it all together like I was “supposed to” and the next I was completely and utterly falling apart. I had gone back to smoking; on and off, then on to vaping (basically an electronic cigarette for those who are unaware), I drank bottles of wine at a time and couldn’t remember ANYTHING after. My use of profanity became more excessive despite the fact that I am hypocritically repulsed by hearing it, especially from women and children, and I was hmmm trying to figure out the nicest way to say this…I was a very resentful, hateful woman towards my husband because everything was his fault (in my mind). I had become recluse, and withdrawn not answering many phone calls, or reaching out to family and friends like I used to do, and when I did I kept the conversation to a minimum. Suffice it to say, I was the epitome of depressed, despite the fact that I avoided the word and any form of it, that was who I was.
My husband was very supportive, oftentimes understanding and attempting to say and do things to make me feel better but those feel good moments were fleeting. While I was deeply depressed, I often felt sorry for him and my children because I knew that my sadness was taking a toll on everyone. I often tried to pull myself up but the smallest things would bring me way down, so I slept…during any moment of free and sometimes family time I just slept.
It would be remiss of me if I did not mention the fact that at the time I had a very small network of friends and family comprised of 4 people (including myself) who I video chatted with most every morning to keep myself in touch with reality. We eventually coined the name “Women Empowering Women”or WEW because we were there for each other if for nothing else, to listen and empower one another in spite of. Two of them being in Ohio, one in California and me in Alabama; while this sisterhood has always been tight, I still felt alone. Besides the distance, there were so many emotions and things I was dealing with that I oftentimes felt better simply uplifting them, as opposed to consistently sharing what I was going through. While I was smiling encouraging and praying for them on the outside, my heart was waxed on the inside and my soul was aching.
The Tipping Point
In and out of prayer, and mentally battling with myself regarding change, I was not taking the necessary action to improve upon any of the things that were negatively impacting my overall physical, mental and emotional well-being. While I was well over the whole “church-hurt” factor, I oftentimes used it as an excuse not to go to or associate myself with church. Hold on…don’t go to smacking you lips, rolling your eyes or getting afraid to continue because you think I am getting ready to start preaching or get “Religious” just stick with me, I promise I am going somewhere (smile). My saying for quite awhile was that I was spiritually attune (which I still am) but, I am not religious (which I still am not) and I’m not a fan of church anymore. In all actuality, I was ducking and dodging MY creator but neglecting to seek Him for help and restoration for fear of losing things that I thought I needed.
My husband thought is was a great idea to get me back to South Carolina as soon as possible for a visit, surely a trip to see my “sister” and some friends would uplift my spirits. He is definitely a very patient, loving and considerate soul I tell you because at that I time I don’t know if I could have been married to me…The trip to South Carolina proved to be all that we had expected, hanging out with family and friends, all highs and good time and absolutely no lows (at least none I can remember). It was the trip on the way back from South Carolina July 31st 2016, that was the tipping point for me. It was a pretty quiet drive, I think we were both a bit hungover and tired, however I was experiencing a case of separation anxiety and began feeling sad. Not only did I feel sad, I realized that I was disappointed in myself for playing the victim for nearly a year instead of doing something about at least…something! We have all heard the cliche’ “If you can’t change the people around you, change the people around you” That also hold true for changing your circumstances. While there are some things that are beyond our control most of our circumstance are a result of choices that we have made in some point in our lives. I began reflecting on the times when I was the happiest, and what I did to get to that point. I won’t bore you with the details but let me just say that while I am a PK x’s 2, I did not come to KNOW my Lord and Savior until 2009. Like, I knew the word; well bible verses, cliche’s, how to “do church”, how to pray, you know…how to be a traditional religious person but I had not true idea of who He was or who I was until 2009.
As soon as we got home I went to the garage and found my old dusty notebook which held the foundation of my faith in it and I studied the word a bit and with tears I decided to pray this paraphrased prayer:
I am lost, I am weary, I am tired and I am broken. I do not know what to do Lord. I appreciate every blessing that you have placed in my life Lord and I ask that you take EVERYTHING and EVERYONE away from me that is not good for me. Deliver me from bad habits, bad relationships, and block anything from coming into my life that will alter my path back to you. Order my steps and hold my hand Lord, I need you!
The very next day I felt a weight lifted! I literally felt like unstoppable, ambitious, optimistic ME! Sooooo of course it was time to change, change, change! If it didn’t feel good, or look good it had to go!
What I Did and Where I Am
First of all I went to my struggle job with the biggest smile on my face! I even took a selfie before I left the house (I did this for several days). I know this is what most people do everyday as far as selfies, but at that time for the past 9 months a selfie was the last thing on my mind. Second, I decided to start applying for jobs again; qualified or not, I was applying! More importantly I replaced my bad habits with good habits, I began reading and studying more, feeding my positive thoughts replacing my negative ones, working out, and of course I re-established my relationship with God. Today, I am in a good place, within two weeks of applying for a job I was not really qualified for, I was hired and with the favor of God I was able to negotiate my compensation and receive credit for 12 yrs experience in a position that will elevate me in my chosen career field, I also began my weight loss journey (silently at first) and to date I’ve solidly lost 27 lbs and 9 in in my waist (Woooop, Wooop), my self confidence is pretty solid (self affirmations help), I’m back in school pursuing my business degree at the Forbes School of Business, and while I have had some failed attempts at growing close to and establishing a solid relationship with anyone locally outside of my home, I have made some positive strides in the right directions, making some lasting loving connections just by having an open heart (you know who you are). Last but certainly not least; of course, we all know the saying “Happy wife, happy life”, so I think it’s time to take an official honeymoon…yes I’m kind of gushing and absolutely I’m counting down the days:)
A lot of people are afraid to break but sometimes, it’s necessary…
As I took some time to reflect; on my drive home last night, the revelation came to me that the breaking point and me actually being broken, feeling alone, not having friends to socialize with, no longer having a disposable income to travel and just go, go, go, and all of the other proverbial “have nots”, were necessary. I had no idea that I was being conditioned, transformed, and ultimately refined for a time such as this. To step up and be a leader everywhere that I go and in everything that I do from my family, to my job and of course within the Wife Talk family, I was called to serve AND lead but I needed to be prepared first. My heart is full and I have been so overwhelmed with how far I’ve come in just 9 short months and how much increase, love and happiness I’ve been blessed with during this time. Oh and the things I’ve given up, and relationships I’ve lost??? I promise you…pinky swear I have not missed them for a moment during this time. A lot of people are afraid to break but sometimes, it’s necessary for you to live out your purpose, whatever that may be. I have officially been “Broken into Beautiful”.