Three weeks ago today I lost it. Big time. I mean, I lost it like I’ve never lost it in my life. I lost it in a way I didn’t know I was capable of. I thought the unthinkable and I’m still trying to get past it. It’s not been easy. It’s not been easy to forgive myself. It’s not been easy to move forward though I’m trying very, very hard. It’s not been easy to put it out of my mind. I keep telling myself, put one foot in front of the other. Let it go. Forgive yourself and move forward. It was your breaking point and you finally reached it. It had been coming for a really, really long time. But now it’s time to come back up and see all the light that each day holds. Truth be told, I’m trying, but I’m just not there yet. I started having panic attacks that I haven’t had since my mom passed away and that weren’t there before. I have knots in my stomach sometimes that weren’t there before. Sometimes I find it hard to breathe and end up dizzy. They are slowly going away, but I don’t know how long it will take until I ever fully forgive myself. I know that I will because I must to keep moving forward.
Who in the hell was I? What had I become? How did I get to this point I keep asking myself? What did God think of me? Will I ever go there again? The answer to that is a resounding NO with a gospel choir behind me backing me up.
It was because I wasn’t taking good care of myself. Not at all. I’d felt pretty good, together and somewhat content before the massive drinking started. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it wasn’t good for me, but it was so fun to just let go and have a good time, carefree. The everyday worry and fear that we all feel to some extent had been rocked to sleep. The problem was I couldn’t do that and also tend to myself. I never claimed to be a good multitasker. I’d forgotten the hefty price I’d pay later as the alcohol built up in my system. The depression, the anxiety, the worrying, the emotional upheaval that would plague me for days after drinking like that. I know with 100% certainty that never would have happened had I not been drinking (heavily) for a few weeks, here and there. But, oh, to take the edge off and be someone else for just a little while.
There are blessings in hitting rock bottom. I ended up in the hospital for 36 hours and saw humanity at it’s very core. I met people with some of the saddest, heart wrenching stories and wondered what would become of them. I ate breakfast lunch and dinner with these colorful spirits and listened to their stories. I tried to offer encouragement as best as I could. They asked me why I was there and I told them I’d been drinking a lot and had posted something incredibly stupid on Facebook about wanting to end my life. They would just stare back at me in silence, but I could tell they were thinking, “Why would you do that?” “I don’t know,” I silently answered. “I really don’t know why.” I still wonder about many of them, for they made an indelible impression on my heart. I think of them and I pray for them.
I made a friend there that I’ll call Molly who had been in the military and she had a beautiful service dog named Steve. We talked a lot about life and the challenges she has faced. She was a beautiful soul who’d been dealt a crappy hand. But she was still witty, kind and absolutely hilarious. We laughed a lot together and cried a little, too. As much as Molly had endured, there was a still a magnitude of hope in her eyes that simply could not be measured. I still think of her and wonder where she might be now. I know wherever she is, she’s kicking ass, taking names and laughing all the while.