Surviving towards thriving: Finding my wings
I was looking back through my journal before my breakdown about five years ago.
I could see very clearly that I was becoming more and more out of touch with my real life. I made comments that were more hope-based than actual. And even my handwriting didn’t look like me. It was more chicken scrawl than cursive.
I remember talking with a neighbour of mine who took the commuter train with me in the morning to work and one day she mentioned that she’d had two breakdowns and was hospitalized more than once for depression.
I had sat across from this together-looking woman for over a year by then, a woman who I’d always found very friendly and upbeat, and she was admitting to me that she’d fallen apart at one point in her life. And not only at one point, but at two!
I believe that after her admission, I finally felt I had the right to take a time-out from my life too. Deep within myself I knew I was coming apart. I may not have been admitting it to myself because I was holding it all together the best I could, but I was unravelling.
After I was in the emergency with gallbladder disease and I had it removed that was really when it all hit the fan. The months following my surgery and recovery, I spiralled down.
I really appreciate my neighbour telling me about her experiences because it gave me the permission (vicariously) to look after myself, and my inner child.
And for me the journey began four years ago and I’m still living it. My actual breakdown and absence from my work only lasted about four months, but my inner journey has never ceased.
My psychologist shortly after I entered therapy with her told me that I’m a survivor. And I am, that is pretty obvious.
But recently I have realize that’s not enough.
I can’t continue my life only surviving because that’s not healthy or real for me.
I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have been a victim of child abuse. I can only learn from what life gave me, both the bad and the good.
My experiences are starting to coalesce inside me and combined with all the books I’ve read and the inner-searching and healing I’ve done, something is bubbling to the surface.
It may be a book, an idea for this blog that’s more concrete or a way of life for me to thrive and not only survive.
Or it may be all of these things put together.
All I know for sure is that something inside of me can no longer accept just subsisting within myself.
My inner being wants more for me than that.
It’s an exciting time because I’ve worked very hard healing myself and learning to respect who I am to get here.
I will continue my journey and keep you posted.
I almost feel as if I sloughing off an old version of myself and birthing a new one. One that was always there, just waiting inside me for the right time to come forth and show her wings.
From the series, Because I’m a woman and because I can! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor
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