Everyone’s been there at least once in their lives. You’ve had the phone call that nightmares are based on, hit the point in your life where your problems have piled so high you can’t see past them, or experienced a disappointment in life so great it’s as if your world is crumbling down around you. These horrible moments in life are unavoidable, inevitable, and soul crushing. They swoop in, often unexpected, and like a tornado they leave a mess of destruction and devastation in their wake. And as anyone who’s experienced these moments knows, it can be one of the hardest things to do to pick yourself up and keep going.
I get a piece of news like this recently. I surprised even myself at how powerfully the news hit me. Sure, I’ve had bad news before, but this was the worst. This was it. My world was over and it felt like someone sucked the life right out of me.
In the aftershock I found myself sitting on my couch, clutching my knees to my chest for any kind grip on reality I could muster, and crying uncontrollably. I sat there drowning in my emotions for so long that my dogs gave up trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t see what kind of future was left for me. It sucked.
I tried to hide it at first. I’m a really private person, which is why some people I know were surprised I started a personal blog at all. I don’t even post very personal things on my Facebook! (Cute animal videos and pictures of my dogs are about as personal as my Facebook gets.)
But when it came down to it, when I was slapped in the face with such a heart wrenching life-plan changer, I did what any reasonably private woman does. I said “I’m fine” and kept going. I functioned like a perfectly rational looking human for the next hour. I walked my dogs, welcomed my boyfriend home, and went to the kitchen to start dinner.
Que the second wave.
I don’t know how long I sat there. I don’t know how I went from reaching out to open the refrigerator door to sitting on the wood floor of the kitchen, back painfully pressed against the refrigerator in the same knee-to-chest position I pretended I wasn’t in earlier, crying. That’s where my boyfriend found me. And it wasn’t until he came over, asked me why I was on the floor, peeked down to see tears streaming down my face (again) that I even realized I was there. The past few hours were a dream-like blur.
We sat there for a while, me sitting on the floor and Jonathan sitting across from me quietly. When he asked me if I wanted to talk about it, and all I could do was shake my head so as not to let the sobs threatening to break free come forth, I realized how not “fine” I really was. Even his small jokes weren’t enough to pick me up.
It took several more minutes and understanding reassurances from my wonderful boyfriend before I could get up and get moving. It took several more weeks before I could consider myself fully recovered from the initial shock, disappointment, and aftereffects of that event.
So in the past month I have been, getting sick from anxiety, accepting what I could not change, and dealing with getting better and moving forward in life. And that’s where I am right now. I’m fully ready to pick up the pen keyboard again and get to sharing with the rest of the world.
I think what really helped me pick myself back up was my rock of a boyfriend and the knowledge that when you feel like the rest of the world just crumbled around your feet – it hasn’t. If you just take one deep breath, and walk outside you’ll see the rest of the world is carrying on and, since you’re still apart of the world, you will carry on too. Time heals everything and the open wound that is crushing you today will get better with time as long as you allow it to.
So I’m back to kicking butt, living life, and enjoying the little things. Welcome to the next chapter of my journey.