Saturday, October 8, 2016

You do not have to go through life alone

A series of events caused me to enter into a very dark period of my life beginning October 4, 2015.  Several months later, I received some news that to say absolutely destroyed me would be an understatement.   During this time, I experienced what it feels like to be in the pit of depression, anxiety attacks, and true sleeplessness.   I wasn't able to do anything other than what needed to be done (take care of the kids, get them to school, fed, and work.) and for the first time in 14 years,  I was unable to host the "standard" Chapman Christmas.  I saw this the other day and it described my life back then perfectly:

It was suggested that I seek help, but in my mind, that meant that I was a failure.   If I couldn't fix this on my own, I have failed at life.  I thought between Google and a couple of books, I would be able to work through this on my own.   How wrong was I?   One afternoon, I just couldn't do it anymore, I had reached the end of my rope and called for an appointment with a therapist.  This started a season in my life of the right people at the right time in my life.   Within 15 minutes of my first appointment, my therapist had me pegged and I could not have been happier to have found someone to help point me in the right direction.  I knew I didn't want to go back to where I was, I wanted new direction and a new path.  I was very unhappy with where I was at and I wanted to change.  I was given the tools and the insight to work through most of the situations I was dealing with.  While some were unrelated to others, ultimately they were all affecting me in a negative way.  Having someone unbiased to talk through tough situations with, was the absolute turning point in my life.  It took a long time and many appointments, assignments, and hard work.  Sitting here today, writing this a little over a year later, I can honestly say that I am at my best version of myself.  If I had not sought out the professional help I needed back then, I would not be where I am at today.  I wish I would have sought out help a little earlier, but like I said, the right people at the right time in my life.

Around this same time, we stumbled upon a church that was hand tailored for us.   Each week from the very beginning, the sermon spoke exactly to the situations and circumstances that I had been going through.  I felt like I was the only person sitting in that church and the Pastor was speaking to me alone. Watching how God has worked in my life from this point is an incredible story on its own, one I will share in another blog post.

Am I perfect?  No.  Was I broken?  Yes.   Did that make me any less of a person? No, it only helped me grow into the person I am today.  Am I still learning and growing?  Absolutely!!! 

You do not need to walk through life alone.   You are not a failure if you need to ask for help.  You do not have to suffer through a battle that controls your thoughts.  Find someone to talk to.  Don't be like me and get to the point of a panic attack that feels like a heart attack before you decide to get help.

What did I learn?

  • Having Self Respect does not mean that you are selfish.    
  • I do not need to explain myself or defend my choices/circumstances to anybody.
  • Being kind does not mean you need to allow other people to control or manipulate you.
  • It doesn't matter who the person is, their title, or relation, It is OK to limit or remove toxic people from your life
  • Respect is not freely given, it is earned.  You don't owe anyone respect.  
  • Being kind could be as easy as keeping your mouth shut.
  • Honor and Respect are two very different words with very different meanings.
  • Indifference is a very valuable tool.
It is so freeing when you can truly get to a point where you don't care what other people think of you or what they say about you.  

I encountered three different groups of people during the past year and I am very thankful for all of them:

  1. Those who knew I was going through a difficult season in my life and offered support and love without knowing the details of the situations.   Thank you for being an example of true kindness and love.
  2. Those who just let me be and either didn't know or didn't care the specifics of my situation.  Thank you for just letting me be.
  3. Those who knew I was going through a difficult season and chose to shut me out, dismiss me from their lives, and gossip behind my back.   Thank you for showing me who I could truly count on.
I will not go into any specifics on my  personal situations or feed information to anybody who only wants to gossip; however, if you need help, let me know and I can either offer help or point you in the right direction.