I have been thinking about my life lately...the many roads that I have walked that have brought me here, to this place. In all honesty, I shouldn't be here...I should be 6 feet under. Honestly. I lived like there was no tomorrow. I played with death like it was my friend. I lived on the edge. With all the bad choices I made...all the crap I put into my body...and add in the choices that other people in my life made, that directly affected me, and it totally amazes me that I am here. Alive. Not just alive, but very happy alive.
I reflect on the years that I spent battling an eating disorder...years before there was an actual name for it...starving myself and making myself vomit. I think about the years that I ate drugs like they were candy, all for the sake of being high and numbing myself to life. For many years I got high every day not just because I wanted to but because my body...my mind "needed" them to get through the day.
I remember the days of cutting...cutting up my arms...my legs...my body...just to feel...yet to punish myself. These were the days that I thought about death daily...my death...planning it, trying to end it but failing. I remember my friend that shot himself as I was walking up the stairs in his house, to get him for school...which leads me to remember the other friends that died by choice or by the way we lived. I think about all the guys that I allowed to abuse me because I thought it was okay...I thought I somehow deserved this.
I think about all the people I hurt because of my selfishness...I think about all the people I hurt that I don't remember. The fact is I don't remember many things...many things that I am sure I would be ashamed of. I am not proud of the things I have done or who I was. All these things are my hall of shame...there is nothing that I can do that can erase this part of my life. The memories are my reminders of the roads I once walked to bring me to where I am now. The fact is it's from these things that I have learned...learned about life, about people, about loving and about grace and forgiveness...they have been my salvation from a world of shame and guilt.
I think about surviving serious illness...having to have a hysterectomy at 26 and being so sick and looking at my young children and begging God to please let me live. I remember where I was just 6 years ago after being brutally attacked by a client in a home I worked in and being so out of my mind in pain and fear. Thanking God on one hand for sparing my life yet at times being in so much pain that I wished she had killed me...not being able to work...not being able to leave my home because of the fear...not sleeping because of the horrendous nightmares. This too, I survived.
I am free. I don't have to hide in shame from you because I know the freedom that has become mine. I remember all these things to keep myself from falling. Each of these things brought me closer to where I am now...it's like I have had all these different lives that I survived...all to bring me to here...to this place, of being very grateful for all that I have been given...of being very happy and very much alive.