it’s a little after four in the morning. i have been up for a while. probably since three. the funny thing about going through trauma in your life is that it literally seeps into parts that you’d never expect. when i started having nightmares shortly after entering recovery, every single doctor told me it was normal and that it would go away. but here we are. four months into recovery and it’s a little after four in the morning. there’s a lot going on and a lot of trauma going on. of course, very timely. as i just finally hit a checkpoint in trauma therapy and cognitive therapy. but that’s the comedy in my life. and a lot of people have reached out to me this week. admiring my strength and my ability to face all of these challenges head on. and i will openly admit that it hasn’t been easy. i spend a lot of time redirecting my brain from going to that place. you know the one i am talking about. the place where absolutely everything happens. the worsts. the what ifs. the scrolling the internet and typing in your symptoms or reading stories of other people. it is literally a dark rabbit hole. so i spend a lot of my time just dancing around said hole, trying not to plummet into it. and it’s hard because it’s still a pandemic {and i feel like that needs to be in neon letters because some people be out here pretending like it ain’t} and so a lot of the things i would like to do to keep my brain busy and away from the rabbit hole are not an option. and lately, my brain is on overdrive. taking in everything that’s happened over the last few months. it seems to be growing. the stress and anxiety, i mean. it feels like i am trapped in this place that’s just very haunting and filled with the ability to just dive right into the rabbit hole. and honestly it’s taking every ounce out of me. to not lay in my bed all day and cry into my pillows. and it’s really not about depression. it’s more about just wanting to sink away from all the hard shit. because it almost feels like every time i step outside, bam! and i mean that in the least ‘woe is me’ fashion. like can a girl get a break? that’s how i feel right now.

and the strength piece. honestly, i have no freaking clue how i am holding it together. maybe it’s the four pound bag of peanut butter m&ms next to my bed or the three therapists on deck. it’s definitely my family and my husband and my friends for sure. but when i lay down at night, i really don’t know how i got through the day and i don’t always know how to tackle the next one. i mentioned grief before {and by the way, my iPhone just autocorrected grief to fried so that says a lot about me} but the stages of grief are ever present with what’s happening now. anger, acceptance, betrayal. it’s a lot. and that’s why i honestly do not know how i get up each day. probably because i ain’t sleeping anyway. but strength is something that’s hard for me to wrap my head around. because a lot of times, when i do fall into the rabbit hole or i do lay in my bed and play songs that make me cry and sob for forty five minutes, my mind often says ‘you’re not strong enough for this’. because that’s how i feel sometimes. that if i cry or breakdown or have a moment, it means i lack strength. but i actually think it’s quite the opposite, i think it’s actually just being human. the losing it for a few moments. the crying for a little while. it’s not really a pity party right now. it’s more a ‘what in the actual hell is happening right now and why is it happening to me’ kinda soirée. most of the time, i cry because everything feels a little unfair. and while i get that it sounds a little ‘woe is meish’, i think that’s where i get stuck. how can you be strong if you’re having these moments that look a lot like focusing on the unfairness of it all? how can that look like strength from far away? but i remind myself that this is being human. this is okay. because strength comes from the fight. and the path leading us to war. it’s not always pretty. nor is it supposed to be. we prepare for battle, we fight like hell and we walk home a little wounded, but as warriors. and i think it’s important to recognize both sides. you don’t have to be stone faced and stoic walking into the war zone; just as long as your game face is on when the battle begins.

there is a lot happening right now. with doctors and therapists and a raging pandemic. and it’s all very new and overwhelming and terrifying. and sometimes i try to be too brave too soon or too often. but it’s okay to be human. it’s okay to eat peanut butter m&ms in your bed while you sob into your pillow. it’s okay to want things to be different or easier or for the world to pick anyone but you. but it’s also time to prepare for the next war. and even though this battle feels awfully close to the previous one, let’s go! because the fire in me is raging far more than the fires around me.

so let’s do this. that’s the strength. the ability to leave the hard parts of it all behind and head straight for the beast itself.


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