“My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, my God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns, unending love…Amazing Grace.”
9 years ago today, with the help of those who love me, I stepped off the crazy train. Well…fell off would be a little more accurate.
I FINALLY hit bottom.
Battered and bruised in every way imaginable, I had to learn how to stop fighting everyone and everything.
I am a believer that one hits their bottom only when they decide to put the shovel down and stop digging.
I no longer question those who choose to hold on to their shovel, at times, even lying down with it in the hole they have dug. They are beyond all reason.
I don’t take on their shame either. I used to. Maybe that’s a sign of growth? I sure hope so. It’s about progress not perfection, yes?!
What may look to others like an obvious reason to stop the insanity in one’s life, isn’t always the “final straw” so to speak, for the one who is temporarily insane.
Some will never find their grasp on reality again and will therefore eventually lose their life to, what I consider to be, the ego.
Surrender is a difficult thing for some of us.
It can be painful and raw.
We hold on to control for as long as possible, even when it is obvious that we have no control at all.
It has not been an easy road. Chris would agree.
However, Cleaning up the wreckage of my present, on a daily basis is a whole lot easier than cleaning up the wreckage of my past. It’s a daily reprieve.
I don’t need easy, I just need possible. (My favorite quote from the movie Soul Surfer)
I had to learn how to live life. For those of you who have always faced life on life’s terms, this will not make a whole lot of sense to you. But maybe you have known, loved or even lost someone who this resembles.
For those of you who have ever run away, been a prisoner to fear or sought relief from reality in a less than healthy way, maybe you can relate to some of these everyday things I had to learn how to do.
Here are a few…
- How to eat at a Mexican restaurant without ordering a margarita.
- How to enjoy a concert without some sort of substance.
- How to be affectionate with Chris without being completely self conscious. (I’m talking about hugging, holding hands, a kiss…not sex)
- How to go out for sushi without ordering sake.
- How to be honest about even the little things in conversation.
- How to work out, or exercise at all, for that matter, without a stimulant to get me started.
- How to fall asleep at night.
- How to eat a meal without purging afterwards.
- How to look at food as anything other than an enemy.
- How to ask for help.
- How to relax.
You get the idea…the list could go on and on.
I cried every day for a year.
A pathetic mess, wallowing in self-pity, regret and shame.
The first year was incredibly difficult for me, but also crucial to my recovery as a whole. Had it not been for Chris, and several others, including my dad, I’m not sure I would have made it through.
It takes so much to walk through this type of season with someone. Whether you love the person or not, sometimes love is not enough to weather the kind of storms that early recovery can bring.
I can say with all sincerity that I would not be upright, today, were it not for those incredible individuals who stayed by my side helping me find the motivation within to, scoop myself up off the floor, wash the dirt from my eyes and start living for something other than me.
The support they offered looked something like this (my words cannot do their actions justice, but here’s trying)
Where I was hollow, they saw depth.
Where I was weak, they picked up the slack.
When I was doubting, they reassured me.
When I was crouched in a corner in the dark, they came and sat with me while I sobbed.
When I spoke, they listened.
When I asked for direction, they advised me.
When I celebrated small victories, they were my biggest cheerleaders.
I didn’t have to wonder where God was in all of this, because I could see Him in the actions of those around me…taking care of me…being patient with me…encouraging me…forgiving me.
They have my eternal gratitude.
Chris did not “sign up” to fall in love with a girl like me.
God knew that Chris Cannis was the only man capable of capturing my heart in such a way that didn’t cage who I am.
He set me free.
He loves me with his palm wide open.
He says he knew, from the first day he saw me, that I was the one.
That was 10 years before he asked me to be his wife.