StLSass

Archive for September 2016

    2016 has been what I would refer to as a transitional year for me, and while it has taken me awhile to accept it, it was exactly what I needed in my life. The year started on a rather low note, as I was in a state of heartbreak and despair after ending a relationship with someone whom I loved very deeply. It was unlike other breakups I have been through where there was a clear reason why it didn’t work out. No, this break up was amicable, and at the same time it was so gut-wrenchingly painful because I knew, and he knew, it wasn’t that we didn’t care about it each other, it was actually quite the opposite. We both cared so much for each other, yet, despite all that love, we couldn’t for the life of us figure out how to make one another happy. During our time together I had slowly turned into someone who even I hated, and I was so frustrated because I had no idea how or what had caused that transition within myself, but I knew it was toxic, and at a certain point, I knew I had to walk away to save myself from myself. I gave up on the greatest love I’ve ever experienced because I couldn’t handle it. I was devastated.

      So after I spent most of the month of January either curled up in a ball crying my eyes out or out drinking away my sorrows, I topped it off by turning 30. 30 and Single. Every woman’s nightmare according to society. I combated my depression that night by throwing myself a kick ass roller skating party, because if there is one thing that always cheers me up it’s the opportunity to be the hostess with the mostess and any occasion where I can appropriately wear my purple go-go dress is just a bonus. To further commemorate 30, I also went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans a few weeks later with a few girlfriends. More heavy drinking, just what my depressed self needed. Mardi Gras was fun, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of utter emptiness while I was there. In fact, being in a sea of other lost souls drinking their hearts out, only made me more hyper aware of the fact that I was self-medicating with alcohol pretty intensely and pretty regularly, I knew this was a problem, but I wasn’t ready to face it yet. 

    By the time March rolled around I found myself in the most depressed state that I think I have ever been in. I was drinking every night, I had stopped eating, aside from drunken 3AM donut binging, and I was being reckless in all aspects of my life. I hated myself. I was giving up on life, and what’s scarier, is that I knew I was giving up and I was okay with that. I was ready to leave this world and all my pain behind. Meanwhile, very few people in my life knew anything about this. It is not within my personality to ask for help when I need it, instead I generally opt to suffer in silence for fear of being seen as weak. Instead I turned to alcohol to cope, which only served to fuel my downward spiral, and push me further towards the edge. 

    Luckily, God intervened and sent a few angels to help guide me back to the light. One day after a particularly hard day my Little Sister’s mom (from Big Brother Big Sisters) called me. When I answered she told me that I had just been on her mind and that she wanted to call and me to tell me she loved me and that she was praying for me. I broke down in tears on the phone with her right then and there. I let her know I had been struggling and that I certainly needed her prayers, that day and every day. We talked for a while, and then she prayed for me on the phone. It wasn’t until I broke down that day on the phone with her, that I realized that I couldn’t and didn’t need to go through all of this alone. That was my turning point.

    I stopped going out, I stopped drinking, and I just let myself rest and recharge. I had worn my body down quite a bit by that point. I was the heaviest I had ever been, and I was constantly battling digestive issues because my body couldn’t handle all the abuse I had put it through. That’s when God decided to intervene again. This time it was through an old work colleague. She reached out to me to invite me to a seminar on healthy living that she was speaking at. I agreed, went, and when I did, my mind was blown away by the information presented. The seminar was on Juice Plus+, a whole food nutrition capsule that contained fruits, vegetables, and berries, and had been shown to help people with all kinds of chronic illness symptoms, digestive issues, sugar cravings, skin diseases, the list went on and on. They had me at sugar cravings, as resisting a bag of donuts had become almost impossible for me at that point, so I thought, why not, let’s give this a whirl. What happened next, blew my mind. Within seven days my cravings for crappy food were completely gone. The thought of fast food disgusted me, and not even donuts seemed enjoyable anymore. On top of that, I had so much energy. I started riding my bike again, and spending my evenings in the park enjoying the beauty of nature. Something I had never realized before is the incredible healing power of plants, both inside your body, and outside in your surroundings. Life begets life. That was such a powerful realization to put together, and one I am so thankful to have learned. As March came to an end, I was slowly starting to see the light through the dark. 

     In early April I met someone who encouraged me to find out my Meyer’s Briggs personality type. I had heard of it, and even taken the test for a job at one point, but I had never put much thought or research into my personality type further than that. What stuck out to me though, was that this person, who wanted to date me, knew that his personality was best matched with a set personality type, and so hence, him wanting me to take the test. What I learned is that I am an ENFJ, which was exactly his type, as he was an INFP, however, in no way shape or form was I actually trying to date at that point so I thanked him for his insight and went on about my life. I was intrigued by his system though, and even more intrigued by the Extroverted/Introverted match of our personality combo. I had always thought the idea of opposites attracting each other was something that was not for me. However, the more I researched the Introverted personality (as I simply thought that meant a shy person until that point), the more I realized that my ex was indeed an introvert and that’s why the attraction between us was so strong. What I was slowly realizing as well was that an introverted person takes a long time to really to get to know and understand, and that dating them requires a lot of patience. Whaaaattt???? PATIENCE?????? Omg, I have never had patience, never aspired to have patience, and actually thought my lack of patience was kind of an endearing quality about me. No. Turns out, it is actually the reason why I had never been in love, because up until my last relationship, I had been scaring away any introverts that may have been into me, because I have no patience to get to know them!! I operate at two speeds, zero or one hundred, either you are with me or against me, in or out, we are either getting married or I’m onto the next… and here I was, 30 and alone, and just now realizing it was all because I have no patience. The only reason my ex had managed to get so far with me is because we knew each other for months before we started dating. He knew me pretty well before he actually made a move, a luxury no other introvert had yet been awarded in my life. This realization was life changing. I wasn’t 30 and alone because I was unlovable. I was alone because I don’t have patience. I could handle that. I could work with that. 

     Over the next few weeks I continued to surround myself with smart women, who I happily shared my revelation with. I was so excited about it. As I continued to think about this and speak with other women about this, I slowly realized that my impatience was a defense mechanism that I developed, because my true problem was that I have a deep rooted fear of intimacy. Opening myself up and being vulnerable, is something I just didn’t do. As I researched more about the fear of intimacy, I read about how victims of childhood sexual abuse are infinitely more likely to have this fear, and to a pretty significant degree. As I read that line one night, I broke down and started bawling uncontrollably. Over the past 4 years I have slowly been facing the truth about an inappropriate sexual relationship that I had with a relative as a child. I had been seeing a therapist for it, I had slowly started telling close friends and family members about it, so that I could step out of the shame of it. However, what I had not yet realized was the long lasting, far reaching problems that this had created in all aspects of how I handle relationships. As I read that line, I realized the full weight of the pain which that event had truly caused in my life. I cried harder and deeper than I have ever cried before. My life’s pain of always feeling alone came out that night, and I finally realized that it wasn’t my fault. That night was dark, but the next day the sun was shining brighter than it ever had before in my life as I finally felt the peace that comes with understanding.  

    As summer approached, I was in a pretty good place. I was losing weight, spending ample amount of time in nature, and focusing on figuring out myself. I started to hone in on a lot of my flaws. I notice how controlling and manipulative I can be within my life. I noticed how secretive I can be with my true feelings and emotions. I noticed how I felt more comfortable telling strangers every nitty gritty detail of my life, but when it came to close friends and family I tended to censor myself for fear of being judged. I became very aware of many of my self-sabotaging and negative patterns that I subconsciously do that hold me back from true happiness in life. 2016 is the year that I finally became aware of myself as a human being that operates on one level, and an innately divine being of God, that operates from a higher level. 

    I started taking a class taught by a spiritual life coach that I had been to once before. The class was over the book, A Course in Miracles. What the book is supposed to help you do is to shift your mindset so that you can truly live in the present moment, without judging life based on your past experiences, but rather taking it for what it is, in the clear and present moment. It is a true mental shift, which is supposed to leave you in a state where you are constantly operating from your God self, vs. your human self. It’s not easy. It takes practice every day, and every moment, but I am slowly seeing myself operating more from that space. That space is pure love by the way. Pure love for everyone in your life, and most importantly, for yourself. 

    Self-love is where I have been lacking the most this year. I’ve had my ups and downs with myself over the years, but this year, as I slowly realized more and more faults and issues that I need to deal with, it became harder and harder for me to love myself. As the summer wore on, I found my drinking was starting to pick up again. Partially because I was traveling a lot, and attending a lot of social drinking events, but the deeper I dug into myself about it I realized it was mostly because I was truly struggling to love myself. 

    When I look back at my last relationship, and all of the realizations I have made about myself from it, that I had no patience, I had a fear of intimacy and inability to be vulnerable and communicate, I can also see very clearly that at one point, I stopped loving myself. I put my worth into someone else’s hands, and when I did, I slowly turned into someone I didn’t like. I was highly codependent. I cringe when I think back on it now. 

    Over the past few weeks I have been really working on my forgiving myself for the whole thing. While I can see so clearly now where things went wrong, what I must remind myself is that it was not all my fault, really no break up is ever one sided with fault. I simply didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I would have never known what I know now, had I not gone through the darkness of the past few months. I can sit and tell myself all kinds of things, but at the end of the day it comes back to my ability to learn and grow from my mistakes, and my ability to love and forgive myself, as that is what life is all about. 

    That is why I am writing all of this today. I know what I have been through this year, but writing it all out… has me realizing that I have been learning a lot more than what I give myself credit for. It has been a hard transitional year, but one that I would not trade for the world. At times it has been easy to focus on the negative, but when I look back on this year as a whole, and I see just how much I have learned and grown… I can’t help but to see the wonderful soul inside of me that guided me through all this darkness and fought my way back to the light, and I cannot help but to love her. She saved me. She is me. I am the light. 

   The day I ended my last relationship, I found this quote that I posted on Instagram:
“As I stand here in a puddle of tears, I give thanks, for without pain, I would not grow. – J. iron word
   Always give thanks for your pain, for it is through the darkness that you will find your way back to the light. 
Sending love, light, & happiness to you all, always,
Christine ❤