Some days it feels you’re hanging by a thread and you wonder how long you can hold on.

I get it.

I want you to know that you are seen. You are not alone. Please give yourself a chance to get through whatever it is you’re facing, however you need to, and know it’s okay to feel not okay.

If you’re feeling like the water is too high today, please reach out, connect, and let someone love you through this moment. Understand that you are lovable, no matter what, and stronger than you know.

Whenever something incredible happens in my life, I think of how many times and how badly I wanted to give up. I think about the very worst times, and how I was 100% certain I’d never survive them — that they’d change me into someone I wouldn’t recognize.

And they did.

Those moments turned me into the woman I am today; a kind and compassionate person who understands desperation and has experienced the miracles of hope. I am a woman I would not have recognized years ago, and also one I probably would have avoided.

I have always feared the unknown. I literally hate its guts.

I enjoy the illusion of control. It is one of the symptoms of the trauma cards I carry around with me daily. Those cards were all I had when I stopped drinking, and I didn’t want to let them go.

One of my favorite “life skills” has always been, “fuck this.” I thought perhaps if I didn’t care about anything, nothing could hurt me. I believed that was the only way to control the pain I had already experienced, and avoid future hurt.

I have tried to hide myself behind alcohol, drugs, sex, food, relationships, shopping — YOU NAME IT. I have pretended to be anything and everyone I am not to shield myself from rejection and discomfort – mine and yours. I have remained stuck and stagnant in a million different ways, and I have perfected the art of self-deception in order to believe I was happy because I was “safe.”

I have hit a trillion bottoms in all sorts of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings about myself and other people. I have found scattered pieces of myself all over and have, at times, handed them to another woman and asked her to help me figure out what to do with them.

Those moments have strengthened me.

They have armed me with incredible facts about myself that I get to sift through every day and decide what to keep or discard. It is because of those wretched moments that I know how brave I am – that I have the power and ability to fight.

I am a better woman, wife, mother, friend, and advocate because of them. They are my humanness; where I have found incredible compassion and empathy for others. They have made me an easier person to talk to, to relate to, and to trust.

I didn’t know my pain had purpose, but if I could go back in time and support myself through it, here’s what I would say:

“Please be kind to you. You are doing the best you can with the tools you have. You are okay even when you’re absolutely sure you’re not.

Trust yourself. Your gut is usually right on, and someday you may even refer to it as your “God voice.” You will gain shit and you will lose it, and it will all have a positive impact on your life —  even when it hurts.

Trust in process. The swing of the pendulum always slows in the middle. Enjoy the calm, but don’t stay there too long. There is always more to learn, and the opportunities to grow are endless.

You are worth every action necessary to improve your situation; whether you believe it or not.

Make mistakes, and forgive yourself wherever possible. You are only human, and being human is hard. There are people waiting for you to share all the lessons you’ve learned, and everything will make sense in time, I promise.”

If you are experiencing one or ten of these moments, and you think you’ll never be free — if you keep finding yourself in the same horrible spot and cannot for the life of you figure out how you got here again — if you’re struggling with feeling worthy of the action necessary to make your life or situation better — please know you are not alone.

Your life and struggle has purpose beyond anything you can imagine, and someday – if you don’t lose hope – it will all make sense. Some day, you will meet a woman who is 100% certain she is all alone in this world and believes no one could ever understand her pain or journey.

If you don’t give up, you will be there to assure her that you do.

You are worth all the things.

If you just can’t bring yourself to believe that today, that’s okay. Please believe that I believe, and know that you are loved.

Hold onto that thread. It can and will carry you to wherever this moment is leading you…if you allow it.

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