this time last year.
i didn't know how, if, i would make it.
how the next year would play out.
my darkest fears seemed to be materializing into possible realities.
i will never forget crumpling into a friend's couch, still in my winter jacket, laughing a despairing, hopeless laugh, like this was rock bottom and what it actually felt like after all was ...relief. and that all there was left to do was laugh.
like i belonged there, rock bottom.
like my whole life had been leading up to this point, this moment of truth.
i will never forget sitting across from my dad at the restaurant the following week, and hearing one simple sentence, one simple sentence at which my brain wanted to scoff and disregard and minimize, yet which sent a forceful release throughout my body. one simple sentence my body needed to hear. oh, you are nothing like her.
i think that must have been where the self-loathing finally loosened its grip, for the first time in my life.
for. the. first. time.
and now, when i look back at this year, i realize none of this was what i had imagined it would be, what i feared it would be.
the pain of that year was the pain of labor, and the reward is that i do not recognize anything anymore, any of the hallmarks of myself, my life, my marriage, my family. the characteristics and fears and anxieties and self-loathing which had plagued my life for so long.
as though a new life was birthed, and now i wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. not even to go back in time and do things differently, to avoid the pain and darkness and uncertainty and disruption of everything safe and familiar and the sleepless nights and tears and anger.
not at all.
without the pain, we wouldn't have this. now. this life, now, wouldn't exist without the disruption of chaos.
it is all a gift.