For more years then I care to count I lived in an alternate reality. It was built around a need to display a false sense of perfection and happiness. I was so worried about protecting the feelings and emotions of everyone else around me and our public image that I refused to let myself feel anything at all.
It wasn’t until I made the decision to end my first marriage that I went into the breakdown I should’ve had years before.
People have always told me that I’m so strong. That they would never have been able to survive the loss of one of their children or any of the other horrors I’ve experienced. But to that I say, I’m not actually any stronger than you. You just don’t know what you are capable of overcoming until God forces you to go through it.
This month marks 5 years since Olivia died. And more than any other year the anniversary is looming like a heavy, dark cloud. Sometimes feeling is anything but wonderful, but it is critical.
A major tragedy will always show you the true colors of the people around you. And while I am beyond blessed by the army God placed around me during my darkest hour, He also showed me which relationships I had to let go of as I heal. He showed me my worth in a way I had never seen it before.
I’ve learned that you can’t move forward in life without taking an inventory of everything. I looked deep within myself and God showed me who I really am. He showed me what I’m worth. And now that I am armed with that knowledge, I know there are things I put up with for years that I will never, ever tolerate again.
These days I am fixing my eyes up above and focusing on healthy relationships, while ridding myself of those that are only there to cause harm. I can now say I have a handful of dear friends rather than a large group, but they are friendships that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
I am also tremendously blessed to be recently married to a man who loves me for exactly who I am. October is the darkest of months for me, but my sweet husband patiently wades through the trauma with me all over again. He wipes my tears when I need to cry, and lets me scream when I need to scream about the unfairness of it all. God certainly had a plan when he brought Wayne into my life.
Life will never be perfect. I am still a grieving mess more often than not, but I am in awe of how much my life has changed. How much I have changed. And that’s how I know that this October won’t break me.