If someone would have asked me 10 years ago, “What would your life look like 10 years down the road?” I would have said, “dead.”
It’s coming up on 10 years since I had carved the word “hated” on my arm and overdosed on a bottle of pills.
Looking back on that moment, I’m not sure if I wanted to die or merely just escape the pain. Either way, I didn’t want to be where I was at that moment and that moment, on top of other moments, seem to much to bear. I broke and then I awoke to what God was speaking to my tattered heart.
But more on that later. Let’s go back in time for a few minutes.
We all walk through things in life. We are all dealt a hand of cards. How we play them determines how the game ends. I had to learn how to play.
Despite what my years in school looked like, homecoming court, prom court, cheerleader, dancer, athlete, etc. I was oh so broken. So broken in fact, I just focused on survival.
After I graduated and left my hometown and all the facades I had to cover my pain and low self esteem, I didn’t know the rules of the game and I folded. I crashed. I crashed hard.
I began to not eat, not in an effort to lose weight, but in an effort to starve the pain. I then began to cut, not to have scars, but to relieve the guilt. I then began to abuse pills. Not to become an addict, but to numb the shame of cutting. And on it went… the game of survival.
Soon, I was running out of cards to play and the only thing that would suffice, was to all together escape. Or quit. To this day, I’m still unclear on which choice I wanted. But one thing I am clear of, God had other plans.
When I came to awareness in the ER with a team working quickly around me, seeing my heart rate go above 200bpm on the monitor and feeling it wanting to jump out of my chest, large IV’s being placed and fluids dripped in at the fastest rate, my tongue cracked and mouth dried from the dehydration that already took place…I looked up to the right corner of the room and gently heard God speak to my broken soul so clear, that almost 10 years later I can hear it as if it were yesterday. “You keep trying to end your life, but I’m going to keep intervening because I HAVE plans for you.” My spirit stood straight up as if I could sit up with the best posture as I lied there in that bed. I then turned my head and saw the look of mixed emotions on my mother and grandmothers face as they heard of my overdose at the post office in our small town.
I was then transferred to CCU and the reality of the choice I made began to sink in as I began to experience the consequences. See in life, there are consequences. We can’t always avoid them. I sure didn’t.
More bridges burned, more lost relationships, and more misunderstanding of my emotions from others took place. That should make me worse off, right? But, no. But, God. I didn’t forget what He spoke to me in His gentle, loving way. Several months after that, I knew I was called to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend Bible College and a full time internship and from there, my journey of true healing took place. It was full of ups and down, hills and valleys, mistakes and better choices. Facing my pain and my mistakes, accepting and working to move forward. Working on forgiveness to others and more so, to myself.
10 Years down the road, I’m not dead. In fact, I’m very much alive. More alive than I have ever been, and with more compassion than I can embody at times.
I have gained wisdom. What friends to have, how to spend my time, what I want out of life, the continual journey of how to be the best mother, wife, and friend. The journey of leaning on God in every moment. Of seeking His wisdom, of repentance and asking for forgiveness, of falling and getting back up. Wisdom. Wisdom doesn’t mean perfect. It just means that we do the next right thing.
And I don’t say that lightly.
Doing the next right thing can be the toughest step to take and I say that with the ache of your pain and the joy of your outcome.
10 years later, I am on the other side. The other side of Anorexia Nervosa, the other side of Self-harm, the other side of Pill Addiction, the other side of Self-Hate, the other side of Suicide.
I have a saint of a husband who makes my best days look sinful haha, I have 3 kids and counting who keep me in wonder, wonder of their beauty and innocence and wonder on how I survived bedtime routine, I have friends… friends who stay through thick and thin. Friends who will come just to help clean or drink a cup of coffee as you stare at each other blankly while kids scream running up and down the hallway. Friends and family who drop everything to pray with and for you. To believe with you and celebrate you.
To be celebrated… when I never thought I would have made it this far.
I learned to play my cards and I can help you learn to play yours as well.
So I want to ask you, what do you want your life to look like 10 years from now?