My New Year’s resolution this year was to start living again. Not just surviving day to day, but actually living again. In the past nine years, I developed depression and anxiety, and living with those mental illnesses is really difficult.
Ever since my son, Dominic, was born, he has been my entire world. His dad is an addict and an alcoholic, and after many attempts to get him help, I kicked him out when Dominic was 2 months old. It’s been me and my little man ever since. I instantly became a full-time single parent, working full time. I had retail management positions where my boss’s didn’t care if I had to miss my son’s birthday because I couldn’t get a break. I had a close coworker steal my credit card and go on shopping sprees all over the city. My PTSD had a field day with that one. I found myself in a very dysfunctional relationship with a mentally and verbally abusive man. I had no control over myself or my life, and it seemed like the shit just kept piling on.
Then three years ago, my aunt (one of the closest people to me in my life), took her life after a long fight with mental illness. Her death rocked my world like nothing I have ever experienced. My depression got significantly worse, and at one point, suicide seemed like the only option. Then I thought about my son. I could never… would never… do that to him. I was fighting and surviving day to day, but not living. My only true joy came from my little angel. Thank God for him.
So this year started with my resolution to put as much energy as I could into living again. And allowing myself to feel. And to do things. And to go out. And be social. And be… vulnerable. I can truly say that I have been doing just that. It hasn’t always been easy, and there are many days when that evil disease is stronger than I am. But I can honestly say that I have seen more of the light this year than I have in a long time.
I have even gone on a couple of fun trips – adults only. The guilt is still there when I leave Dominic, but I am remembering how to live my own life again as well. I’m writing this on a plane back home from Cabo. I stayed at an incredible villa with 9 other people. They were positive, successful, humble, fun, and I realized during these past few days that I have to make a choice to live my best life. The disease may try to prevent that, but damnit I won’t let it anymore.
I don’t typically talk about these dark spaces in my life, but I feel like sharing them will perhaps make me a little more… free. And understood. And accountable. For living. Not just surviving… but living my best life. ❤