This is the hardest post I’ve written so far. This post, when written the first 3 times, included my family and my husband.
But I trashed all those drafts. This is my testimony. Mine. Not “ours”. I had to find a way to tell my story, which I’m so ready to tell, without disrespecting the privacy of the people in my life.
My mom introduced me to Mark around 2004 and we fell in love. I remember when he told me he loved me. I said “I love you too”, but he protested, saying “no! This is my time, I’m loving you right now”. He’s loved me that way ever since. Even when my moods and addiction made it difficult. He loved me despite me being me. I still don’t know what I did to deserve such a loving man. Not everyone saw that though, which is my fault. I was never really good at sharing myself, or my life, with family or friends. After all, I had a secret to hide, and my bipolar mood shifts didn’t help. So opinions of Mark suffered because of my selfishness. I’m so sorry for that.
Relationships are being healed now. Slowly but surely. I love my family and their willingness to just love purely. Despite mistakes and lies, despite time lost, my family has always loved me. They always will. I have no doubt about that. And for that, I know I am one of the lucky ones.
Mark & I moved in together, and lived in several cities, moving for jobs. At this time the economy was faltering and jobs were difficult to come by. But life was difficult for many reasons. Self inflicted reasons. Like razors taken to the goodness of the skin of my life, my poor decisions cut that goodness into bits and pieces.
One day I’ll be able to fill in these blanks. When I’m ready. When we’re ready.
I’m skipping a lot of years here because I haven’t figured out how to talk about those years yet as just my story. But I want to keep going so I can tell you about my Savior, and we’ve still got two years to go.
We landed in Jacksonville in 2012 for the best job I’ve ever accepted. I was so happy to be leaving home. Honestly, I was always happy to leave home. My life was so miserable there because of my poor choices. Choices which affected everyone I loved, and the guilt of which is so hard to let go of. I’m good at letting go of anxiety, fear, sadness. But guilt? Guilt is difficult to get rid of, to leave at the foot of the cross like I do with my other negative emotions. Guilt sticks like a stain in your head and heart that you just cannot get rid of. That guilt, is always in the back of my mind, and has seeped into the depths of my being. I carry this guilt of what I did to my family. Hopefully one day I will learn how to let that go.
Am I even supposed to let that go? Because I feel like I deserve to carry it with me forever.
After one month of working at that job I moved to Jacksonville to accept, I was fired. They never told me why. Shortly thereafter we were evicted from our apartment, which was always more expensive than we needed. We moved into a hotel. We thought it would be temporary, but it wasn’t. We lived there for almost two years.
And so here we are, the point in my story where, believe it or not, things start getting really difficult. I was spiraling downward faster and faster. Life actually got worse. Worse than the years I cannot talk about yet because they’re not just mine to tell. Worse than the years I spent in South Florida in a relationship with a serial cheater. Worse than threatening myself with suicide.
Things were about to get real.
What comes next are the darkest of days. Days when I didn’t know what I would do from one second to the next. Times so foggy that I could not see beyond the next second of life. When I didn’t know if there would even be life in the next second. It was so dark, I couldn’t see myself in the mirror anymore. It wasn’t really me I was seeing. My mind was failing, then my body started failing. It was scary and strange. For example, at work, I could not type as fast, my fingers were slower. Something was wrong with my neurological system. My whole body with being affected by the darkness in which I was dwelling.
I can now say that I now thank God for those days. The days full of prolonged seconds which seemed to last hours. Those millions of miserable moments spent alone in the darkness of my mind. I lost myself there. And although I didn’t realize it at the time, that was the best thing for me. I needed to lose myself before I could find God.
But like I mentioned, we’re still 2 years from that. I was still trying to fix things on my own. I hadn’t yet considered giving God a chance. God wasn’t a blip on my radar, or a thought in my head. Not yet. God was the furthest thing from my broken mind . Or so I thought.
God was there, but it would take a miracle 20 years in the making for me to see Him, and one question to one friend that would change everything.