“A lot can happen in a year…”
This is a saying I have utilized and fallen back on many times. I usually say it to a friend or family member who feels stagnant or defeated in the moment. I usually use it for relationship guidance or to refer to my whirlwind year of meeting and becoming engaged to my husband.
Now I use it to refer to the time I wanted to give up and tried.
One year ago today, I sent an email resigning immediately from my old job after attempting to end my life. I wrote about it, moved to Richmond, took time off work and spent the following year trying to process it. Though I am reflective of my year, I still have to some rungs of the ladder to climb up, but I feel like I am finally slowly climbing.
I was fortunate that our ten months in Richmond gave me time to just learn to breathe again. It was difficult and many times felt stagnant and isolating. There were days I didn’t see another person and sometimes not even myself. I tried to process in therapy, but unfortunately my therapist and I couldn’t penetrate the wall I built. She switched course to supportive therapy while I switched to leaving our sessions earlier and earlier, at the end only staying for less than twenty minutes.
I needed to analyze how to get out of my own way and how my ego was the boulder in my fork in the road.
I am sure some raised an eyebrow of why try to throw a baby into the mix of what could be looked at as waves of chaos, whether they were slowly calming or coming to shore. Eric and I want children and had planned to expand our family by the following year. When I went to visit my family in Michigan, my Grandma’s sister sat me down to give me the long version of short advice, “it’s never the right time because you don’t know if that time will come.”
Pregnancy came and now almost six months later our family came full circle and I had to face my ego like never before- a year later.
I returned to a my home state, which I deemed a representation of failure if I ever came back, but who knew that fifteen years later it would become a symbol of hope.
I returned to an agency and job I had worked at years ago before entering social work. I have to remind myself daily that placing such self-worth on what I do, destroyed who I was trying to become. I am taking small steps to rebuild what I once lost and creating an environment where if I face the choice of jumping ship, that this time I will sail through the storm.
A lot can happen in a year, and this year I am starting over and looking at how I can change what I contribute in my life in more meaningful ways. How vulnerability also means being honest with myself on what changes I can make from within.
It is slow. It is painful. It is real. But I finally feel like I am moving up. A year ago today, I felt like my life was over. Today, I actually see the beginning. And I like the view.