Overcoming heartbreak in impossible odds
I will be the first to admit that I have made mistakes in my life. After losing my fiancé in an accident, I dove into a bottle of vodka to cope. When my parents got sick, I found myself—once again—in a dungeon of despair and depression. I seemed to have two choices—I could sink further into the blackness and give up or I could dig deeper into my soul to find a bit of strength to move forward towards the light.
I decided to fight to save myself.
The first thing I did was quit drinking. I now know that self-medicating only prolonged the loss I felt. After coming out of the vodka haze, the hurt and feelings of loss were still with me.
So what was I supposed to do with them?
I started keeping journals and diaries. The vodka delusions had passed and I needed a way to express myself uncensored, to say all the things I could not tell anyone else and then close the cover illuminating the thoughts from my soul. If I needed to scream, use foul language, cry or whatever emotion I was feeling, I could enter it into my journal. I noticed a sense of peace coming over me when I closed the book. It was a way for me to cope without telling anyone what I was going through at the time. This became a very positive tool in my life.
Later, when I lost my parents only weeks apart, my first thought was: don’t drink. But I also had no idea what I was supposed to do. I spent the last 13 years caring for them every day and now I was alone with my thoughts, my grief, my depression. One day I remembered what I did to help my mom when she was coping with breast cancer. I tried to keep her mind occupied and her spirits uplifted by doing something for others. The patients at the cancer center were going through the same emotions mom was feeling and we wanted to bring a smile to their faces. Mom and I started making bracelets, bookmarkers with Google eyes, anything that would make them smile. At her appointments, we gave the items we made to the patients and nurses. The smiles we saw and the love coming from faces of people at a very difficult time in their lives was amazing. We continued to do this even after mom was cancer free.
I decided I would use the therapeutic tool to help myself this time. I started making parachute bracelets and I donated them to the gift shop at the cancer center. In turn, they would sell the bracelets to raise money for cancer research. I began doing this in memory of my mom. I never realized how helping others when you are in the darkest days of your life can be therapy. It created a positive environment for my soul and my spirit to know I could use my pain to help someone else. This became another very important tool in my life.
I have dealt with things in my life that I hope no one else ever has to go through. The heartbreak, loneliness, intense grief and feelings of wanting to leave this world behind just to stop the pain. Somehow I never gave up on hope. At my lowest point, sitting with a handful of pills and wanting to die, one single thought began to creep into my mind telling me there is hope. I never thought I was strong enough to come full circle from the things I have experienced, but I learned we are much stronger than we give ourselves credit of being.
You must have the determination and the drive to move on. Once we grasp the determination to overcome, we begin to see angels in the most unexpected places filling us with hope and love. It was a combination of things that allowed me to be at the place I am now in my life. The people I met along the way, strangers who listened when I needed them or offered a hug because they knew I was hurting were my angels. Sometimes it takes reading someone else’s heartbreaking story to bring your own qualities to light. As long as we have hope and faith in ourselves, anything is possible. I am living proof of that.