In the last 10 years, I…

Got, trained, raised and cared for a dog who is the still the greatest dog in the world. Met the man of my dreams. Laughed alot. Got married. Was a dog groomer. Dreamed big. Worked for Starbucks for almost 5 years, even up to an Assistant Store Manager. Had 4 major psychiatric diagnosis including post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder most recently. Cried a little. Gained and lost enough weight to equal at least two average sized people. Helped my husband to pay for a Jeep Liberty on our own. Followed a vegetarian diet for two years. Ran two 5K races, very slowly but ran the whole way and finished none-the-less. Moved to Wisconsin from Illinois. Felt like a failure. Moved to Texas from Wisconsin. Felt like a success. Broke my right leg. Had 2 major surgeries on my left ankle. Lost my dear Godmother last year while in Texas. Self injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Learned my husbands secrets. Went through EMDR therapy. Quit the best job of my life. Went to marriage counseling. Left my husband. Drove cross country alone with my dog to get to safety from my husband. Prayed. Decided to get divorced. Decided that I am beautiful just the way I am. Practiced yoga at home and in a studio. Spent way too much money on clothes, shoes and material things I did not need but filled me up while I wasn’t having my emotional needs met. Met countless friends and people through work and treatment. Felt powerless at times. Grew stronger. Went to Riviera Maya, Mexico. Laid in bed hoping my heart wouldn’t stop beating. Was there the day of or after my nephew and Goddaughter were born. Filled nearly 20 journals with writing. Spent 6 months unemployed. Loved deeply. Saw 6 therapists, 7 psychiatrists, and 3 dietitians not including the teams of mental health professionals who helped me through hospitalizations. Felt misunderstood. Attended SAFE Alternatives twice, Rogers Memorial Hospital Intensive Outpatient Eating Disorder program twice and was hospitalized on inpatient psych wards about 6 times. Found the courage to live. Stopped, mostly, self injuring. Reconnected with old friends. Was haunted by memories of old friends. Moved back home with my parents. Found confidence in myself. Got a better idea of what I think “God” is. Developed hope for my future.

Today is a good day. Benny snuggled me before I got up this morning, the sun is shining and I have plans for a fabulous day. Oh, and did I mention how fabulous it is to be alive today? Ten years ago today, I didn’t share this same enthusiasm for life and dressed like an angel tried to take my own life. It has taken ten years of strife and triumph, love and heartache, great success and sudden lapses to find whatever it is, God or myself or others that keeps me going. Thanks to all of you who have taken a part of my journey along the way. I’m grateful for you. I’m grateful for me. I’m grateful for life.