Summer 2015: Emotional Empowerment


Summer is ending in a few weeks, and I have yet to submerge myself in a body of water! I’m not much of a swimmer, so I’m not too upset about this; plus, I WILL jump in the ocean before the season ends.

It hasn’t been a traditional summer; but, it has been quite memorable. You know how some summers go down in your personal history? Summers that we remember falling in love or growing in a new way? It’s that kind of summer for me.

There are several factors that contributed to this newfound feeling, and I wanted to blog about them individually when they were happening; but blogger’s block stopped me. I guess I had to really pause and absorb each moment to process. Here are some of the events that have made this a summer of emotional empowerment!

My Surgery:

I had my surgery in May. This was to treat extreme ovary pain that I have suffered with for years now. Choosing to love myself enough to take the step towards a pain free life was a huge leap in personal growth.  Though the surgery was difficult for me to recover from for various reasons; I have had two glorious months with no ovary pain! Tears of gratitude and new zest for life are proof that I have overcome.

My daughter’s Sweet 16:

Though I was barely recovered from my surgery, I managed to throw my beautiful daughter a fabulous rainbow themed (her request) Sweet 16 birthday party. I celebrated with tender emotions and a mama’s heart full of love. The last few months of my daughter’s school year, I got to see her really shine. While performing her stand-up comedy routine (a final exam) she finally came out of her shell. I watched her blossom and with a big smile on her face, attended all the end of year activities with her new friends. It melted my heart. After all we have been through it felt so good to see her so happy! Her party was filled with friends old and new. A beautiful memory!

Honored my mom’s ten year memorial:

June 28 marked 10 yrs since my mother’s passing. It’s hard to believe. It was a stormy and rainy day. Fitting as we always loved the storms. The week and a half she laid passing, the weather was so unpredictable, sunny one moment, stormy the next. Still physically challenged from my surgery, I didn’t hold a dinner or anything that I had thought I was going to. I sat on the screened in porch of the old house in Kingston (where my boyfriend still lives), and I watched the weather. I held one of her journals in my hands and read her words. A candle flickered, tears fell and I moved into the dark. Finally, the pain didn’t eat me alive, I could sit with it and view memories of her in my mind without falling to pieces. This was a big breakthrough for me. I plan on spending more time with her journals and my memories. It will be the next stage in healing my grief…

Broke up with my sister:  

My sister and I had a tumultuous relationship growing up. It took us many years to respect one another and build a caring relationship. Unfortunately, we both have unresolved triggers. Last year during a family visit, we drank and had a physical fight! That hadn’t happened since we were kids. We both apologized and wrote it up to alcohol and emotions (lethal combination). This year she had planned a trip to visit me; but, we got into a tiff that compounded in anger the more I ignored her. I was in physical (post surgical) and emotional (from being triggered) pain and was trying to reserve energy to plan my daughter’s birthday. She increasingly reacted and I was tremendously triggered by her actions and words, and had to cut off contact for a few days/weeks to regroup. When I finally calmed myself, I wrote her a message that she refused to read, because “it would hurt her too much”, but yet she still wanted to come visit. She was furious that I declined and told her she could stay with our brother. I wanted my feelings at least acknowledged before opening my home to her. Right in the middle of her spewing out hurtful things in a Facebook message, I blocked her! That was it, I couldn’t hear anymore. My heart pounded loud in my chest, and pushing that little block button temporarily gave me my life back. I was depressed for a few days, and I think my family was too; because she never came to visit and she blamed me. I love my sister deeply; but, I am sooooo tired of being hurt by her words. My depression morphed into a slight feeling of liberation. I FINALLY marked a boundary. It is a bittersweet break-up, I miss talking to her and knowing how my little nephew is doing; but, I know we will reconcile at some point. I plan on working in therapy on the many triggers I have with her. I’m hoping if I work to heal them it will help heal our relationship…

Friend Reunions

After my breakdown, I shut myself off from any friends I had. I didn’t know how people would react to my new awareness&diagnosis of mental illness. As the years went by, the anxiety thickened. The person I was when they knew me was different, changed forever. I didn’t know if or how they would feel about me. I sat in my fear for too many years. Having had kept in contact via Facebook, arranging reunions was the easy part. The actual in person thing was the challenging part. One reunion was with a bunch that I used to work with and the other was a few people I knew through the shop I had with my mom on the beach. The first one was really good anxiety, and the second not so much, I had to fight through. I think this is because, my friends I used to work with I was very close to and the second friends were through my mom. That fact alone made me more emotional. I also always dread those questions about what you’re doing for work, a living, etc., but I was honest without pouring out too much. Both reunions went awesome and I feel so grateful and emotionally rich that I still have friends! There are more friends I need to reunite with. It has been a goal of mine for years to rebuild my friendships. This summer began that journey!

Remained a Non-smoker!

I have been quitting smoking cigarettes for over ten years now and I believe I’ve finally done it! This is a habit I started at 12yrs old, and was my biggest addiction; mentally, physically and emotionally! At 33yrs old I asked my doctor for Wellbutrin, and I quit. Then I started. Then I quit, and on it goes. Even though I have asthma, my grandmother had emphysema and my mom died with lung cancer, I still smoked. Needless to say it made me feel disgusting about myself and made me very sick. The older I got, the more I wanted to quit. I knew I would surely die younger if I continued. I quit in March and even though I have quit for 6mos before, I always took a few puffs here and there, leading to buying a pack. This time I remained nicotine free&I am happy to say that I have finally moved past the addiction!

Renewal of Independence and Self-confidence:

In addition to the above events; just the sheer fact that I’m living day to day, taking care of myself and my daughter has given me a priceless feeling of self worth.

When I moved on my own in April (with my daughter) I felt terrified yet determined to not only survive; but thrive. These past 4 months have been the beginning of a renewal of self esteem that I haven’t felt in years, maybe ever. I have had glimpses of self confidence in my life; but, not quite as profound and enlightened as I feel today. I mostly faked it and toughed it out.

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe but wonderful to realize; that I’m doing it!!!! I’m living life!!! I’m working and providing, I’m cooking and cleaning, I’m crafting and blogging. I’m healing and growing!!! Not long ago, I was bed bound some days, agoraphobia stricken or swallowed by depression and grief. Those days were part of the journey as well; but, I’m glad they are behind me.

I look forward to the rest of the journey! 😉