Elation

My skin was stretching and my insides were temporarily misplaced. Each time I walked by a mirror, I couldn’t help but gaze over the small bump I was carrying around. It fit perfectly into the palms of my hands, while still large enough to reveal itself through the wardrobe I refused to let go of. A burst of happiness sprouted over me and I finally felt like I was glowing. While I was still recovering from a pregnancy that abruptly came to an end, sheltering myself from all harm seemed like a choice I was willing to make. I was desperate to escape from the arms of my anxities. The stress, alone, was something I was most fearful of. There was only so much convincing I could do before my mind exposed the joke at hand… the joke, being me.

My shopping cart was filled with sizes I never imagined to be in my posession, and my hair was sometimes too often thrown into a bun. I was struggling to find the me I was before I got pregnant. As hard of a fight I tried to put up, the hate I began to feel was massive. My body was overrun by stretch marks and I loathed the reflection in the mirror… one that I used to run to when taking my weekly pictures. I was experiencing a change that I always told myself I could handle. Why wouldn’t I be accepting of my baby making room in the only home he/she knows of? The guilt continued to multiply and I was shameful of the thoughts pouring out of my mind. All I wanted was to smile for the simple reason that the clouds shifted, just enough to shed some sun on my gloom. Why was it so hard to be happy?

My boyfriend and I were sprawled out on our bed when I came to a simple conclusion. Finding out the sex of our baby was something I was waiting for since the beginning. My heart ached for a true connection. It was like I needed an alternate confirmation… one that would remind me of my motherly duties. I dialed the number to a local studio that conducted ultrasounds specially for gender reveal. A (very) last minute appointment was made and it was essential that we show up on time, otherwise our turn would be used by another couple. The sweat beads outlined my forehead and the thrill spread throughout my body. In the blink of an eye, we went from standing in our bedroom to anticipating the sound of my name being called.

“Courtney, we’re ready for you.”

The room was beautifully set up for all parents to be. There was a light melody playing in the background, which only added to my elation. My boyfriend and I agreed that we were both ready to know more about the baby sitting comfortably in my belly. My entire body felt warm to the touch as I streamed with an enormous charge of emotion. Within a short moment, it had become more real than when I saw a positive pregnancy test. My baby was still so tiny in the womb, but big enough to steal my entire heart. The dim lights above allowed the calmness to surround my body as I awaited the sonographers answer.

“Are we having a boy or girl?”

And then it hit me… all the worry, doubt, and guilt I had about my body changing… the stretch marks, the aches, the oversized clothing. It was all for good reason.

.

.

.

.

All for my babygirl.

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Rich with…

To be settled back home was exactly what I needed to start feeling excited about this pregnancy. My family stood behind us with every step, even those that stopped us in our tracks on a stormy day. We turned a basement into our home without a plan of how long we’d be there. It was cozy… for the two of us. But the worry of not providing enough for our child was always a hiccup I couldn’t get rid of. The four walls that closed in on our belongings was once a room that wished for attention. Within a day we rearranged the furniture and crowded the space with permanence… because we had no where else to go, no other place to see.

My father had a job lined up for my boyfriend the day after we moved in. I started sending out applications to places I never thought twice about. Humiliation overwhelmed my body as if I were begging for a job. I didn’t want someone to hire me just because they felt bad for the circumstances I had fallen under. But I knew that most saw right through me, through my tired eyes and growing belly. It took months to adjust to my new life, one that rapidly unfolded before my eyes. I was pregnant with no job, little money. After I received my Associate’s Degree, I discontinued my education and proceeded in my search for work. I could barely handle the change despite how much I wanted it. The mix of emotions bewildered me entirely… it was all coming on too strong.

The fact that I was pregnant wasn’t what had me so worked up. I was well overjoyed with love and found a way to connect with my child no matter the situation. Placing my hand on my belly made me feel like my baby was reaching out for me too. Regardless of how unprepared we were to start a family, I was so prepared to take on the role as a mother. I understood why the heads around me neared the floor, but I refused to give attention to the thought that my child entered my life at the wrong time. No… we weren’t rich, and maybe our savings account was negative at one point. But we were rich with love and more than ready to share that love with someone whom we made.

A place of interest had finally returned my call. I was sent to a region of question… was I required to mention my pregnancy upfront? I didn’t want to lie, but I also wanted the position. I carefully selected a wardrobe that covered my misshaped bump, and hoped that the nausea didn’t completely sway over my face. The exhaustion that prowled around my body made me regret leaving the house in the first place… but I was set on becoming a role model. I wanted my child to be proud of my journey from start to finish. In any event, I pushed through and came out on top. When my anxieties knocked me down, I found a reason to overlook the want to reshape who I turned out to be. My child will see that… he/she will just know.

When I was asked to accept the position, my heart sank. I was dishonest about how long I desired to work as an assistant teacher. While the employment was one my degree compared to, the pregnancy would eventually come to term… and one child would specifically call for my attention. Deciding to play it by ear was something I would’ve never done previous to becoming pregnant. But my goal was to welcome my child into a financially stable home, full of warmth and acceptance.

It was only a matter of time before my belly filled the apron… a matter of time before my anxieties possessed over me as they always knew how.

Cheers to a new passage… a road I’ll go down with no impulse to look behind me.

Coming home

Regardless of how excited I was to be pregnant again, it felt better to keep it a secret until I could no longer hide it. I was fearful of spreading the word too soon… while possibly misscarrying like I did the last time. As my head descended into my pillow each night, I was thankful for making it through another day without seeing blood. But no matter how many times I told myself that I’d be okay, I dreaded going to the bathroom. My mind made up tons of scenarios and used them against me. But when I didn’t see what I had expected, a huge wave of relief lifted over me and I felt normal again. As much as I envisioned that normal feeling to stick around, it was likely that my worries would return within minutes… and they always did. 

Finding the strength to eat was more of a need than a want. My appetite had vanished in the early weeks of finding out that I wasn’t just taking care of myself anymore. My stomach was only able to tolerate fruit, which so happened to be my only craving. But even then I was hesitant in taking bites of something that I knew would make its way back up. With the little information that I had, I was certain that if I didn’t eat… the baby didn’t eat either. I was forcing myself to sit during meals, even through the gagging and tears that I couldn’t hold back. It was only a matter of time before the anxieties corrupted what I thought was a mind of my own. But it remained clear that despite my attempts in trying to fight them off, they always channeled their way back in. There was so much about ME that was rapidly changing. I needed to find myself before my sanity would no longer be within reach. 

With little to no appetite, I found difficulty in ignoring a hungers call. My empty stomach echoed its cries for something to get by. The energy I lacked left me cornered on the couch waiting to feel whole again. I couldn’t do this alone… I needed my family. I desperately wanted to be asked how I was doing, only to send signals that I was barely taking care of myself and my baby. I didn’t know the ins and outs of pregnancy… I had no experience in the weeks beyond six. If I was surrounded by those who knew how to diminish what took leadership over me, I could finally feel like I was meant to be a mom. A great one at that.  

A rainy day was upon us as we sat and shuffled through the TV guide. Something had just clicked… it was time to go home. Our belongings were scattered in rooms and our toothbrushes were in plain view, but we weren’t home. We were so far from where we came from and allowed the confusion to set in. I was anxious to pull down the lever and escape to a reality I was used to. My imagination played with me as I thought of the long drive ahead of us. I felt the bed beneath my tired body… our bed, our room, our place to welcome a new baby. It was finally all coming together. 

We packed our bags and shoved them in our car the same day we decided to leave. Our tv was bubble wrapped and stuffed into the back seat. There was no more time to waste. The rain didn’t stop us from returning to where we were meant to be. As I strapped myself in the passenger seat, I glanced at where we spent nights gazing at the stars… pouring our hearts out after a disagreement that left us wondering where we would end. At that time, we truly thought it was the end…

Only to know now, that it was just the beginning. 

Adjusting to…

My limp body made its way to the bathroom nearly seconds before I vomited everywhere. It was barely morning when I decided to take another pregnancy test. Our window shades were slightly open, allowing just enough moonlight to create a path to where I was. I walked over to the bed, test in hand, and stared at the man who had always put up with my craziness. He was aware that I had bolted for the toilet but didn’t think twice about why. I closed my eyes and raised the test, hoping to see a result that would explain why my body was acting out. My eyes went from squinting to fully adjusted with the darkness. A soft whisper entered the room…

“I’m pregnant.”

My initial reaction almost completely took control, wanting to shout far beyond the balcony into a crowd of strangers. Instead, I rolled back into bed with full acceptance of the nausea that seemed to stick around for days. My eyes suddenly became heavy, but my mind was pressing on the gas with no stop sign in sight. As much as I wanted to remain thankful that my body gave us another chance, the anxious thoughts quickly returned and were set to ruin the rest of our vacation. The activities we had planned were no longer considered, as I remained in bed with no desire to move, to eat, or to sleep. My body couldn’t decide whether to bundle under the covers, or to strip completely before the sweat stained my clothes. The slightest movement jumpstarted the nausea, which helped me aim toward not moving until our vacation stay was over. 

Sharing the news with my boyfriend was filled with more excitement than you could imagine. We didn’t realize how soon we would relive the memory of seeing our very first positive… but we were convinced that this outcome would be one to reminisce about. I wanted to make sure everything was done correctly. I feared that the smallest mistake would end in another procedure, and no choice but to try again. Knowing that stress related issues could also complicate the pregnancy, it was a huge challenge trying not to let my anxiety spread its fame. If I didn’t eat or drink enough during the day I would tell myself I’m hurting the baby. But when the voice inside my head was reminded about trying to remain calm, I also told myself I’m hurting the baby. It was a constant battle in which I played both sides, one that would never end. No forfeit, no winner. 

I became obsessed with knowing that as each day flew by, my pregnancy still remained normal. As each symptom made its presence, a phone call was made to the office in which I had all my prenatal visits. How was I expected to know what was considered “common”? I didn’t last more than six weeks in my first pregnancy, much of which I barely felt nauseous. I couldn’t help but question my body when it was introducing me to something new. The stretching, pulling, and stabbing pains were feelings that took turns exploring my body. While they forced me to stay in bed all day, I still smiled… I smiled because my baby was here to stay. My baby was reminding me that my belly was now a home. 

My anxiety spoke loud and clear. I had to protect what was mine, and the smallest detail would create a mental game that didn’t like to lose. I had to find the strength to make it through this pregnancy without having to worry about my mental health too. 

Impossible? No. Challenging… yes. 

Pack up

Days rolled by… weeks even. I occasionally caught myself holding my belly, desperately trying to feel the connection I once felt before. I had convinced myself that losing my child was something I could’ve prevented. But deep down I knew that no matter how perfect the timing was for me, for my mental health, to bring a child into this world… it just wasn’t our turn. To turn back time and feel that high once more was what I needed to be myself again. It was strenuous, the task of pretending to have moved on with a life that fell in the opposite direction. Each time I nodded that yes, I was okay… was a flat out lie, and I knew that I had become transparent. 

Even though my body was needing time for recovery, my mind was shouting with purpose. Trying for another baby was something I had instantly considered, and there was no hiding it. This had caused an uproar of voices, a scolding of opinions… much of which I didn’t care to hear. The glimpse of motherhood I had experienced was taken far too soon and there was no convincing otherwise. I needed to come back from this… from this memory that wanted to live in the present. My mental health was struggling, once again, and it seemed to almost deteriorate completely. 

With each corner I turned, I was welcomed by another headache… another worry. Every hiccup I’ve encountered has tested my limits and pushed me too far. It was time to run… far enough to give my strength time to build up again. Please, just give me the strength. 

We packed our bags and moved to The Sunshine State, the first time I’ve ever left my childhood home. I gave up my job, my education, and a life full of challenges (that I barely survived). Headed full speed down the fast lane… I was willing to let life take its course. There was no way things could have gotten any worse, and if it did, I was ready to take on the world. I thought that moving would alleviate my worry of losing out on motherhood again, but the anxiety only grew worse and set me back… as it always did. 

What was originally a vacation stay, before we decided to move, our reservation at a beautiful resort was calling our names. We had decided that after the last few months of despair, this was exactly what my boyfriend and I needed. The sun warmed my skin even while the wind fabricated a tender breeze. There was something about the Florida air that made our transition so simple, so far from complicated. The path around the resort lead a gorgeous scenery, one that we spent a lot of our time obsessing over. We spent nights on the balcony awaiting a storm that the news channels were threatening. Dozens of pamphlets were spread across the dining room table, informing us of events and activities within the resort. Regardless of what day we were asked to check out, this felt like home. I wanted to hold on to this feeling… forever. 

After a lovely dinner spent watching a scary movie, taking a shower was next on my agenda. My fingers ran through my long hair, beginning the disruption of the knots and tight curls. The steam clouded the mirrors seconds after turning the water on. Not long after, I became faint. This was unusual being that I always turned the knob toward hot, as far as it could go. The shower doors remained cold, which I found as my only relief from the dizziness. As I leaned my head against the glass I thought, something isn’t right. I sat on the floor of the shower in hopes that my body needed a few seconds to pull through. I reached up and shut the water off, waiting for the cool gust of air to swarm my body. 

You’re fine, you’re fine, you’re fine. Just breathe. 

I dragged my body to the bed and spread out over the sheets. I soaked through layers of blankets without a worry of moving to let them dry. I just needed a few minutes…

While minutes turned to hours and hours turned to, “where’s the nearest drug store?”

White. 

Mourning the loss of my child had put me in a dark state of mind, one that I didn’t want to elude from. I could barely make sense of any of it. What had I done to betray my body… my baby? Better yet, what should I have done to prevent this from happening? I had so many unanswered questions that hovered over me like a storm cloud. I kept telling myself that this was all a dream. Tomorrow I would wake up and place my hand on my belly, just knowing that there were something inside. My heart beat fast with excitement… I was becoming a mom. But the deception quickly revealed itself and I knew that my dream had once again crumbled before me. 

I was scheduled for surgery two days before my birthday. All I could think about was how the doctor described the procedure: a scraping that would completely ensure that your body has fully miscarried. More tears. More pain. I would be recovering through what would have been a celebration of another day, another year of being me. But that wasn’t important to me anymore. I had to prepare myself for what was to tag alongside the anxiety. I had to completely accept that I wasn’t pregnant anymore and that we would have to try again. But now I couldn’t help but question my own abilities – could my body handle a growing child? Could I handle the voice inside my head telling me that this could all happen not once, but two… three times over again? The uncertainty was persuasive. 

As I dressed into my gown I overheard the doctors speak my name. My bed would soon be wheeled into a room of no turning back. The stubble on my legs blended in with the goosebumps that took over my body. I wanted so bad for my boyfriend to hold my hand, even while I was under anesthesia. I needed him. But our kiss goodbye left me with uncontrollable tears and a sob that I could not let go of. 

I was overwhelmed by the white of the room reflecting off of the lights that were suspended over me. The cold had a presence that sent a chill down my spine. I watched as the door swung from open to close, allowing more doctors to enter the room. There was no time for me to cry anymore… I had no escape. This was happening whether I was ready or not. I brought myself back to when I first discovered I was pregnant. The happiness that filled my body was something I could hardly explain. The excitement yet nervousness of taking care of someone other than myself. It was so surreal… and now out of reach. As I floated down into reality I was introduced to the doctor who would perform the surgery. He was tall and his hands were as cold as the air in the room. He asked a series of questions and told me what to expect during recovery… a whole bunch of nothing that went through one ear and out of the other. 

The gloves slid over the hands of the professionals and my eyes were shut tight.

Time to begin. 

“So was this your first child, Courtney?”

Yes… yes it was.





Note – if you have suffered a loss, it is important to remember that it wasn’t your fault. Nor you or your body did anything wrong. May you grow from your experiences, and move on to happy ones ✨

An Uncommon Goods Holiday

This post has been compensated by Uncommon Goods. However, all opinions and suggestions are my own! 

UGGoodbye, Summer! In just a blink of an eye, the season came and quickly drifted off with the current of the ocean. While the warm weather may have stuck around (so over it), the holidays are returning and we’re all in full freak mode. You cannot walk into a mall without stocking stuffers and Christmas trees trying to make eye contact with you. I mean COME ON! We’re barely into the fall season! I don’t know about you, but I need a bit more time to prepare for the deserted shelves and unfinished wish lists.

I steer most of my holiday anxiety from not knowing what to buy for my loved ones. I’m sure I can’t be the only one, am I right? Well, I have a solution for everyone! I was recently introduced to a website that’ll keep your mind busy and your fingers scrolling. There is nothing more satisfying than finding all the right products in one spot. Get your browsers ready… because here it comes! If you’re looking for the perfect gift guides to help make your holiday shopping less intense, then UncommonGoods is where you need to be.

UncommonGoods is an online marketplace that was created in 1999. With each independent maker comes a unique design made to influence the people and our beautiful planet. As a business that is persistently growing, the UG team manages to keep the environment as their focus and works with recycled materials whenever possible. But the magic doesn’t end there! Being that they’re an independently-owned business, they are able to shape the world by supporting causes they are truly passionate for. Through their Better to Give program, $1 is donated with every purchase made and is contributed to a partner of your choice. Since starting the program in 2001, over one million dollars has been donated! How awesome is that?

Now that you are more familiar with the business and where they originated from, I’d like to share some ideas that’ll make your big debut in gift shopping for Christmas much more pleasant. When I started browsing the UG site, I was reminded that shopping for my dad and hubby is what cues the sweat beads on my forehead. They are the two most important men in my life yet finding a gift for them seems almost impossible. Well, not anymore! Uncommon Goods has plenty to offer with their exclusive gift ideas for men. To name a few…

men gifts

Guitar Pick Punch // Have you ever seen something so unique? This item is matchless for the musicians in your family. Create a custom guitar pick using household items of your choice! Tell your hubby to gather up those old credit cards… don’t cut them, reuse them!

F-Bomb Paperweight // My dad would totally rock this in his office. I could only imagine the organization this would bring to his bill slips and receipts. Plus, who wouldn’t want to add this to their desk decor?

Marble Beer Chilling Coasters // This gift set is undeniably fitting for the men in our lives. Set these coasters in the refrigerator or freezer and prepare for a natural chill during NFL Sunday. They’ll never waste another soda or beer!

Eye Glass Holder // Complaints about losing glasses again? Add this to your shopping cart! This hand-carved wooden nose eyeglass holder is the perfect sidekick for keeping your glasses nearby.

Are you loving these ideas? You’ll no longer feel that edginess when shopping for your number one supporter… the one you call Dad! You can browse the large UG selection to see what else customers are leaving under the tree for their Dad at home. And let’s not forget about our significant others! I could see the smile on my hubby’s face now… it’ll be a Christmas to remember when using the UG shoppers gift guide.

I have provided only a small sampling of my favorite products found on the Uncommon Goods website. But I carry the most certainty when I say that your Christmas list will be complete after checking out what they have to offer!

A gift for everyone! Happy shopping!

 

Unfiltered Mama

Urgent 

Having an anxious mind means the voice in my head never takes a breather. There is no off switch, there is no ignoring what I don’t want to hear. I kept trying to convince myself that what my body was going through was a normal stage of pregnancy. But the more I tried to put off the pain, the longer the minutes took to pass the hour. I had to keep my composure when a customer approached my kiosk because even through the torment, the sales were still imperative. The act I used was one I kept handy, but this time the tears broke through. I ran to the bathroom when the mall traffic was at its slowest, hoping that my worries would catch a break. But with each lock of the stall door, the persuasion rapidly settled in and there was nothing more I needed to see. 

I scrolled through the contact list in my phone to see who I could find comfort in. My boyfriend was already aware of what was going on, but truly believed it was one of many scares a pregnancy would bring. The stabbing pain in my abdomen told me otherwise. Every time I thought about the root of my discomfort, tears streamed down my rosy cheeks and formed a puddle against the glass I rested on. I knew what all of this meant. I knew this was the start but also the end of a very short pregnancy. I cried out and prayed for a miracle to strike. But the aches persisted and my tears were endless. 

Bring me back to a week ago when the word rested on the tips of my fingers… pregnant. Who would have known that this is where, and how, it would all end? But why, why me? 

The situation became urgent when I couldn’t steer the hunch that took over my body. I had planned to attend my afternoon class after my shift ended, but it seemed unachievable to focus through the condition I was in. My boyfriend welcomed me with compassion, and off to the hospital we went. 

After describing my symptoms, the look on my doctors face told a story. When he ended our conversation with a smile, I told myself it was his job to make me feel like our visit was useless. I played back the messages I had received earlier to subside the overflowing emotions in the room. “Bleeding can be normal in pregnancy.” “Your body is going through all types of changes. You don’t have to worry.” “I bled during my entire first trimester.” I re-read these messages in hopes that my heart would beat with warmth again. But that little voice in my head, that anxious voice whom always told the truth, prepared me for the worst… and there was not a damn thing I could do about it. 

When my doctor put in the order for an ultrasound, I felt a slither of hope that I had been waiting for. I closed my eyes and pictured the little seed on the screen before me. It’s heartbeat was fast and strong as can be. Again, I prayed that my body was just transitioning into a phase that would end the unusual spotting and overpowering pain. I had felt so lucky to place my hand on my belly for the last six weeks. It still had yet to grow, but the connection was there since the beginning. 

In just a blink of an eye, motherhood had appeared and then ran away. It just wasn’t our time… 

… but our time w i l l come. 

The positive 

The four walls bordered my innocence as I sat on the floor of my bathroom. I unwrapped the plastic from the bright pink box, quietly enough that it wouldn’t be heard from the top of the stairs. I placed the stick on the carpet beneath me and watched it sink between the fluff. My nerves scattered quicker than I could tame and my heart pounded loud enough to hear. I felt like I needed all the time in the world to process the result I was about to see, but the minutes rapidly disappeared. I demanded to know where my future was headed… and I had to be discreet. Out of all the things I’ve ever told my mom, this would not go over as well as I wished it would. 

Pregnant. 

I had never smiled so swiftly. While grabbing my phone to call my boyfriend, I had a million thoughts in my mind racing to be heard first. What was I to do now? 21 years old, working and going to school full time. Was I ready to put my needs behind me, once again? I had always dreamed about becoming a mom but I wasn’t prepared for it to happen so soon. As I anxiously waited to hear his voice on the other end, I rehearsed the way I wanted to break the news. I whispered my way into his mind as the echoes in the bathroom could’ve easily disclosed my secret. His reaction instantly warmed my heart. As the night grew darker, it was time to pick him up from work and I had never been so excited to do so. I put the test in my back pocket and hid the box under my dresser. It would be tucked away until further notice… or really until the morning so I could confirm my happiness. 

He welcomed me with a hug and lifted me far above the ground. We shared an excitement that almost didn’t even seem real. “We’re going to be parents. WE are going to be parents!”, he shouted. Before leaving the parking lot we sat in the car and let the news sink in. The distant crickets were the calm I needed. I drifted off into another dream… I was living the life of a mom. I was made to do this, I just knew I’d have no problem getting over this bump.

Cue the anxiety. 

I dreaded the reactions I’d receive but knew they were coming straight for me. I fastforwarded to the months my stomach would grow and watched the crowd stare at the failure before them. I already had a list of questions ready that my family would bombard us with when least expected. Age, money, time. I had it all covered. As much as I didn’t want to hear it, I knew they were right. But that didn’t overpower my want to bring a child into this world. I fell in love with the new life thrown into my hands. The seed inside me fueled my heart with endless love. I’m going to be a mother, a great one at that. 

As my wings settled and I neared the ground, reality came swinging by. We slowly began publicizing our growing child to those around us. We gained a support system that stood behind our plan from the start. But the future ahead of us was one that we didn’t prepare for… one that I couldn’t prepare for. 

I couldn’t help but stare at the positive on the screen as the days rolled by. I held on as tightly as I could, I didn’t want to lose this high. 

But the high faded, it teased me to no end. 

I’ll take this last test to relive my dream, my dream of becoming a mother. 

Opening up

Was I ready to love again? Should I be letting my guard down so easily? I couldn’t contain my emotions any longer. The tears on my cheeks went unnoticed because of the rain falling from the darkness above. His body enfolded into mine leaving no crevasses or room to breath. In that moment, all we had were each other. He gave me the key to a vault that no one ever had access to. Only I knew of the past that shaped him into the man whom stood before me. I saw the hurt in his eyes, I felt his desire to start a new journey. We were no longer strangers tiptoeing around the obvious. This was happiness… this was what both of us hungered for. 

I told myself to run far away, but this time I wanted him to come with me. Hand in hand we would hurry toward the sun set and overlook those who tried to bring us down. I tried tuning out the bubble of negativity waiting to suck us in… but then the anxiety would strike. The support system I once had kept whispering ideas in my ear. “You’re moving on too fast. You JUST got out of a relationship. Take some time to heal.” But they were blind to what, to who was healing me. He was all I needed to force the numbness away. I was finally able to see clearly and realize I deserved better than the cards previously dealt to me. I was in possession of a better hand and became a winner. He was the band aid to my wounds, the roof over my head. 

He was my remedy. 

Although I had a hard time adding trust into the mix, my heart knew it was in gentle hands. A part of me couldn’t let go of the past that I was once so used to… the guilt, the bruises, the agony of making it into the next day. While I knew this was wrong on so many levels, it was a life that I chose to live. I became accustomed to what is known as a b u s e. The ONLY thing I have since then carried with me is the anxiety. I fear the unknown. I question if I’m headed down an identical road and setting myself up for disaster. This is an illness that I can’t just shake off and prepare for as a new day rolls around. The extremity of it varies and often hits me all at once. But finding love has moved me in ways I didn’t think would ever happen again. The anxiety is most definitely still there, but I have learned to take control of what used to control me. 

I am living proof that you can still be happy even when you don’t exactly have your mental health regulated. There is contentment out there for everyone, and it just so happens that mine showed up when I was in desperate need of it. As the weeks went by, months, I knew I couldn’t have been more fortunate for the life I was given. 

That key opened up a whole new world for me, one that I wouldn’t change… not even a little bit. There have been ups, there have been downs. But I will end by saying –

The story continues.