Welcome to Relationship Thursdays!
Every Thursday I will further explain the topic I talked about on Relationship Tuesdays using my personal life as an example.
On Tuesday, I tried to lift your spirits after last weeks baggage fest. Today I am going to share what I went through.
When I was 25 years-old (2007) I was working in the Behavioral Health Unit of a human services agency in Philidelphia, PA. I was assaulted by one of the guys who liived in the home I worked in. The assault left me with a separated shoulder that healed incorrectly because it was not diagnosed until 3 weeks after the incident, 2 herniated discs in my neck, nerve disruption and muscle spasms.
Before I was injured I was working full time and going to school to get my master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. I lived alone and I had no family in the entire state of Pennsylvania. Since then, I have always lived with at least one other person. I have not kept a job for more than 5 weeks and I left my master’s program without completing it.
There was a time about 3 years ago when I hit rock bottom. Physically I was in horrible pain 24 hours a day (even in my sleep). I was severely depressed. I considered myself a failure. I felt like my Ivy League degree and all the money I owed in student loans had been wasted. I thought I was worthless. I even contemplated suicide on more than one occasion. The baggage I was carrying could not fit on any plane. I had so many bags and they were so full I was drowning in them.
3 things happened that pulled me out of the despair I was in. First, I told the people I trust what was going on with me. I did not keep it a secret. I told more than one person and I told them multiple times until they took me seriously. The calvary can’t and won’t come if you don’t call for help.
Second, I listened to the advice of all the people who tried to help me. I did not fight them or ignore them. My life was on the line and as much as I wanted the pain and sorrow to end I wanted to live more. I sought individual therapy and group therapy. I talked to my pastors and fellow church members. I also talked to God.
The last thing I did (which is the most important) is I changed my way of thinking. I stopped looking at myself as a broken, damaged person with no worth. I stopped dwelling on the negative and I made an honest effort to acknowledge my strengths. I had to really dig deep to recognize that I did have strengths. If nothing else, I was still standing. I was hurt and beaten down but I was still here and I was fighting for my life.
Once I took into consideration everything I had been through and the fact that it did not kill me I was able to see other powerful parts of me that I had been ignoring. It took one tiny spark to start a fire and I have been an explosion of creativity, adaptibility and change of mindset ever since. If it happened for me it can happen for you. All you have to do is take that first step.
This is a simplified account of what I went through. It was hard and it took years. I am by no means finished. If you are going through something similiar I beg you to tell someone. It can be a friend, family member or a professional. I told all three! In most instances you will not be able to dig yourself out of the ditch. You are going to need help from someone and I urge you to get that help.
As always, you are free to share and comment here. If you would like to speak to me privately you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time . . .