my life as I knew it was turned upside down
Tragedies. Everyone experiences them in one form or other. They can be small or big, fleeting or permanent. Back in May, I was privy to the most inspiring group of people. It was at Laurie Goodman’s book launch “Life Messages- Enterprising Hearts” where some of them had bounced back from their own personal tragedies. Then, Laurie posted a quote that said: “TELL YOUR STORY-it heals” and so this is my story.
Three years ago, I came home from a holiday with my son and my life as I knew it was turned upside down. I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions ever since. I’ve had to deal with emotional cruelty, deceit and lies where once there had been empathy, trust and love. I have felt extreme sadness at the loss of a life that I truly loved. I’ve been angrier than I’ve ever been. I felt humiliated, ashamed, disrespected, betrayed, manipulated, abandoned, rejected, and hurt. It did a real number on my self-esteem. I’ve cried more in the last three years than in the entire rest of my life.
I felt isolated because we were living in Europe. Far from home, friends and family, I mustered up the courage to contact some friends in Canada (I wasn’t ready to talk to my family yet). They listened and then they offered advice, not on the situation, but on how to take care of myself. I started reading a lot and spending time outdoors. It was the beginning of my self discovery, my healing.
Even though the emotional turmoil has continued for the next three years, this experience has permitted me to delve into some ideas and perceptions about myself. Characteristics I had always viewed as undesirable, I learned to understand and accept. It was like being in therapy where I was the patient and the therapist too. I started writing affirmations and positive quotes on post-it notes and would stick them around the house where I couldn’t miss them. I created a goal list through Mindvalley Academy that showed me the things I wanted for myself and how I wanted to give back to my community. From this I made a vision board and some of those visions have come to pass and more are coming to fruition. Like my job for example, it may not be the most glamorous but I love it. I have a passion for food and I wanted to learn about Eastern European foods because it was an area that I knew nothing about. Just as I was leaving one employment, I found this one at European Food Centre, catering to mostly Eastern European culture. The people I work for, and with, are amazing and it feels like a family, where I feel respected and honoured for my strengths.
In the last year, especially, I have consumed many books on communication, relationships, happiness, pain; have watched documentaries and participated in Master classes on abundance, wealth, relationships; and through the love and generosity of friends, I have a life coach who’s helping me move forward, a personal trainer/nutritionist who has motivated me and been inspiring in my quest for health and a psychiatrist who helped me to see the best way forward.
The last few months have been the worst but my friends and family have been a Godsend. They have listened to me vent and complain, given me advice, said things I needed to hear and have even physically brought me to places where I could get help when I didn’t think I could do it on my own. My heart bursts with love for them all. As I continue to visit my therapist to deal with my anger, anxiety and sleeping issues, I know that I am stronger than I ever thought I could be and that I will get through this.
As I gaze ahead and try to work through the residual negative feelings, I’m making a point of trying new things and rediscovering old ones. I’m enjoying listening to music again, and am learning to appreciate my 16 year old’s taste in music; I am rediscovering my spiritual side; doing daily yoga and Zumba a couple times a week; I’m enjoying nature and learning to enjoy being by myself. I look forward to my next great adventure and all the new people, places and things to discover.
Wow, Julie! As your friend, I was privy to your story, your tragedy. But the words you’ve used to tell it and your journey of healing are powerful. There may still be days that don’t feel like it but you are one of the strongest, most resilient woman I have even known. You are transforming yourself into the woman you are meant to be.
I loooove your life message- it conveys both hope and confidence. I have have no doubt, either.