Reason for Being

This day finally marks a year some would consider as the day I hit my “rock bottom”.

Words can’t describe the cloudiness and tension throbbing in my head as I scrambled to get out of the house in time with everything I had. I may never know how damaged my brain really was that day. Or continues to be since.  But my heart, besides being on the verge of exploding inside my chest, was screaming for the firefighters and paramedics who came to my rescue to get their truck and ambulance off my street before my oldest son would turn the corner in route from school and see his totally broken mother being hauled away for what would be several grueling nights in the cardiac unit at the hospital. The same hospital where, ironically, I was blessed with my youngest son years before.

It took me close to a year to muster the courage to seek out my medical records from that stay, but turns out that upon arrival, my enzyme levels were multiple times the normal functioning level. And I was essentially proceeding on a fast track toward death.

What followed would be several days of absolute horror. Horror during the five hour wait in the emergency room, extremely nauseated, shaking uncontrollably and so thirsty from dehydration that I dozed in and out of consciousness wondering how I had become “this person”. The person who would have to be confined to a bed with constant line of sight supervision to monitor possible seizures, resistance and dangerously elevated heart rate. The person so delusional from the inconceivable amount of medications that were trying to slow down the function of my brain while I was trying everything in my power to retain it. The person whose mind was trying to tell my body what to do, yet my body was too saturated with powerful chemicals to comprehend it. Plunging me deeper and deeper into insanity.  The person “the eyes” would avoid as they met mine, but would be covering me with judgment as I closed my own in absolute shame… Hoping against hope to never be seen by them again…

hospital

On this day, as we turned the corner to leave my neighborhood in an ambulance never to be seen by the eyes of my son, I thanked God for sparing my children of such a heart wrenching memory.  I have thanked Him many days since, although I know better than anyone on this green earth that just because neither of my boys saw me leave broken and addicted in an ambulance that day, that surely didn’t spare them from the 18 months of agony and terror they encountered while watching their mother slowly succumb to the evil curse that almost ripped me away from them and everything I had once lived for.

Since that day, and after a year of healing from the physical, emotional and mental anguish of this curse, I wake each morning with gratitude for the chance I have at life again. Since that day I have reconnected with all that I have loved in this life before I lost myself to the pain, regret and sadness that had taken over my entire being. Since that fateful day, which I acknowledge now as having been necessary in order for me to break away from the once unbreakable curse that all but consumed me, I have found amazement in the life I have here on this earth again.  I see beauty in the trees and the mountains, I see peace in the sunrises and sunsets and I see faith and hope in the blue skies above.

Sunset
My daily inspiration wanders around here…

And as I reflect on this past year of forgiveness and growth, and on the beautiful relationships that have been rekindled with my boys on a level deeper than I could have ever hoped for, I am blessed in the knowledge that I don’t have to remember that day a year ago as only being my “rock bottom”.

For everyday as I continue to gaze into the eyes of my children, and see the God-given gifts that they are, and I feel the renewed hope of becoming someone to them who has more to give in their lives than only God could ever fathom, I find love and purpose. Love in how my heart beats to see their hopes and dreams one day turn to reality.  And purpose. Purpose in what has since been revealed to be my My Reason for Being.

My Life Worth Living…

Revival can mean a personal spiritual awakening experienced by an individual, frequently after a season of spiritual backsliding-Nathan Finn

My personal revival began about 17 months ago. Well 529 days to be exact, or so says the Counting Days app on my phone. This is what you download when you desire an occasional reminder of how far you have come from the deep depths of hell that almost stole your soul. Especially on the days when you almost forget.

On the morning of May 4, 2015, I arrived in San Diego to stay with a friend and undergo ten days of what will soon be known to the world as Brain Restoration Therapy. This to the few who are already blessed to know, is also known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, NAD for short. In simplest terms, NAD is a coenzyme of vitamin B3 and becoming known by scientists and researchers for its amazing effects on the mitochondria, the required source for energy production in every cell of our bodies. NAD is believed to pave a restoration of the cells in your brain that becomes damaged from many toxic sources, specific to myself is the dangerous concoction of alcohol and medications for depression and anxiety.  After months of what research now points to as chemically induced psychoses, this was the last chance for my family to save me from myself, and it just goes without saying I was sinking fast. Inpatient treatment found me back to the bottle within days. And having just been forced into resignation from my 15 year career,  suffered a major injury in a blackout and hospitalized multiple times for acute intoxication, this was literally my last hope.

The allure of this widely uncharted form of treatment was its overwhelming reports about pain free detoxification and lack of almost any withdrawal symptoms. This is where I was stuck. Drinking to enjoyment had long passed. I was drinking to exist. To not shake or vomit. Although I did both anyways. I now drank just to be able to pretend to function in society, which many times I failed miserably.

Additional bonuses that my desperate mind was drawn to were the claims of a huge reduction in cravings, a clarity of mind and increased mood and energy. For so many months my brain had been in an endless fog where fragmented chunks of time were jagged swords that only struck in my worst nightmares. In the absolute depths of hell, I had no where else to go but up.

On the first day of treatment, I remember little more than a blurriness of the many months prior, where I floundered in and out of consciousness and merely existed. Nothing more than a physical entity taking up space but contributing nothing toward any life worth living. And I am told I slept a lot.

After day two of my treatment, I surprisingly began to regain a sense of who I was and that I may have some sort of purpose in my life. I felt myself waking up, as if I had been in a deep sleep for a very long time and somebody just shook me awake. My mind began to form ideas again. I started to have an opinion. I carried on conversations and people listened, as if what I had to say actually mattered. For a few moments at a time, I felt somewhat human again. And yet after so many days of not even knowing what day it was, I couldn’t help but wonder when this new found clarity would end. It felt too good to be true.

Much of what I remember from the months when I was in the depths of my curse was like watching a horror movie with blurred glasses.  It all seemed foggy and surreal and so filled with evil. The long, dark nights of gasping to breathe with music buzzing in the back of my head that no one else could hear. The weeks of not showing up to work without calling in. The missed football games and teacher conferences because I just couldn’t get out of bed that day. Or that week. I have vague memories of laying in bed hearing the world going on around me and wanting to take part, but my clouded mind was paralyzed and my body could not move. It’s all just a mumbled blur that I don’t ever care to see clearly…

It’s memories like these that I wish I could do over again and make the nightmares of my past different.  While at the same time, I am so glad I never will.

But the days that followed only brought more clarity and enlightenment. I began to see a place for myself in the future. The energy in my body returned and I yearned to get healthy again. And I became excited for the next chapters in my life. By day ten, I felt as if the broken entity of mere existence that I was just a week prior was a far and distant shadow that only got smaller with each passing day.

While my mind was more clear than it had been in over a year, I was also well aware that there would be a lot more hurt before there would be complete healing. Specifically around the pain that was endured by my boys.

About a week after my treatment, I encountered a text message written by my youngest son to one of his friends that I will never forget. It stated he didn’t see his mom much anymore because she wasn’t around very often. He said I was sick and had been away for treatment again because the first one didn’t work…this, coming out of the mouth of my eleven year old son is something I never fathomed in any life I would have chosen for myself.

In that very moment, as heart wrenching as it was, I vowed to keep this message close to my heart and never forget how I almost stole a mother worth loving away from her children.

A week after my mind and body was replenished with all that I had spent years depriving it from, my appearance took on a new formation and my hollow eyes showed signs of life again. My malnutrition and toxicity were slowly being replaced with nutrition and hope. Hope for a better tomorrow and a new found will to become the mother my children deserved to have in their lives.

And I have yet to experience the cravings that historically overpowered my will. In my clear mind and amazing new chance at life, it confounds me to even entertain that curse back into my life. And I have been told others who have been treated with NAD have similar stories. No longer is there a necessity to identify with the brokenness of the past.

Never will I be able to erase what my kids saw their mother become in the depths of my despair, but I have been blessed with God’s undeserving grace of forgiveness and miraculous love that in no way could I ever understand pulled me up from the darkness that was too strong to fight on my own. And with each passing moment, you can bet I will be creating new memories with my boys, not to erase the past, but to pave the way to a better future. For them. For me. And maybe someday, for someone else who is still suffering just the same.

Today I live each day with an absolute gratitude and appreciation for the renewed sense of purpose in my life.  It is my belief that it was always there for me to grasp, and now that I have been blessed enough to receive it, my sincerest hope is to never let it go.

Last year before this spiritual awakening and new found  journey that has blessed me beyond words, I sat alone in a fog wondering if I would ever be worthy in this life. This year and with every waking day for as long as I am able, I will give thanks to my Higher Power and hug on my children with all of my heart.

And I will be forever grateful for my personal revival…and second chance at my purpose…

My life, worth living.