Today I would like to share with you a journey of hope and possibility.

If for a moment I could rewind time, the person you see standing here today would look very different and function in a very different capacity.

I have always said my life is a book and I was always turning the page whenever things got difficult and eventually it became a novel because I had so many chapters. WHY?

Well, I will share a bit of that with you

For many years my family called me crazy and out of control, I felt like no one wanted to understand me. So I decided to run off and get married when I was just 17.

Not a good idea!

That was the start of things to come because I believed this person would be my refuge and in turn I was wrong.

I spent the next 7 years being abused, introduced to drugs, and also gave birth to two children. Thinking the child would fix everything, we would settle down, but didn’t, it made things worse, not long after that my son was born unplanned and unwanted. I felt like I was living a nightmare with no help.

I cried out for help, wanting the abuse to stop and the drugs to stop and asking my family for help fell on deaf ears. They had turned their backs on me because I married out of my race and bared children with him and therefore no one cared and refused to help me or my children because no one would accept them. So I tried to give one of my children up for adoption to lessen the burden, in short I lost them both.

That is where I got off the boat and the world did not look the same for a very long time.

I was broken

I tried taking my life on many occasions and was unsuccessful, at that point the self-stigma talk began

If I could not take my own life what good was I? No wonder no one cared. I could go on and on but what would be the point.

As you can see I am gladly still here today, such a wonderful thing.

So I wrote a new chapter for myself and over the next 5 years I would battle many different addictions. Exploiting myself without giving it a second thought because I thought it was fun and I didn’t care what anyone said or thought.

Later I would marry a man that I believed cared for me and my well being. When he discovered my track marks he took it upon himself to send me to Hope Ok for treatment for 30 days. There, I felt as if these people can’t fix me and resented them and him for it because in truth, I wasn’t ready.

Oddly enough I really did get something out of it. I can remember having to wear this sign around my neck for about two weeks that had the word BUT with a slash though it. This was because I wasn’t allowed to use that word, because I was always canceling myself out by using it. That was a start to something. Still it would be many more years before all the pieces would come together and the darkness would come as well.

You see I was living a life I thought was in the fast lane and the only thing I was doing was setting myself up for more pain than I’ve ever wanted, because all I was doing was masking the real issues. For years I didn’t know that all the wild and out of control things that I was doing was because of what I now know is mania associated with bipolar disorder. I would spend somewhere close to 3 to 4 weeks in the dark and then I thought about the BUT.

But I can’t do this on my own.

But no on loves me.

But what will I tell my friends?

But who will come with me?

But, but, but, but

When I made the decision to step up I decided to start a whole new book and this book will be about my well being, and it will be filled with things that bring me joy, hope, and possibilities. So my first step was to get back on my meds which took putting on some clothes and walking in the sun, and I did. Even though I was alone, I stayed strong.

About the second week back on my meds I cleaned out my house of all things, including people. I opened the window and let in some air and sunlight.

Next for my recovery I had to find myself by getting back in to church, granted it wasn’t easy because I had to fight off all the demons that took me out in the first place. I searched until I found what worked for me and where I felt supported. I started singing again, the whole time keeping in mind I am healing and I’m going to be okay without having cravings for somebody to love me.

See, the only one that needs to love me, is me. Because all those people that used me for their needs aren’t happy it rings true that misery loves company, so I say that I’m not very good company right now.

Over the next 2 years I would remain alone. I got myself employed and then I set out to find someone that shared my same values. Someone that will understand my disease, and be okay with it.

Low and behold, what I asked for from my higher power was granted. Don’t get me wrong this time I took my time because I was still working on me and I wanted no part of someone else having control of power over me. My practitioner kept me in check with my emotion and gave me the tools I need to do so for myself. After 2 more years I married that man, and he is the love of my life and works with me in my recovery.

I began to save money to buy myself a scooter because in my wild days, I lost my drivers license, and later that came to pass. Over time, I would set small achievable goals, keeping it simple and not overdoing it, all while doing this for myself. I have a husband that supports me and not my pocket. Now today I have a license, a car, a full time job, and am currently looking for my first house. How awesome is that!

So I believe in recovery because all things are possible and it starts with believing in yourself first. So when you’re ready to start your personal book of recovery, remember to love yourself. Ask for help and know there is hope and the possibilities can be endless.