The Calm Before the Storm : For all rational reasons unknown to me, I managed to quite literally, escape my Black Hole life and find hope. We eventually landed on an island in one piece, which was a miracle in itself considering I had no money, a car that didn’t actually belong to me, no plan, no connections and very little support. I ran out of gas on the island and decided to call it home for the next eight months. Despite my lack of resources, I wasn’t afraid. After having survived what I did to end up in the place I was at, there was very little left to be afraid of. I felt a sense of calm and relief. Just a couple of weeks before, my estranged *husband* had threatened my life, again, and for the last time. I was so angry. I was SO TIRED of the BS. I left him stranded at a gas station and ran off with his car.
I like to look at it like God gave me that car when I needed it the most.
As I was driving to where-I-don’t-know, my gas light came on (wouldn’t be the first time I had to get away and this happened). After staying with a friend for a couple of weeks I had left to embark on my new unknown journey with no idea what would happen. I possessed a quite sense of hope. On the interstate I smelled Ocean air. I followed that smell until I saw signs directing me to Oceans. Galveston Island was in one direction and South Padre Island in another. Galveston was the shortest distance so I prayed my gas would get me there, and it did. As I coasted onto the island I was greeted with a rickety old wood sign that read, God’s Love is on this Island, and I understood that I had been given a gift. I had been given yet another chance. I drove right to the beach and we all got out and ran to the water, breathing in the crisp February air and dancing to the sound of the waves. Tropical flowers were everywhere and I cared about nothing else. No one knew me here. No one would find us. We were hungry so I drove around without really knowing where I was going (a common life theme) but I found a Salvation Army that was open and went in to find out if we could get something to eat. I explained my situation and was immediately showered with containers of food, bread and drinks. We were embraced with love and compassion. I had never had to ask for food before. It was a humbling experience. A homeless man who happened to be eating there at the time came out to my car and handed me a five dollar bill. I cried. I told him I couldn’t take his money and he looked at me with such love and kindness, extending a weather beaten hand with the crumpled money he said, “you take this, it isn’t much but what comes around goes around”. He explained that he had received help and it was his turn to pass it on. I hugged him and cried because that five dollars was like a million bucks.
I went on to try and find shelter for the night. Let me say this, I LOVE Galveston Island for its selfless beautiful heart and for literally saving my life. The only shelter I could find was full but they went out of their way to make room for us in a storage area. I called my parents to tell them I found a place to stay but they wired me enough money to stay in a hotel. Amazingly, I found a cheap apartment to rent within the next few hours and the following day my parents wired me enough to pay for my first month rent.
During my eight months on the Island, parts of my body and soul began to heal. My children were free to be children. But there was so much more healing to do. My demons were relentless and I didn’t have enough power to fight them all. Galveston Island protected me for a short time. It was my refuge and my heart exploded with gratitude and love every single day but things still weren’t ok. I was very damaged and lost. Nothing would keep me afloat for long.
I moved to where my parents and sister lived because they were my family and I needed them. My life was still a mess. Just because I left one disaster behind didn’t mean anything was fixed. It was all still very much broken. But this little diversion was enough to make me know that there was hope.
The Stom: To make a long story short, these are the events that occurred during my five years in the next phase:
-I went back to college
-I drank myself into one major problem after another
-I had one dysfunctional relationship after another
-I managed to screw up nearly everything that should have gone right
-I went through a custody battle
-I got myself into legal trouble
-I tried to run away BACK to Galveston
-I graduated college by the skin of my teeth
-I ruined all of my relationships in some way or another
Once again, it was a miracle I survived myself.
New Beginings: The year after I graduated college I moved to another state with my children and their dad. My alcoholism was killing me. It was killing everything.
I knew I wouldn’t survive if I didn’t make a change so I did.
It was hard. I hated it. I messed up many times. I had to look myself in the eye every day searching for something to believe in. I believed in God and the love I had for my children.
I didn’t believe in myself until much later. I was fired from my job for drinking. I lost my last paycheck to gambling. God and the Universe were tired of my shenanigans. No more breaks for me.
With the support and love of others, I put some distance between me and alcohol. I worked at repairing my relationships and establishing myself as a responsible, respectable, capable human being. I could grocery shop without bringing a water bottle of vodka with me. I was making progress.
This is how I know healing and a good life is possible for anyone who wants it bad enough.
There is always hope.
Quite honestly, this is all just a drop in the bucket but I can’t tell this entire story here. It’s too chaotic for a blog post!
Eight years later I married an amazing man who is also a recovering alcoholic. We continue to build a life we can be proud of and love. Our families care about us and we can be present for everyone who needs us. My relationship with my children is beautiful and deeply connective. They like to be around me. We love, we laugh, we share experiences and create memories.
This life I have today seemed impossible 10 years ago.
If I can do this, so can you. Hope exists! You can find the life you were meant to live. You can live a creative, inspiring, loving, fulfilling life of hope and adventure.