Whatever it may be, it can be better…

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. In the last few weeks, I’ve lost two dear friends, in particular, a dear close friend to cancer.

My sweet friend died from cancer after battling this beast, as she called it, for almost three years. Elle, as I will call her, and I didn’t really see eye to eye for most of the 13 years I’ve known her. She and I are much too alike. We have much in common, but we have learned to manage our friendship through the years.

She was diagnosed with cancer just a month or so before I lost my daughter. Thereafter we found solace in each other’s pain and despair. She has learned to hear and feel my pain. I have learned to marvel at her strength and determination. Near her end of life, I would offer her prayers and encouragement, hoping it would give her peace and comfort.

When she passed, her sweet family told me I was brave. I’m not sure what they’re referring to, but it’s likely because I lost Allie and I’m still walking. I don’t feel brave; I only wanted to help Elle.

The truth of the matter is that Elle has been helping me with my grief. When Allie took her life, I was so lost. I was looking for a purpose, and Elle reached out just when I was searching for something. I know I felt guilty I was not there for Allie. I know I regretted that Allie didn’t know I was there for her. My friend gave me a purpose. She allowed me to pour my energies of wanting to help Allie into helping her navigate this cancer beast.

Now that Elle is gone, I’ve been bereft. I’ve felt lost because I’m not purposeful to anyone. I am still involved with our diocese, but that is going much too slow. I have had to look at my grief again, and I just hate facing something so awful.

I’ve found this past Sunday a path back to my faith. I found He is still there, just waiting for me to find. I’ve allowed anger, fatigue and discouragement overwhelm me. The rosary and the prayers that have lifted me for a while had faded when Elle faded away. I allowed these beautiful and uplifting gifts to fade away, and I became jaded.

I know it’s easier to wallow in our despair. I talk about this often here, yet it’s taking me a while to dig out of my hole of self pity. I’m still trying to ride up from the despair, hence it took a while to go back to my writing.

I’m still not fully inspired. I’ve been crabby. I’ve been impatient with myself. It hasn’t been fun for my poor family. I saw this, so I’m trying harder.

At mass yesterday I saw a glimmer of hope. It was a song that was sung that tugged on my heart. I don’t remember the song, but it was beautiful. In that moment I felt my faith again. The feeling of being deeply comforted was there once again, the same feeling I had when I was talking with Elle and other people I’ve met in this journey.

I miss my friend, and I miss my girl. Elle’s passing brought back all the sadness knowing my sweet baby girl is also gone, forever gone. I will miss my friend and hearing her laugh and cry. I remember all the beautiful things she told me about my girl, how Allie came into her dreams to tell her that it was all going to be ok, her family would be ok. Elle told me what a beautiful angel I have, that my husband and I raised an amazing soul, and that she is making her love grow in so many people.

I will forever cherish my time with Elle. I will forever hold her and my sweet baby girl in my heart. God is good, God is merciful, and God is loving to allow me the chance to have these two beautiful souls in my life.

When the fight is a good fight…

I share here a story from a young adult I met recently. This person was kind enough to allow me to share her story here – it’s powerful, it’s honest, it’s brutal and clear. It’s clear that if you allow yourself to love yourself, you will see how important you are to so many. You will see how you can make a difference in this world, be it by sharing your pain and story, or listening to someone else’s pain and just offering a compassionate hand. We are all here for a reason. We are all destined to find our people. It may take some time to find that person/people who will lift you up – but maybe the people are already with you and you just didn’t know it.

From one of the brave young adults I’ve ever met:

It all started when I was in elementary school. I was diagnosed with dyslexia and ADHD, and I attended two schools for learning differences. I felt alone and so different than all my friends who attended “normal” school.

That’s when my self-esteem lowered, and I felt dumb and unimportant. Once high school started, I met my first boyfriend. We dated for 5 years, but he was emotionally, mentally and physically abusive to me all those years. I developed an eating disorder due to the abuse he caused. He made me feel like I wasn’t even a person anymore. He took away all the love I had for myself. I dated him from the ages of 15-20. I am 22 now, still seeking therapy for the pain I was put through. I still have self-image issues and relationship issues due to what he did to me. The worst part is…no one knew about all this until we broke up – not even my parents or friends knew that those five years would stick with me forever. I was so good at faking my happiness that only when I was alone did I break down.

On August 17, 2015, I attempted suicide. I had a note written to everyone in my life and the reason behind my pain. Thankfully, it was a failed attempt. I still see my self-harm scars today, and I recognize that pain I was in and how I am still here today for a reason. By breaking up with my boyfriend on June 10th, 2018, I began my journey of recovery and self-love.

I met a new boyfriend on March 6th, 2019, and it was a wonderful relationship. I was the happiest I had ever been. Then on February 14th, 2020, he broke up with me because he said he fell out of love with me. This breakup tore me down. I started seeing my therapist again, and my eating problems flared up. My self-image disappeared all over again; it’s about to be a year since that break-up, and I still feel empty and lost.

But everyday, I decided to fight and not let my mind win. Sometimes, my mind wants me to give up and let go, but I decided to stay and fight. It takes a lot of effort to stay, but I’m always glad I stay for another day. I will fall in love with myself again.

To anyone who wants to read this, I undestand pain on so many levels. Don’t let ANYONE EVER tear you down. You are worth everything. The universe needs you here. ♥