show up. keep showing up. and do not be ashamed.

We’re coming up on almost a year from the exact day that my life fell apart.

April of last year was no picnic either, as it was the month leading up to the day where my life fell apart. I still remember the feeling of my stomach sinking through my entire body and slamming into the hardwood floor when I was told, over the phone, some of the most painful and hurtful things from someone I once loved more than anything. I remember the screaming, and then the crying, and then the worst part – the begging – and then more crying and the absolute sheer panic that I felt. Those first few days in May last year were some of the worst I can remember.

Somewhere, in the midst of the dust and the debris of my life falling apart, I stopped panicking. I was still very sad and struggling with shame, but I felt a sense of calm that made NO sense. I still didn’t know where I was going to live, how I was going to tell every one I knew, how I was going to continue to function like a normal human being, but I knew I could do it. I knew I was loved. I knew I would be taken care of. I knew this needed to happen.

And so.

One by one people started stepping up the plate. My family was first, followed closely by my incredible boss, and friend after friend after friend – coworkers, old college friends, and new friends stepped up.

I got over my shame enough to start writing about my experience and found that writing about shame is just about the best way to kill it. There is something incredibly powerful about taking all of my deepest and darkest thoughts and fears and transferring them to a tiny little piece of paper. Suddenly, these fears that feel like they could take over my life and snuff out my breathing are reduced to words on a paper that is floating around in this infinite universe.

And so.

The rest of this story is wrapped up in this blog. The reading, the writing, the praying, the music, the searching, the grateful heart, the healing. Days and weeks and months of searching and questioning and finally just being content with not having all of the answers. Finally accepting that sometimes bad things happen to good people, and that sometimes when your life is falling apart it’s so that something better can fall into place. Sometimes bad things aren’t really bad things at all.

I’m at an almost unfathomable place in my life right now. I have more friends than I know what to do with, a better relationship with my family than ever before, and I’m finally happy with myself. I feel excited about my life and the future for the first time in YEARS. Professionally, I’m at an all-time high and its possible that I could go even higher here pretty soon. I’m dating someone who makes me laugh more than any person I’ve ever know, who looks at me like I’m the best thing he’s ever seen, and who has shown more patience towards my damaged heart than I have ever deserved.

And still.

I still hurt, but in new ways. Friends that were invaluable to be during the course of the past year seem to not like me as much now that I’m happy. They were happy to be my life raft when I needed it, but now that I’m doing well they try to cut me down. It’s bizarre, passive-aggressive, and painful. It’s taken me a few months to be able to identify these people in my life, because I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Oh she’s just having a bad day. // She couldn’t possibly have meant it that way. // I’m sure she was just joking. I’ve finally realized that I can’t keep making excuses for passive-aggressive behavior. I did that for wayyyyyy too long in my marriage and I wish that I hadn’t. And no matter how these individuals chose to treat me in this new season of my life, I will forever be grateful to them for being there for me when I could not have survived without them. And, for what it’s worth, I still hope I’m wrong and that they are really capable of being happy for me when I’m happy – as capable as they were of being sad for me when I was sad or mad for me when I was mad. I’ll never stop hoping that I am wrong.

And because this is so long already, and because she’s a hero of mine, and because these words have become a person mantra of mine, I’ll leave you with this quote:
“I decided the most subversive, revolutionary thing I could do was to show up for my life and not be ashamed.”
– Anne Lamott

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *