I don’t know her.

A la Mariah Carey – I really do know who this is. This is me, but I don’t know who this is anymore.

My wasband reactived his IG for whatever reason, is still following me, and hasn’t removed any of our pictures. None of that is any of my concern though, no matter how weird, I don’t have the capacity to care. His motives are his own and while our marriage, our entire relationship, was toxic, I am grateful for him. Why? He found me my psychiatrist. He gave me a relationship with my father I never thought I’d have. He unknowingly gave me a life worth living – yeah, okay, he extinguished my light and broke me but if he hadn’t have done those things, I wouldn’t have known that there was fire in me that was willing to fight to live.

I don’t even remotely look like this girl anymore. This photo was taken before I was put on medication, before I was given a diagnosis, before I began my journey to recovery. I look at her and I don’t know her life. This was me pretending that I was okay, that my behavior was acceptable. This was me without healthy boundaries. This was me.

It caught me off guard to look at his feed and realize that, I don’t look like this anymore. Let me explain what I mean – I can look at older photos of me and know that, that was me be it high school or my club days, but any photo from 2012 is jarring. This girl is a stranger to me. Her face looks different, her smile is phony, her eyes are dead.

There are a few other time frames where I don’t recognize myself, either. I can tell I was dealing with some demons just by my face, my eyes, and my smile.

In fact, there are very few photos of me in 2015 until closer to my wedding date, almost none after my wedding, and then in the moments when I tried to free myself in 2016 there’s a slight uptick but in all of these photos, I look pained. I look dead inside.

This is why I live by the saying that you cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. I was getting help but my environment was not conducive to me getting better. It was further suffocating me, further pushing me down the rabbit hole. *WARNING THIS SENTENCE MAY BE TIGGERING* The physical scars on my body from 2016 will forever be my reminder of how much I was hurting, how slowly all the pieces of me were dying.

There are few photos from 2016 where my smile is real; those happen to be with JJ. But flip to 2017 and once again, I look devoid of any real emotion….until late 2018.

This unexpected and almost unwelcome trip down memory lane is a reminder of how far I’ve come, how hard I fought but at the same time a wonderful reminder of what one’s strength can do. I had to be broken, I had to start all over, I had to find out who I really was, I had to learn to love myself.

Now, I’m not telling you to go out and try to do what I did to see how far you’ve come. That might bring up some painful memories and I in no way can advocate for that. I didn’t even do that with a purpose in mind, I did that because I like to kill cats (not literally), and curiosity got the better of me, but once again I have to thank my wasband. This visual reminder of my dark days reinforced my strength.

Keep fighting. Keep seeking help. Don’t give up. It took me years to get to where I am, it isn’t easy, it can get ugly, but I am with you.

The light is just above the horizon, loves. I say light and not sun because there are going to be cloudy days where you might not be able to see the sun, but it doesn’t stay dark forever.

Until next time – Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease ❤

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