Five years ago to the day I was accepted into YWAM Adelaide in South Australia. I had no idea what I was in for. I was nervously and stubbornly trudging on ahead because in my heart of hearts I knew Australia was my way of making a square peg fit in a round hole, but staying still wasn't an option and so I rationalized my way to Australia.
I should have known that good things weren't waiting for me when, on my flight to Australia, I was woken by the guy next to me masturbating. (No joke) But I would know. The moment I landed I knew I had made a mistake. As I walked onto the base for the first time I knew I was not where I was supposed to be. And yet, despite this knowledge burning within me, I would do everything within my power to silence the warnings I named "Doubt" and "Weakness".
It's been 5 years. Since then I have become intimately acquainted with grief, pain, anxiety, and depression. And in my usual fashion, I tried to power through on my own. Healing seemed utterly impossible. Five years later, I am a moving picture of healing.
"I think you're over the hump of it." my counselor said. "I'm glad to see you back to normal." "Normal?!" I thought. I haven't felt normal in so long. For so long I've been in survival mode. For the first time, in what feels like ages, I can breathe without panic clutching my lungs stealing my breath and my peace.
And yes I'm medicated. It's all part of the healing. I'm still seeing a psychiatrist and counselor, furthering the healing. It's not over. It never is. I still have triggers I'm learning to overcome. Some memories still provoke me. I'm ok with it. This is life. It's messy and it's painful, it's beautiful and mysterious, and it's the only one I've got. It's not the absence of pain, mess, anxiety, or depression that brings one back to normalcy, it's learning how to manage those things rather than being managed by them that reacquaints one with what normal feels like. It's the difference between tornadoes that you can only hope to survive and hurricanes that you plan for and track.
Life has become much simpler for me. It's no longer about striving towards greatness. I'm not demanding a legacy. I'm okay with just okay. I no longer have the desire, urge, or pull to be a martyr for God. If I am only ever remembered as a sister, a daughter, and a friend...well that's a damn good life. I'd love to add wife and mother, aunt and grandmother to that list one day. I'm content to just live for the moments. I'm content to eat, drink, and be merry. I'm content to take pleasure in all my toil. In fact I'm far more than content, I'm completely and utterly blessed. Because when you've been in the trenches of surviving, waring against a siege of trauma, normal is beautiful, simple is elegant, okay is perfection.
Dum vivimus vivamus- While we live let us live