Today, was the first day of a new life for me. It was the day I decided to get up off of the couch, and spring clean my home.
It’s been a year.
Exactly one year on the 18th that our boxer, Tyson, passed away. And I’m not too embarrassed to say that I’m now realizing that after his death, I went into depression. A deep dark void. I have been colorless and fronting as best I can for as long as I could.
Loss hurts so bad.
Whether the loss was something that was good for you or not, it hurts.
If it’s one thing that I learned through dealing with the recovery of my PTSD and divorce, it’s that pain…is universal. There is no measure or reason or rhyme to it…it just IS. We all share a pain of some sort, but it is all the same.
I cleaned our sliding glass doors for the first time today in a year. I bawled my eyes out so badly that I could barely see the glass…wiping the last scuff marks and slobbers from Tyson’s jowls though was something of a (literal) cleansing ritual.
It made me nearly pass out though in angst. The pain, the tears, and sweat and the toxins that were releasing from my body reminded me of my muscle memory. I am alive. And for that I am grateful.
Looking through old pictures of Tyson today, I forced myself to travel down the road of his ultimate deterioration and I realized…he stayed alive for me. So that I could live, he died. And it made so much sense to me from a biblical standpoint of ultimate sacrifice. Tyson was my companion for many years of my illness and is what bonded me to real life again after my divorce.
We would walk. And I trained the working dog how to work with pride and honor. I called him my “police dog.” Although I doubt that he would have ever harmed anyone he was vastly protective of our family and especially me. He knew my weaknesses as he could read my sickness before anyone else could. He could feel it….and together we healed.
As a previous massage therapist, I must say that I have come a long way…mentally, spiritually and physically but what I have been through has been way worse than any pit I could ever imagine myself in again. This past year I forgot that for some reason, I was in control of my own life and not someone else was….I was used to being dominated and controlled…asking permission to do things “I enjoyed.” Music. Reading. Walking. Cleaning…it was all shamed and condemned. But that was nearly a decade ago now. And now after I have finally recovered from so much, I realize that Tyson’s passing was him simply hanging on as long as he could for me. He was suffering. I didn’t know it at the time because I became so accustomed to him. He was such a part of my soul. I didn’t even see him anymore. When you self isolate and you have a therapy dog with you, you tend to bond with it in ways you wouldn’t otherwise and he was there through all the struggles and the ups and downs that I went through during my recovery.
I am still recovering. We are all recovering from something. That’s the thing. Pain…it’s universal. It’s up to us though to use each day as best as we can so that we don’t become STUCK in the past.
This has happened to me before and it’s a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Through getting better day by day, however, I have realized so much about my spiritual self. My physical side of things has taken a beating over the years with traumas and not enough work being done on me instead of worrying about everyone else.
I used to work in this restaurant in Dallas, called, “Good Eats.” I’ll never forget one of the fellow servers training me and telling me that I didn’t need to be trained because I was a “face girl.”
The term was used to mean that I put on a false front…and a great one.
No one would have ever guessed I was living in a true nightmare outside of work. But I was.
I was bruised and beaten and suffering. Each day though, I’d put on my “face” and surprise everyone with my “business” persona. Throughout the years the trauma took its toll and I suffered not only mentally and physically but my body began to change as I started to dwindle into uncertainty.
It wasn’t until about two years ago that I was “born again.” Officially.
Maybe you have had a spiritual encounter or spiritual experience but I was saved. And I was saved for a reason. That’s why I look to make each day as best that I can. I do as much as I can right now and I have been blessed to be surrounded by folks who can understand simple anxiety and going through rough times…especially as a woman. Being a woman in Christ though, I know that whatever comes my way, whether I’m having a panic attack or not, to trudge through because I am not alone. Not anymore. God is with me and lives in me. He gave me light. And it’s a light that I want to share with the world.
And Amen to that!
Love and take good care.
Taking one day at a time. God bless you.
“I have learned silence from the talkative; tolerance from the intolerant and kindness from the unkind. I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.”
–(Kahlil Gibran: Sand and Foam)