I am nearing my birthing time. I am 34 weeks. I have spent so much time reflecting on this pregnancy. It’s taken a lot of work to truly accept myself. The growth that I’ve encountered is tremendous.
I started out nervous, afraid, slightly unstable and skeptical of my ability to do this.
Last year was arguably the worst year of my life. Past pains surfaced with no where left to go, and I had to deal with them. And unfortunately my way of dealing with them was to self-medicate. I drank too much, I developed a more serious cigarette smoking habit, and altogether was unable to cope. Rob and I had one of the most trying years of our relationship. I was resentful he wasn’t there for health issues that I experienced in the way I needed him to be. He was resentful that it didn’t seem like I was able to do anything. That when I did do things, I seemed scattered, weak, and barely being held together by loose, poorly sewn seams.
We chose to leave New York City partially because it was the best things for us, and the best things for my healing. The frenetic energy of the city paralleled with my inner turmoil was too much. My pain and anxiety was seeping into Rob’s life and the spiral of pain and anxiety didn’t seem to have a stopping point. We agreed something quieter, calmer, and new would help. In most cases, I don’t suggest people move to get a new start, but New York City is a different animal. After almost 10 years there, I had turned into something and someone I was not. I didn’t recognize the underweight, sallow-faced girl I saw reflected in the mirrors. I couldn’t eat, I slept only at the point of oblivion, and coped moment by moment.
Moving didn’t help right away. What it did was remove me from a place that had been a source of trauma. It was jarring. I was in a rented condo in an Atlanta suburb, alone, with no car, and no job. Rob was working and I was alone. That initial alone time was painful. The dissociation that I felt in New York was beginning to go away. I started seeing more glimpses of who I was. I searched daily for my identity. I grabbed any self-book I could find, and tapped into the one thing that felt healing- movement. Each day, I convinced myself, if I could move for 10 minutes, I would start to feel better. If I could go outside with my dog Bowie, soak in sun, I would feel better.
It wasn’t overnight, but it started to help. There was one day in particular that changed it all. I was hung over. I was upset. I was directionless. Purposeless. I wondered why I had all of these passions and desires, and this inner self that was so rich if all I was doing was sitting in this condo all day. I waited for someone to appear and provide me with answers. I was searching, but I wasn’t being proactive. I read one of my many self-help books I had ordered in a desperate attempt to pull myself out of the darkness. It should be noted, that I was also unable to see a counselor or any type due to a lack of insurance. I read The Four Agreements in one night and it changed my entire world.
I am not in the business of endorsing books, but this one truly changed the way I saw my situation. It was as if someone truly did provide me the answers, but not in the way that I expected. What it showed me was that the world, specifically the hell, that I had been living in, was totally up to me to recreate. Some people might say that’s an oversimplification of what was happening, but as someone who loves to create and has an endless desire for daydreaming, it was so viscerally life changing.
I knew in that moment I could change everything. I could let go all of the old me that burdened me with guilt, shame and embarrassment. That I could forgive myself and forgive others. That even though so many had pained and wronged me, that the person putting myself in the most amount of pain was myself. I was punishing myself daily for my past, for the things I had done to others, and others to me. Instantly, I shed all of it and felt true lightness.
From there, I signed up to do a Yoga Teacher Training program. Yoga had long been a lifeline for me. A true friend. Access to a peacefulness I couldn’t seem to access anyway else. I quit smoking cigarettes. I stopped drinking to excess. I started looking at Rob with clarity and forgiveness. I knew that he had done his best to be there for me. That it wasn’t his job to heal me. That healing had to come from within… From God, from my own given inner strength, but ultimately, it was up to me.
Nearing the end of my Yoga Teacher Training program I found out I was pregnant. After my health issues, one of which involved a miscarriage, felt incredibly healing. It was scary. I was not sure of my newfound positivity and stability and I wasn’t quite sure of Rob and my ability to parent a child. We had been engaged almost a year, but we had work to do still.
But we chose to embrace it. I chose to jump start my progress even more by becoming the best person I could be, this time, not just for me, but for this life growing in me. For the future of my family, for the future of all of us.
It’s remarkable what has happened in these months. I have a blog, I have an online shop, I have a Yoga Teacher Certification, and I am taking classes working towards a goal without being pregnant on this journey I would never be aware I had. Rob and I have a relationship, a marriage, founded with such deep joy, love and upmost respect. There is no resentment. We deeply appreciate the journey we have been on together and we are so grateful for the ability to have come through this and to have formed this incredible bond. That all the really, really hard work we have done and the persistence we have had in being present in this relationship and now marriage, was the most valuable investment we have both ever made.
I walked down the aisle this fall with my baby inside of me. This creation of life that will be brought into the world in such beautiful, renewing circumstances. I have no fear of the future because I know that ultimately anything I can feel, I can overcome. That my feelings are me, and therefore I can cope with them. I don’t give up, and it’s not because I am better than anyone, but because I truly found a way to convince myself to keep going. Of course, this won’t work for everyone, and I don’t prescribe my way out of darkness to others. I only speak my truth, my journey, and know that everyone has their own beautiful journey. The journey I had to endeavor was the one I had to, the one Rob had to, and the one our sweet angel had to.
At 34 weeks, it’s wild to think that these moments feel fleeting, and I feel so blessed to have experienced it all.