But I found out I wasn't alone. I met others who knew exactly how I felt, and could make sense of the craziest of my emotions and thoughts. I found out I wasn't as lost as I thought I was -- I had an internal compass keeping me on track, and I finally learned to pay attention to it and pay it heed. Life wasn't as confusing as I got my feet back under me -- things made more sense, he made more sense, I could more easily forgive and offer compassion, as I became educated about addiction and the plague of pornography on our society. I would never feel as confused again -- and, in fact, things were made so clear -- clear as to the conversations I needed to be having with my kids, clear as to the issues in our society I now feel passionately about and speak out about, things are more clear than they ever were before I didn't know I needed to be looking deeper. And I am no longer afraid of being broken. Broken is the beginning of the beautiful rebuilding process. Broken is what humbles me and urges me turn to God in new ways. Broken is what brought me to a place where I could truly be vulnerable and real with women who are now my best friends. Broken is where the light came in.
I rise. I rise each time I reach out and make new connections. Every time I practice self care and am deliberate in how I live, how I love, and how I parent. I rise as I reach out and help others. I rise as I am able to be more compassionate and loving because the world isn't so black and white anymore, and I realize everyone is dealing with their own issues. I rise as I forgive and move forward. I rise as I actively participate in 12 step meetings and therapy and groups. I rise when I remember that I need to let go and let God. Still I rise.
And then I get knocked down again. My husband has three years of recovery, and we're stronger than we've ever been. I thought this trial, this addiction, was the 'big, hard thing' we'd deal with in life. Then kids get sick. Money is stressful. Extended family struggles. And each time I rise -- quicker than the last time -- because I've learned this dance. I know my safe places, my safe people, my empowering habits and practices -- life knocks me down, because it is life and it's not meant to be a breeze. But each time I rise -- because I now have perfect faith in my ability to do so.