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I’ve been in hibernation for a long time. My most integral parts of myself went away to a safe place to hide and sleep and wait for me to wake up. It’s thrilling to be opening my eyes again.

I went through something like this once before, a time where I experienced a rebirth as my eyes were opened to the craziness of my life. This was seven years ago when I realized I was a codependent enabler and that all the things I thought I had been doing right were only backfiring on my family and me. I did a lot of healing after that time and grew so much. I learned many powerful lessons and became a stronger person. I was able to assist my husband in healing from his addiction as I healed from my addiction to him.

And I looked back on the girl I had been before with contempt.

I saw the person I was before as weak and fragile. I could not believe I had allowed myself to fall into the pit I was in. I had always thought I was so introspective, so self-aware, and I had still allowed all of that to happen. I vowed I would never go back, never permit myself to be so feeble and helpless and ridiculous. I was determined never to become her again.

Yet, here I find myself once more, re-awakening and discovering exactly how messed up things got before I snapped out of it. But a few things are very different this time.

Being on this side of things, having finally made that decision to free myself, provides a fascinating perspective. Once again, unhealthy behaviors and destructive patterns became a part of my life. Once again, I allowed myself to be manipulated and controlled. Once again, I lost myself to the cycle of madness.

But now, as I reopen my eyes and see the world anew, I look back on the woman I was over the past decade and stand in awe. I see all the things she accomplished while under intense stress and in such an environment of lunacy. That woman raised two young children, went back to college, and began a career, all the while carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. That woman inspired others to be better people and taught them how to love unconditionally. She was beautiful. She was powerful. She was damaged and lonely and tired. Oh, so tired. But she did it, usually with a smile on her face and a hand held out to lift others along their own difficult journeys.

And I love and cherish her.

Now, I take her into my arms, into my heart, and thank her for all she has taught me. I will nurture her, care for her, and help her continue to grow.

For now, without the weight of the world pulling her down

she will fly.

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