There came a time when I no longer felt like a victim. I felt in charge of my fate. I had made thousands of decisions that had got me to where I was at that very moment. My husband and I had made joint decisions that had ripple effects (good and bad) for years to come, and that would continue to affect the pathways we will take and the choices we will make. I owned those decisions. I owned my fate….at least the majority of it. I was not a passenger on the ride of life, destined to succumb to my mental illness. I couldn’t be angry at my husband..angry at the world…angry at my mental illness anymore. I had choices. I could leave my husband…I could be a better wife…I could be miserable and lonely….I could make better choices…I could enjoy life. Yes. I could ENJOY life.
I finally stopped being complacent with status quo. I didn’t have to be this way. There was a better way. When I was still…and listened…I could find answers and make sense of the chaos. I could even see a new way to be…and think of possible ways to get there…to be that person. I also decided that rather than beating myself up for being a horrible wife and pushing my husband away….I would feel powerful for having decided that I would treat him that way…for pushing him away…for making him leave. And then I had the power to change…and to let him know I loved him….and to take him back…on my terms. Yes, I was awful. But I was also powerful. My actions caused my husband immense hurt. So much hurt that he didn’t think I loved him. He was so devastated that he drank..he stole…he ran to someone else to console him, to offer him company and companionship that I withheld. But when I came around…when I knew I took him for granted and I decided I wanted our marriage to improve and last..that I decided to love him for the rest of my life….he fell back into my arms with such gratitude. What power I had! What power I still have! I stopped being angry at him for leaving. I pushed him away. I stopped being angry at the other woman. She didn’t steal him. I gave him to her…and I took him back…just like that.
I am not condoning what I did and how I acted, but when I looked at the power I held..and my ability to take control of my life, I realized I always had the power…and that made things feel better…set my mind at ease. Now I was ready to seek help…and make decisions to get me to where I knew I wanted to be…in the arms of my husband forever.
I do believe in divine intervention, so I feel that has come into play very often along the way as well. I truly believe that it took a devastating event to wake me up to the need to make drastic changes in my life. I do believe that I would have been in an even more lonely, desperate position without having gone to hell and back. I do believe I may not be alive today were it not for suffering through my life’s most trying time. It took a crisis to turn my life around.
For the first time in 40 years, I was ready to LIVE.
The Rising – Bruce Springsteen