If I learned anything these last 7+ years, how to keep putting one foot in front of the other is at the top of the list.
How to peel myself off the floor and somehow keep my life in motion when everything is coming apart at the seams.
Sometimes people hear my story, and they don’t understand how I’m still standing, especially when it all started with me literally falling to my knees on the hard cement of my mom’s garage, buckling under the immense shock, grief, and heartbreak of the worst news of my life.
Do you know what I did after I hung up with the detective? I peeled myself off that floor and put one foot in front of the other, focusing all my energy on getting to the next moment. I tear up thinking about that moment and all the ones that followed. All the times I picked myself up despite how impossible it felt. All the many steps it took to exist where I am now in my life, a beautiful spot in time and space.
So many moments when I couldn’t physically hold myself upright, but I found a way.
Moments where I truly believed the grief would consume me, but I felt my way through.
Steps that were so challenging and terrifying they made me physically sick, but I put one trembling foot in front of the other, slowly and unsteadily, so much of the time, until I found myself on the other side.
I had help and support, but there wasn’t anyone who could take those steps and walk through those moments except me. And there were many instances where all the love and support in the world couldn’t change the immense isolation that came with that truth.
I can look back at the journey and feel great pride and gratitude for that younger me who carried herself through a season of losses and traumas I’d never wish on anyone.
But I didn’t feel proud in the moment.
I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing or how everything was building on itself.
More often than not, I felt like I was taking one step forward, followed by ten crashing steps back.
So if you’re in the depths of your journey, trust the messy and chaotic process. Healing is far from linear. Rising up and coming back looks like a flailing mess of moments until it doesn’t. Until things finally start clicking and taking root and blooming into beautiful afters. Until the dots connect and the layers add up, and you’re suddenly not where you were.
Take it one step and one moment at a time.
That’s all we can ever do.