I had one of the best years of my life and then suddenly with no warning at all, plunged full force into one of the worst years of my life (to date).
I can’t even begin to describe the shock of it all, or the emotional whiplash that I experienced.
I wonder sometimes if that really hard year would have been more manageable if the memory of just how happy and good I was the previous year hadn’t have been so fresh.
I tried so freaking hard - to be okay and to maintain the happy life I had once lived. But all of my energy ended up going towards just trying to be as “okay” as possible.
“Okay” in life is survival mode. It means you become a really high functioning sad person. I found I could only be truly honest about how not great I was doing with a few people, because the path I was on was just so painful and stressful that I didn’t want to talk about it (let alone acknowledge it) more than I had to.
I would beg my sister to just tell me over and over with every sobbing phone call, “Ciara, it’s going to be okay”. Just hearing those words spoken over me when I didn’t fully believe it, made me feel better. She could hold onto that belief for me.
I found myself holding onto this thin thread of hope and faith as I plunged down a rocky cliff into the deep abyss that was my unknown future. Every time, I thought I might be out of the worst of it, I was wrong.
The craziest part of all of this, is that I would do that hard year again, I even COULD do it again.
Not that I want to, but I have the wherewithal now to see what I’ve gained through that year. I wasn’t sure what would be left of me when all was said and done. But I look around and see a really strong version of myself, who survived a season that I didn’t think I could. A Ciara who knows what good days feel like, smell like, taste like - more than ever. As if my senses have been awakened to good days after so many dark ones. The thankfulness that streams out of me on those good days is something I have never felt before. After so many hard days where I was fighting to acknowledge small beams of good, I now feel almost overwhelmed, high, even giddy at the shocking amount of good and joy that can happen in a day. Like a huge wave crashing over me after days of wading in muck trying to find fresh water.
Those hard, dark days have rubbed me raw. But in the way that makes day to day experiences feel fresh and new.
I want to remind myself through this entry, that the dark days make the good days so much more vibrant. And so, even the dark days are worth living. Even they are worth fighting through. Even they have potential and power to remind me how strong a thin thread of faith is. And how the dark days won’t forever be the reason for my tears, soon the good days will be the reason for my tears in the overwhelming flood of thankfulness that is now more acknowledged than ever.
Friends, family, self,
THE DARK DAYS CAN NOT LAST FOREVER!
It feels like they can, it feels like they will. But nothing in this world can stay exactly the same forever. Eventually the sun does have to rise and summer does have to come. Darkness and winter never win.
Wait for it, with knuckles white holding onto that thin thread of faith you have
in the natural timing of transitory seasons,
Jump into the muck of your life and seek out the fresh water that can be found in the uncanny hope that eventually a wave of newness will crash over you and you will never take that wave of goodness for granted again.
With all my love, Ciara