During dinner with my girlfriends, one of my besties recounted a recent event at her office. She is a therapist dealing with extreme cases. So if you are sitting across from her you probably are a candidate to O.D. My dear friend recounted how one of the practice’s clients had attempted suicide that week and everyone in the office was deeply impacted. Listening to her story, the other ladies were shocked at the despair of this patient and wondered how one gets that low. Well, I said, let me tell you:
Back in late 2010, I was walking my neighborhood. My long track takes me right smack over highway 285, Atlanta’s ever packed beltway. I had my headphones on, but I wasn’t listening. I was listening to the voice in my head telling me lies: Things were never going to change. I will never be happy. I am worthless. I will never be successful. Nobody really loves me. All the suffering of my childhood was in vain. It will never be any better. The pain was so great, I felt it in my gut. As I approached the bridge over 285, I glanced up at the tall fence. I slowed my pace midway until I stopped. I looked and contemplated what it would take for me to climb up and over and throw myself into the rolling traffic. I wanted to be dead. It had to be better than what was going on inside me.
Deep down, I didn’t want to kill myself, I just wanted an end to my pain. This pain that stemmed from self loathing, feelings of worthlessness, rejection, fear, never feeling like I was truly loved and accepted as the person I am consumed me. I was so tired. I was fatigued from looking for love in all the wrong places, from unearthing all my baggage, from trying to make peace with myself and everyone around me. What kept me from jumping? A flash of internal light that spoke to me and said this comes from evil and it’s all lies. I am a fighter. I am not going to let the lies I have been told my whole life to take me down. I will not allow despair to guide me to self-destruction. So with tears in my eyes, I turned and continued my walk back home.
My girlfriends were shocked at my story. They had no idea this was going on with me. Of course they didn’t. Remember from my older posts, I became the great pretender. Pretending takes a lot of energy. My girls were visibly upset at this secret I had been keeping. They know where I am at now. Thankfully, with a lot of work in therapy, reading great books like “The Four Agreements” and starting my own business has given me new hope and outlook on life. I am in the best place of my life. I am overjoyed with who I am and what I am doing. Loving myself has opened my heart to truly love others.
Nobody could do this for me. I had to find it myself. No person or material possession could bring me happiness. I had to realize the power of the ruby slippers. With a clear head and warmth in my heart, I can make better choices for me, including surrounding myself with friends who uplift and encourage me, even with some correction. I can choose healthy relationships, activities that recharge my battery and revel in the love of life.
I have missed sharing with all of you. Be on the look out for more from me, Just Steph, including video interviews with others who have journeyed upward to gain self-love and peace. Please contact me at steph@juststeph. Let me know your story and you may get a chance to be interviewed by me on my show, “The Only Way is Up!”
Tell me what’s going on in your life. I want to hear from you.
Wishing you love, balance and peace!
Amore & Baci (hugs and kisses),