Saturday, April 02, 2005

Major Goal of 2005: Health!

Yesterday I realized that 2005 is to be a great year for me regardless of what goals I will meet and what goals I won't meet. There is already so much progress in my life that I cannot view 2005 as a failure in any way. I have done the unthinkable and have gotten through some of the hardest things in my life. Most of you know that 2005 hasn't been any easier for me than 2004 was or for that matter all the way back to 2000. Since 2000, there have been giant disappointments and problems in my life each coming with the hardest punch they could pack.

In 2000, on April 8th, I lost my hero. My grandfather died at the age of 70 unexpectedly and it turned my world upside down. That really is the beginning of the trials to continue. In 2001, Adolfo chose to cancel our wedding the day before it was to happen. This is NEVER a pleasant experience and caused me much grief and pain. In 2002, I moved to California and experienced my first year here which ended in December with my grandmother passing away on Christmas Eve after a long battle to try to live. It was heartbreaking and took my whole semester away with worry and angst! I was never able to say a lot of things to her that really needed to be said. In 2003, I met Joel (sigh), that is NOT bad I just wanted to say it. Anyway, in 2003 there are a number of little things like watching my family go through hell emotionally and financially, losing my love for Adolfo little by little, losing friendships right and left, and basically being in constant emotional upheaval. In 2004, I left Adolfo losing a dream and a 6 year relationship. Later in the year, I was to be hit by a car, experience a cancer scare, and have to reestablish a healthy knee. At the end of 2004, I gave up my suffering and allowed God to really take hold of me.

It's 2005 now and my life has been different for the last 4 months. I would say more than that the last year and a 1/2 as I have been climbing out of my hole but now, I can see the top of the hole and I am standing there saying to myself "What's next? I can take anything now." It's amazing to gain strength through some hard times and realize that the last 5 years have been to build character not comfort. I want to take this time to update you on the last 5 years of struggle and how things are working now.

First I want to talk about 2000. Losing my grandfather was the hardest thing I have ever endured in my life. The day I heard it, I wanted to die with him. There was nothing that could keep me from having huge emotional outbursts and feeling like I didn't want to live. I started to have anxiety attacks and soon was put on an anti-anxiety meds. I was on that for a couple of weeks and then went off to try to deal with life as I was a sophomore in college at ISU. Basically I dealt with it the best way I could, denial. I spent several years after that acting like he was alive and spending my entire summer at the cemetary hanging out. That is sick and wrong and I know it but it made me feel like my grandpa was alive. It was such a hard time for me. Now, I have to report that last night I thought about how the anniversary of his death is this month (April 8th) and this year, I have truly grieved him and found that he is gone and it's ok. Although I will always miss him, I don't have to have anxiety attacks anymore. I don't have to pretend he is alive. Mostly, I don't have to be sad all of the time. He wouldn't want that and I don't want that for myself. God has truly healed this part of my heart.

Onto 2001. There is not much to explain the hardship of losing the dream of your wedding day. Basically what went down is that Adolfo and I were struggling to get along and after my grandfathers death, I had become hard to deal with if not verbally abusive to Adolfo. Adolfo realized that getting married was a bad idea and decided to cancel the wedding..the day before it. I have said this a lot but I don't disagree with Adolfo's decision. Basically, I just disagree with the way he went about it. I chose to forgive and stay in the relationship but never really did forgive and suddenly had a plaguing fear of marriage and weddings. It was horrible as all of my friends around me were getting married and I had no ability to be happy for them! Today, I want to report that I have started dreaming of my wedding day again. I can smile when I think of getting married and now that Adolfo and I are through, I feel free from this horrible feeling of not being good enough to be a bride!

2002: I believed 2002 was going to be a starting over point for me and in some ways it was. I moved to California and that was a great decision. Adolfo and I started rebuilding our relationship and trust in each other and things certainly did get better on my anger front. The only thing was, Adolfo's behavior never changed. He still had a horrible time communicating with me and as I became a better person, he stayed the same. I understand this as he was afraid of communicating with me as the person I was before. My first semester was horrible because my grandmother was back home dying and I heard more bad news every single day. I had plans to fly home after Christmas but unfortunately my grandmother did not make it and died on Christmas Eve. She was someone that I had a very hard time with as she was very abusive to me verbally as a kid. I wanted to say some things to her before she died and she had wishes to talk to me as well. We never had that talk so she died without me gaining closure. I have to report that in 2004 during some serious counseling, I gave my grudges up to God and walked away knowing that I will be ok regardless of not getting to talk to her about these things. I have forgiven her and myself and chosen to put her to rest. I do not miss her because I have no ability to but either way, I have closed that door.

2003 was one of the hardest years because it just held all kinds of repercussions regarding my grandmother's death and my stress from the first semester at Vanguard. The next two semesters were filled with lost friendships, stress, and over whelming home stuff. It was hard and Adolfo and my relationship began to get real again and we started to have no fun together again. I realized then I had no hopes of marrying this man. I could not really move on from him cancelling our wedding and he could not move on from horrible things I had done. We were done but I didn't choose to leave until getting some guts in 2004!

2004 was bittersweet. I left Adolfo in the beginning of the year so in that respect it hurt and I was struggling greatly at first with not calling him and begging him to come back. I realized soon that it was the best thing and I started to have joy at being free of the misery. He soon got a new girlfriend and although my heart broke for myself, I was happy for him. A lot of things happened then including healing in the most amazing ways regarding old pain and old hurts and a great friendship developing beyond what I could even imagine and mostly, I started to love myself. I spent more and more time alone and got to know the real me. The good, the bad, and the completely adorable! I don't say I am ugly...cuz I'm not! At the end of 2004, some bad events came about which changed my life forever but either way, the new me,..could take them. I experienced something that every woman fears and I came through it a winner and someone who respected myself. I also was hit by an SUV in the parking lot of Albertsons and endured some injuries. Either way, life was good and I took each thing by the horns and overcame them.

Fast forward to 2005. Here I am today...I am a woman that I am proud of! I have finally experienced being a female and liking it. I am finally ok with the fact that I am Erica and I have qualities that are hard for some to take but that I am completely proud of. I wear my boundaries like a hard earned gold medal and NOONE walks on me. I don't abuse anyone by bullying them into seeing I am always right and I love people better than I ever have. I don't try to control people into loving me but allow them to do their own thing and if they love me...good..if they don't..that's ok. I am healthy and free of my past failures and I truly feel the grace of God for once. I have lost a lot of weight and I am working on being a physically healthy, beautiful woman! I am domestic and can accept that I love children and don't view being a mommy and wife as a weakness anymore. Are there stilll problems? YES....I still am not always authentic. I still have an eating disorder in a sense because I am highly addicted to food's emotional qualities. I still struggle with my trust in God. Overall though, I am starting over and healthy and ready to go. I can smell the health from here! Congrats to me today and thanks for reading this uphill battle.

Here are my learning and thankfulness for yesterday:

Learning April 1, 2005:

1. It wasn't as hard as I thought to to get through the anniversary this year!

2. Solitude does not equal lonliness.

3. Happiness is so great and I am achieving it for the first time.

4. The voice of my favorite boy can make me smile for approximately 2 hours straight :)

5. Friday Night Frenzy on Spirit 95 out of Bloomington, Indiana is hosted by my good friend, Austin Malone in Indiana! TUNE IN! He's funny on it and it's got great Christian tunes!

Thankfulness April 1, 2005:

I am thankful for healing. I realized yesterday that I am happy to be away from Adolfo and happy that he is happy. I am happy that my grandfather is finally able to be laid to rest and I can breathe in his absence. I am happy that the old things that once had me are no longer. I am happy that I can experience my wedding day in its fullness and not think of being abandoned. God, you are so good and I am thankful for your sweet spirit in my life. Thank you for healing!


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