A new year brings many different thoughts about growth, where you should be, where you see yourself, and whether or not you really changed for the better. Some do it through resolutions. Some do it through reflection and acknowledgement. Others simply just keep it moving and work on answering those questions a day at a time.
This is where some of the hardest moments start to sink in for me that not a lot of people really know about.
I’m so thankful to God for the amount of growth I’ve been seeing in myself, and it all really dates back to 10th grade.
I will always remember that time of my life because that was a very hard year for me, and it really led to a downward spiral in so many ways. I remember myself back then not really knowing about who I was and the potential I had to be everything that I wanted. God really placed some obstacles and challenges in my life that were hard to overcome. At that time, I didn’t have any intentions to overcome them. I had given up on myself.
I remember being around my friends in class, and getting a message from my mom to meet her. I had no idea what the message was for, or the intent. I just know that if it’s important enough for me to be pulled out of class at 1 PM, something big is happening. Fast forward, we’re making a u-turn in the middle of the highway to follow an ambulance back to the hospital.
My grandmother was the patient.
Many people who know me well knows that my grandmother is the closest person to me in my family. It can be debated, it can be argued. But, she is the G.O.A.T (Greatest of all time). But suddenly, I was worried. My grandmother had been sick for a while at this point. She had multiple hospital visits and surgeries, but things appeared to have been going well. But that day, I was sitting in a hospital room, and I was so confused.
Hours later, my grandfather quietly walks up to my mother. I cannot see his face. I can only hear his voice. He said the words I never thought he would say.
“Mary is gone.”
My heart paused for a few moments. It felt like hours. I wish it were days I could just sit and not process anything.
I think at that point, I burst into tears.
Not the cute tears either.
I felt my whole world fall apart. This moment. I was heartbroken. I was angry. I was young and confused by what was happening. I always hate reflecting on that day because it was just a downward spiral. From having to tell my brother and my cousin, to having to tell my great grandmother that her daughter has now gone to be with God. It was a lot. And I wanted out.
I was known for being a very happy go-lucky individual. Even now, people tell me I bring life and joy to every conversation and encounter, but it was that day and that moment that I couldn’t be happy. I couldn’t make myself smile. I couldn’t be for myself what I was to everyone else. It was like a reality check for me, because it allowed me to feel emotions I had suppressed for such a long time because I always felt like I had to be okay.
In highschool, I was a very different kind of girl. You know my name for the 90s hit show, “Living Single”, but if you looked at my ipod, you wouldn’t even recognize the names of people I listened to. From Three Days Grace, to Bullet For My Valentine and Slipknot. Powerful, hard heavy metal. I believe what a person listens to really says a lot about who they are. The kind of tunes I listened to back then were very hard hitting, emotional tracks. They spoke on various things, but they spoke on depression a lot. So, during this grieving moment, I began to face a battle with the infamous D word.
It became normal for me to sit in my room alone, blasting my music and crying myself to sleep at night. I had contemplated a lot of things back then. Ways I could disappear without causing any kind of pain to my family. I thought about overdosing. I prayed to God at many points that he would take my life away. It became a rollercoaster ride to wake up and try the same routine of going to school and coming home and tip toeing around my grandmother’s name and memory. My best friend noticed a lot of these changes in me, and played a big role in why I am still here. She questioned me about the motive behind my thoughts, prayed for me, and just existed with me, even when I didn’t want to explain or answer any of her questions.
It is so important to have people around you like that in those hard moments. That was a very hard moment for me, and even now, it’s difficult. I know my grandmother would be proud of the woman that I am and the accomplishments that I’m making.
But, I didn’t share all of this with you for it to be a sob story.
This is a situation that I never found the strength to open up about, because it was the weakest time period of my life. But looking at myself now, I realize it was the catalyst for the strong woman I have become. I needed to hurt in order to grow. I needed to be pushed. I’ve been motivated by that hard time in my life to never cease fighting for the very things I want in life and my desires. I never stopped learning how to be more and more of a strong woman like my grandmother in all aspects, from relationships to my career. But it’s all a learning process.
So as you face hard moments in your life, face them head on. Acknowledge that they exist. Take a moment away if you need to in order to get back on track. You don’t have to always be okay. It’s okay to not always be okay. Develop a strong support system around you that you can be real with in every way because then the going gets tough, they’ll never leave your side.
What’s a hard moment you find yourself struggling with? In what ways are you working to face that head on and become a better you?
In loving memory of Mary Pressley Nesmith
(pictured with her is my grandfather who has also since gone to be with the Lord a year later)