Hello From The Other Side: A Reflection of a Journey from Self Destruction to Self Love

   After going through a heavy and heart aching separation, a cruel custody battle, and trying to find myself outside of being a stay at home mom and housemate, I became a shadow of my former self. Crawling back into the career world, trying to be strong for my now 8-year-old only son, and rebuilding my life from the ground up -- it wasn’t long before I was spiraling out of control even more. It was just too much and too fast to deal with all at once.

  I remember staring in the mirror and seeing only a damaged damsel with self-destructive behaviors.I knew that in reality, the reflection showed the externally pretty and put-together shell, one which successfully hid insecurities, damage and defeat within. I hid, and I hid well. I knew how to protect those demons within.

     I knew that what I saw in the mirror wasn’t at all what the world saw. I knew this for certain because around others, I was a people-pleasing-mask-wearing type of woman. You might be familiar with my kind. You’ve probably seen her before. She steps out into the world well dressed, well educated, and well aware of the lies in her eyes.

The shadows in my eyes told stories of something more, something deeper. Lurking.

    At that moment, I fell apart into a million pieces.

Not just a bump-and-a bruise falling, but a shattering-broken-glass-shards-everywhere type of falling that required some spiritual resuscitation, medical and mental attention, and the super glue of a whole giant Home Depot to get me back on my two feet.

Picture Alice going down the rabbit’s hole. For years, I felt like her, in freefall. Endlessly falling. I traveled down an abyss of poor coping mechanisms, severe anxiety and depression. I went from having it all to being a nearly 40-year old, single and unmarried mother with no stable income, struggling to stay above tumultuous waters.

I began abusing anything and anyone that crossed my path, seeking to numb the emotional pain of my new reality. I will confess, I am not in any way proud of those self - sabotaging and abusive moments but I do forgive myself, because I needed the darkness to find the light in my journey.

    Know that forgiving yourself is part of the healing process. I understand now that I was on a self-destructive path to fill the void of what was missing in my life. It took me a while to understand that unearthing a light from all the dark-hole darkness was going to take some serious soul digging. But I was the only one who could help it out. Let me tell you, the vulnerability in the digging process is brutal, but it’s also healing. Oh my word, is it healing, and believe me, it’s worth it.

    Fast-forward five years later (something you need to know now - the coming into the light takes time), to becoming one confident and kick ass survivor who doesn’t need societies stamp of approval in living the dream. This girl is growing and glowing. I turned my pain into power and my setbacks into one hell of a comeback. I worked hard on myself. I worked hard to become self-employed. I worked hard because my son deserves a mother who’s a warrior.

I chose not to be a victim of my circumstances and instead found purpose in my trials. I released toxic frenemies and negative energy, and invested in my mental health big time, which is major key of moving on. My mind, body, and spirit needed fueling, and now my self-love cup runneth over! Mama picked herself up and picked up the pieces to create the peace that is Jazzy.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s on the other side of fear - where fearlessness lies. It’s on the other side of victimization, where the victor in you lies. It’s on the other side of self-loathing, where the self-love and acceptance lies. Dig deep for it, dear friend. I dug into the depths of my self-destructive demise, very deep past all the doubts, detouring through the BS, letting the light in, uncovering my truths, giving gratitude, and wholeheartedly believing that I win in the end. It’s a raw recipe for my honest reflection to stare back at me (from a pristine mirror in my beach house) and affirm I am enough, waving goodbye to the ugly side and welcoming a heartfelt hello from the other side.

Shine on and stand tall.

By: Jasmin Nelson

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