Transparency and Authenticity Began with a Decision to Take Back My Life

This picture was taken just about exactly 2 years ago. I’m transparent in my “crazy” as the more we talk about it, the more we normalize it. I don’t believe I was ever “crazy” in a pathological way, I just believe I had a lot of trauma I had to finally make a decision to put behind me.

In October of 2017, I made a decision to go to an inpatient trauma unit for a month as my family was definitely making me crazy. They wouldn’t send me back to my family until they could find a residential treatment for trauma to send me to. So nearly a month into being there (its normally a 3 week program max), I flew to another state to go to what I call my “trauma resort” as I have very mixed feelings about that place and don’t want to attach my experience to the name.

Regardless, at both the inpatient and residential treatment centers, I had individual therapists who believed in me so much and truly got me to recognize my inner strength that was powerful. I will forever be grateful for those two ladies and how the trajectory of my life truly changed.

I got thrown out of my trauma resort. I actually got sent to a very high level psychiatric facility. When I got there, I very calmly asked what the reason was. The very rude and awful intake lady said, “I can’t tell what the psychiatrist wrote. The handwriting is too messy”.

As soon as I met with the psychiatrist, she basically questioned also why I was there and asked what arrangements I needed to do to get “home” being my family’s house. I was crestfallen. This wasn’t a place I was ever going back to. I couldn’t take it. I had been dealing with horrendous illnesses that I got no help for. Returning to my biology just meant I would stay sick without help and with plenty of severe emotional abuse.

As I sat in the airport waiting to go back to my family with a plan to end it all as I couldn’t see a way out, a call came through on my phone. It was for a dream job I had applied for 2 years ago, but there had been a hiring freeze. They asked if I would do a phone interview in a couple days and relocate back to Nevada. My desperation turned to hope.

The next call I got was a tiny voice saying, “mommy, things are bad. I want to kill myself”. In that moment it became clear why I got thrown out. I had a job, which I did get, but couldn’t take as I was too sick and now had a 10 year old little boy to take care of full time to attempt to heal his wounds.

Somehow, my body gave me enough of a break to pack what I could in my little car, drove out of Texas and back to Nevada. I took 14 days to make the drive as I took some detours to see people and decided I had to see the Pacific Ocean.

As it was as far away from Texas as you could drive. I remember when I hit the pacific, I sat on my car and just sobbed as I was finally going to live life how I wanted to. This is the only picture I took of that moment. I would have been way too afraid to ever drive across country alone. A lot of the tears were in recognizing what I could do.

It has been a nearly impossible 2 years full of illness, unfairness, anger, my shortcomings being put in public display (which I have no problem talking about), while others with big problems put on an air of perfection that I have just had to work hard at leaving the negativity behind, otherwise it will eat me alive.

It has also been 2 years of truly getting to know myself. It has been a time to treat myself really well and in believing in myself and standing up for what is right, I might have ended up with a few arrows in my back, but I continue to connect with people who gently pull them out, rub my back, and are incredulous that I’m still standing–and yes, I’m standing just a bit more day by day thanks to my stem cell therapy! It’s been a time where people have begun to look up to me instead of my just looking down on myself.

The beginning of 2020 has been incredibly hard. My Epstein-Barr virus has done nothing short of kicked my ass, and I’m usually a lot more eloquent than that, but growing pains hurt–a lot, especially when you are forced to stay in bed for who knows how long when your goals are a lot bigger than that.

If you feel the pain of growth and it is completely unbearable, trust me, I understand. I buy Kleenex in bulk as the only way to get past it is to go through it.

Trauma doesn’t make us crazy. It makes us stronger. Even if you spent the holidays alone or fell on your hardwood floor New Year’s Eve with a bang (a very ouchy bang), and not from partying, but from being extremely sick with a virus that few understand, it didn’t turn out how I wanted, but I look at that picture of my first genuine smile from nearly 2 years ago as I was hugging a friend’s dog and realize I’ve come really far. It certainly didn’t happen how I thought it would, but I’m here to tell a crazy story of survival against every odd imaginable.

And I decided I do have a new year’s resolution after all. It’s simply to take a shower. I’ve been so sick that I haven’t taken one since December 29th, 2019. Let’s hope I can stick to that one! I’ll keep you posted as I’m sure you can’t wait to know when it happens 😉.

Love

Lizzie

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