July 05, 2010


For a while I attempted to pinpoint the exact event or situation that caused the collapse. However, after much investigation I realized it was not and seldom ever is one particular event that causes a breakdown. Instead, much like a dam burst, the falling apart is the catastrophic event that brings the attention to the many occasions strength is worn away.

I then turned to the other why, which I often do. For some reason, as unreasonable as it is, I believe if I understand the logic I can fix something and make it unbreakable. The question of why I asked was, why didn’t it look like a complete decay of self, if that, in fact, is what I was facing. The reason, I concluded, is that it wasn’t as much as it was.

I previously believed that I would have felt fraudulent had I been pretending. Had I been masquerading as someone I wasn’t surely I would have felt that. The truth, for me, is that there was no deceit. I simply did not know that my soul was stretching inside of me. Therefore; when the dam burst it was simply my core escaping the comfort of the authenticity that satisfied me. In order to continue becoming the person I am meant to be, it was unavoidable that my world cave in. My soul exploded outside of who I had become pushing me toward who I was really supposed to be.

I subscribe to the idea that my strengths are often my weakness. Oftentimes, my ability to perform under pressure pays off but this time I believe it contributed to the surprise I faced when I realized that life had thrown a few curve balls. I was filling out a questionnaire for a doctor’s appointment. The questions were simple. In the last 36 months have you experienced any of the following:

Change in marital status?
Major illness of self or loved one?
Job change?
Financial status change?
Change in educational status?
Death of loved one?

Seriously? There wasn’t one question I could say “no” to.

Two and a half years ago my husband and I separated. I am not fond of discussing it, but it is part of my reality. Within a month of him moving my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Our separation led to my need to sell my business and take another job. Within only six months of taking that job I was approached by a company to become Executive Director of their new agency. I took it. My financial status was positively impacted for a time, as a result. Because of several items aforementioned, I moved from a house I loved into a much smaller space. I completed my graduate degree and began a doctoral program. I turned 40 (that was not a question on the survey but as a woman turning 40, I suggest it be added)! My son also changed schools. Toward the end of last year following a visit to my mother’s house she was in a serious car accident that took her life sixteen days after an ICU stay. The company I took the position with closed relatively unexpectedly upon my return from mom’s funeral.

Although, I don’t like excuses, my breakdown can easily be explained.

The series of events has actually brought richness to my life that has been astounding. I have developed relationships with people that I would not have previously sought. Relationships that needed to be eradicated have been so organically. And the remaining relationships have been enhanced. My ability to disguise my pain was impossible. And that was the way the universe gained my attention.

The following months stirred my soul into the direction of uncovering who I really wanted to be and exactly what I truly wanted to do. The experience has been remarkably freeing. Recovering the person inside is rarely pretty. It is lonely and painful. It is extreme and scary. But I knew I had to be willing to be ugly in order to become beautiful and more of who I was meant to be.....

This story to be continued…..

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