It’s been quite a trial attempting to navigate through life, recovery, and christianity. I throw in christianity, because that is a huge part of my sobriety, and life. Without my faith, I’m nothing. Being sober is a gift, but it does not mean that there are not situations I’m forced to deal with staying sober.
Trauma is one of the most difficult things to mentally grasp. It’s like this shadow that hides and pounces when you least expect it. As a journalist, I’ve been in many different intense situations, sometimes scary, other times boring. But last week, I endured probably the most ground-shaking experience to date. I was covering a town meeting — typical night, introduction of the budget, swearing in of a new chief — when suddenly, I am being evacuated into a safe hall due to a “gun situation.” First I am shaking, then I’m hyperventilating. Before I know it, I pass out and I’m taken to the emergency room. While I don’t remember feeling anything; not even fear, my life has been shaken and I’m completely scared all the time.
People have stepped up to support me, and that’s wonderful. But I’m not myself. I don’t understand how, but it’s brought out all these feelings I already try to manage on a daily basis about my sexual assault. Regardless, I’m preparing for Take Back the Night, Stand-Speak-Empower in two weeks. I’ll be speaking about consent and taking back your body.
I’m falling behind in classes, constantly late; still managing to get my assignments in and doing well on my exams, but I’m barely hanging on. I keep trying to cling to what I know about God, and that the answer is there. All I have to do is bow my head, pray, open my Bible, read. But I just don’t do it. I know I’m so much stronger when I feel like a warrior, taking on the world with Jesus by my side, but something is getting in the way. Maybe it is exhaustion. I don’t know, honestly.
And my eyes are constantly turned to God because He is the only person who makes no mistakes, no disappointments. People who are near and dear to my heart, who I have continuously back up, loved unconditionally, are slapping me in the face. That’s painful, to only feel needed when someone else is in a crisis or dealing with their own shit. But what about me? Who is going to be there for me, to help me cry through pain, and to deal with all the trauma in my life? I know God is there, but where are all my people? I’m trying not to feel disposable and used, but if I’m 100 percent honest, that’s how my heart feels.