I used to think it was him. I used to think that my husband saved me. That he healed me. That he carried me through the darkness of my life and brought me out on the other side. I believed that I was only whole because he held all of my broken pieces in the palm of his hand and put them back together again.
I was wrong.
And for a while, I used to think it was them; my son…my daughter…the beautiful lives that had been entrusted to me. I believed that their beating hearts saved me. Their purity…their perfection…their need for me to be better than who I really was.
Again. I was wrong.
Because no one else saved me.
My husband accepted me. He knew who I was and what I had gone through. He knew the struggle that was lying inside of me and the struggle that we would likely have to fight together. He knew all of this. And yet, he never needed me to change. And when the time came, he allowed me to heal on MY terms…when I was ready. He let me fight my demons and make my mistakes. He let me cry and scream and hurt and bleed until there was barely a fragment of me left standing. And it was all okay. Because, to him, I had always been okay. To him, I had always been strong and brave and resilient and whole. To him, I had already fought the biggest fight of all…and that was surviving.
My children brought me to life. They let me live their beautiful innocence and reclaim my own. They needed me through my strength and through my weakness. They let me embrace the hurting pieces of my littlest self and love it into forgiveness.
But I’m still the one who did the work.
I was the one who went to the darkest parts of my soul and fought like a warrior. I was the one who stood up to the demons. I was the one who took on the battle. I was the one who made the decision. I was the one who got beaten down time and time again. And I was the one who stood back up time and time again. I was the one who never gave up and I was the one wouldn’t accept defeat.
But furthermore, I am the one who wakes up every day and continues the fight. Every single day, I have to make the choice to crawl on the altar so I can sacrifice who I was, in honour of who I can be.
Every day, I have to choose all over again.
And for everything that everyone else has done…only I can do that.
As I stood out on the water…I watched the world declare victory over another day. I watched the sun set and the wind blow and night sweep over us. And I watched the biggest lesson of my past year become clear…
If I’m going to own the tragedy…then I owe it to myself to own the triumph.