A Thank You To Everyone Who Took Care Of Me During The Worst Time Of My Life

A Thank You To Everyone Who Took Care Of Me During The Worst Time Of My Life

I went through one of the hardest things, but I am so thankful that I don't have to go through it alone anymore.

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When my abusive relationship ended, I felt so lost and confused at that point in my life. I remember feeling so destroyed and feeling like everything I had built myself up to be before that relationship started had been shattered. I was a shell of what I was and I knew in my heart that my life had been forever changed. It was so easy for me to hide my sorrow and allow myself to be alone in the world, but every person who was there for me, every one of you, has shown me by being there for me that company is always positive and it's been making my recovery easier than I would have originally thought.

I remember I had a conversation with my abuser not too long before I finally came out about what he had done to me where he admitted to me that he doesn't see the wrong in his actions, small or large actions. This made me think long and hard about why I was "protecting" him and why I didn't leave when he first laid his hands on my throat. I made excuses to myself thinking that maybe he didn't realize what he was really doing to me? Maybe it was something I did wrong? Maybe I deserved it?

I would always place the blame on myself for not being good enough instead of realizing that what he did to me was wrong and not my fault, end of story. If you're going to put your hands on someone in any type of way, communication is key, asking your partner if you can touch them is healthy, this is not what he did to me. This was so hard to talk about when it was happening and even writing this is taking more courage for me than I intended.

I remember the morning I first came out and told someone that I had been choked in that relationship. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, telling someone I love and value that someone else mistreated me, and I know it was the hardest thing he had to hear. I later went on to tell my parents, my therapist, and a few other close friends and every single one of them has constantly stayed by my side and helped guide me in my recovery every step of the way. To any of you who have been there who are reading this now, I cannot thank you enough.

Without your love and support, I don't think I would have ever come out about my struggles. I have finally gotten to the point where I can forgive him for hurting me so we can both move on in our lives without holding grudges, I want to love instead of hate, but I know I will never be able to forget what happened to me. I thank all of you for getting to me this point where I can begin to move on towards a happier and healthier life for myself and I can't even begin to thank you all enough for loving me at my worst. I have never experienced pain quite like this before and it was one of the hardest things I had to go through, but I am so thankful that I don't have to go through it alone anymore. Thank you. I love you.

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It’s so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it but suddenly there right in front of you is everything you ever need.”

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You’ve taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and more importantly adventurous.

You don’t realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn’t see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can’t see my life without you in it. It’s funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn’t know existed.

I don’t even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn’t have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the ying to my yang, and I don’t care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I’ve learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It’s as if I wished up a best friend, and poof—you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn’t trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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In 2019 We Are Redefining Self-Care Because Life Is Not Toxic, Your Attitude Is

Nothing is more important than taking care of your mental health. Period. But think twice before cutting someone out of your life and deeming them "toxic"

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"When we self-regulate well, we are better able to control the trajectory of our emotional lives and resulting actions based on our values and sense of purpose."
-Amy Leigh Mercree

With the new year inspiring all part of our lives, it's important to address this idea of 'self-care' that is so widely preached. Self-care, simply defined, is the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. However, these lines have seemed to be blurred to a significant extent lately.

Our society has taken a few steps back in the treatment of our fellow peers lately. Whether it's the force of authoritarian violence, neo-nazi rallies, objectification of women, or denial of human rights to various non-dominant groups-- there is no denying that America has some strides to make. But how?

How, in such an individualistic society, do we learn that depending on people is a vulnerable strength rather than a weakness? In a country that places emphasis on being self-made, we are trained to believe that any form of codependency makes one weaker. So, we practice "self-care". We cut off those confrontational friends that try to change our life plans. We toss the relationships that don't support us in every decision we make. We quit jobs that make us unhappy after three weeks. We label everything as "toxic" when in reality it's just something that has denied us of that American instant gratification we crave so innately.

Relationships, whether friendships, intimate connections, or professional careers are not a singular commitment. So many apathetic actions are cloaked under this blanket of "self-care". There is a limit between watching out for your mental health and using it as an underlying excuse to hurt those around you. Just because you are troubled for a short period doesn't always mean that the person is "toxic" to you. Sometimes, it serves as an indicator that this relationship is worth working through and working for.

Now, I am a huge proponent for taking care of yourself in daily activities! Through a life of mindfulness and meditation, memories with good friends, and hobbies that fulfill you, it is still important to check in with yourself and see what attitudes need to be managed. But instead of making rash decisions and dropping everyone around you in your life, take these feelings inwards and work on yourself. If you feel a relationship not working, ask yourself whether its a conflict of interest or ideology, maybe even a miscommunication--instead of breaking things off and insisting you're an "independent woman" who was "being held back". There is pride in working through issues, but only if you allow yourself to be codependent.

This is by far my greatest struggle in life. The second things go wrong in a relationship, I just convince myself that I am independent--I was on my own before and I can sure as hell do it again! I convince myself that the other person just wasn't "the one" or that "if my friendships are meant to be, they'll just...be?" I'm here to tell you that I understand what it's like being an independent person trying to let people in. But please, just don't use your inability to transparently work through issues as "self-care."

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