I remember staring harshly in the mirror and seeing some unrecognizable, damaged damsel with self -destructive behaviors that were only visible to me. The reflection showed the externally pretty and put together shell, one, which successfully hid insecurities, brokenness and defeat underneath. At least that’s what used to be visible to me looking on the inside, out. The outward visual deception struggle was real. What I saw in the mirror wasn’t necessarily what the world saw. I knew this for certain because I was a people pleasing, professional mask wearing kind of a woman. You might be familiar with my kind or have seen her before, she superficially steps out into the world well dressed, well educated, and well aware of the lies in her eyes. My empty brown pupils told stories of something more, something deeper. In time, I learned I was the one holding the shovel that was going to do some serious soul digging from my dark and cold hole of a heart to get to the other side of self-love and light.
I was the only one who could free myself from my own demons. Let me tell you, the vulnerability in the digging process is brutal, but it’s also healing. Oh my word, is it healing and believe me it’s worth it.
Life seriously had me navigate through some really rough waters, but they say smooth seas never made for a skilled sailor. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, I slowly became the captain of my truths and owned up to the BS lies I told myself. The ones that had me pretending to be someone I really wasn’t. The one wishing I needed a picture perfect family with a white picket fence and a fish.
After going through a heavy and heart aching separation, a cruel custody battle, trying to find myself outside of being a stay at home mom and housemate, grinding back into the career world, trying to be strong for my now 8-year-old, only son, and rebuilding my life from the ground up –it wasn’t long before I was spiraling out of control. It was just too much, too fast and overwhelmingly foreign all at one time.
I fell apart, in a million pieces. Not just a bump and a bruise falling, but a shattering broken glass type falling that required some spiritual resuscitation, medical and mental attention and the super glue of a whole village to get me back on my two feet. Picture Alice In Wonderland going down the rabbit’s hole. For years, I felt like her in the movie. I traveled down an abyss of poor coping mechanisms, severe anxiety, and depression. I went from having it all to now a nearly 40-year-old, single and unmarried mother with no stable income struggling to stay above tumultuous waters. I can’t even count the times I drowned in my own tears creating a tsunami well into the wee hours of the night onto the cotton, hand me down pillowcase, in the fetal position, crashed on a friends couch. My bank account was empty and so were any morals I grew up on. I began abusing anything and anyone that crossed my path, seeking to numb the emotional pain of my new reality. I will confess, I am not proud of those self –sabotaging, abusive moments but I do forgive myself because that was then and I needed the darkness to find the light in my journey. Know that forgiving yourself is part of the healing process and so is crying, even if it’s the ugly cry, just get it all out. I understand now, I was on a self -destructive path to fill the void of what was missing in my life meanwhile hurting myself, and others along the way. Thankfully it’s a new day.
Fast-forward five years later (yes, the evolution takes time) to become one confident and kick ass survivor who doesn’t need societies stamp of approval in living the California dream. This girl is growing and glowing. I turned my pain into power and my setbacks into one Hell of a comeback. I worked hard on myself. I worked hard to become self-employed. I worked hard because my son deserves a mother who’s a warrior. I chose not to be a victim of my circumstances and instead found purpose in my trials! I released toxic frenemies and negative energy, and invested in my mental health big time, which was major key and still is. My mind, body and spirit needed fueling and now my self -love cup runneth over! Mama picked herself up and picked up the pieces to create the peace that is Jazzy.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s on the other side of fear, where fearlessness lies. It’s on the other side of victimization, where the victor in you lies. It’s on the other side of self-loathing, where the self-love and acceptance lies. Dig deep for it, dear friend. I dug into the depths of my self-destructive demise, and I mean real deep past all the doubts, detouring through the BS, letting the light within in, uncovering my truths, giving gratitude, and wholeheartedly believe I win in the end. It’s a raw recipe for my honest reflection to stare back at me and affirm I am enough, waving goodbye to the uprooted, ugly side and welcoming a healthier and heartfelt hello from the other side.
Shine on and stand tall.
About the Author
JasmÍn is a true Jazzy of all trades. This girl boss keeps busy mothering, Life Coaching, photographing, legal assisting and studying as a Juris Doctorate candidate. Additionally, she appreciates all things fashion, food, art, and special events. She was born a Jersey girl, raised in San Diego and now lives in the OC. When she’s not wearing her sassy pants and finds free time, you’ll most likely spot her kickboxing, nama-slaying or catching good vibes and waves at the beach with her son. Guilty pleasure: Will work for shoes, bags and pumpkin frappes when in season. Hey, don’t judge unless you can walk on water.
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