I just finished a bike ride and decided to hit up Hopkins House for a bunch of cookies for my mom coming home from the hospital today.  These are our favorite cookies down here.

As I was driving and listening to a little live U2 it dawned on me that Memorial Day 2 years ago was a bit of a reckoning for me as I was reaping back pieces of my life I had blown up and strewn across the landscape.  Pieces of me dangling from trees, pieces of me blown into the bushes, pieces of me washing up with the tides and rotting away on the rocks.

It was a time of deep shame.  

As I look back on how I survived that it literally was from the strength of my family and a very limited group of friends.  It was one of those things that had my family’s response been just a hair too far to the right of the dial, I wouldn’t still be here today.

They could have been judgmental or preachy.  They were looking at something our family wasn’t exposed to and wasn’t supposed to be exposed to.  But they acted like this was something that could just have easily happened to them.  It wouldn’t but I appreciate that they presented it.

My friends were remarkably similar in response.  And they pitched in to help me through it too.

Two years later I am prepping for my first trip to Europe in 10 years.  I worry every day about blowing myself up again and a lot of my angst is thinking through how to handle certain scenarios to keep myself together.  I can’t really go anywhere alone without worrying what I could do to myself.  I will never have freedom from that.

But my friends and family allowed me the freedom from judgment and the freedom from being told how I should behave and who I was supposed to be.  They kept the weight off of me and allowed me the freedom to work through my head on my own and in my own time.  I am sure they were holding their breath on the sidelines, white knuckling my every move.  They probably still do.  So do I.  

The difference is that until 2 years ago I wasn’t white knuckling or holding my breath before doing anything.  I was taking on anything I could to numb my thoughts and absolve myself from decisions.  I was pretty much playing life by ear and not hoping for anything.

Today, my biggest concern is going to Europe with acne and my roots coming in a little gray.  And yes, getting on a plane but I have a prescription for that.  I am starting off in the freest city in the world but I also feel like I can handle it.