road to recovery


It's not exactly how it sounds. This is a post about finding myself again. It's been a work in progress since breaking up with my long time boyfriend at the beginning of 2013. That relationship was both the best and worst thing to ever happen to me; I learned so much, and loved so hard, but I lost myself. From the day we started dating we were dedicated to spending the rest of our lives together. Everything we did was influenced by our future together. We became so focused on creating a stable life that we not only left our friends behind, but ourselves. Now that time has passed, I can take a step back and realize how consumed we were in each other and how toxic it became. Only recently have I realized another crucial part of my identity loss: I had no creative outlet. For the entire span of our relationship, I subconsciously sacrificed my 3 main self-expressing outlets: writing, photography, and music. These elements have played such an important part in making me who I am today. -- Ever since I was younger, I've written poems and songs. I specifically remember  being teased in middle school for writing an angsty poem while on a field trip. -- Art has always been the foundation of my being, but I have always had an attachment to photography. I was always the friend who brought their camera everywhere and took pictures of everything and uploaded millions of pictures every week. I had no shame and loved challenging myself. -- I've always been fascinated by the world that exists in music. From being part of my school's band and choir to my local theatre's musicals, they were all so divergent. But they all revolved around the same core. My fondest and most prevalent memories of high school were spent with my best friend at local venues exploring new music and meeting amazing people -- many of those who have had a major impact on my life. Many who I still maintain a friendship with today.

And all of these things. Gone.

I didn't realize how damaged my soul was at the time. The final semester weeks were dwindling when I reconnected with an old friend. We grabbed coffee one day, and before we knew it, we were spending much of our free time together. He reintroduced me to the world that is music. I could feel parts of my soul slowly coming back together. And we laughed, a lot. And sometimes you connect so well with a person that even the silence is enjoyable. And sometimes friendships turn into more. And it did. And it was great. And it was fun. And, eventually, it ended. Terribly. Messy. Ugly. Horribly. Awfully. Like, in the worst way.

It was damaging, but it was also repairing. And above everything else, I met one of my greatest friends through this mess. Now she's one of the most amazing and influential people I have in my life. I don't think I've ever connected so well -- spiritually and creatively -- to another individual.
And for this, I am grateful of the mess.

Later in the year, I took time out to focus on myself and get back on track; mostly on my school work and social life. I felt like I was regaining control over my life. I started to feel free again. Before I knew it, I had rebuilt another friendship that turned into more. And for the first few months into this year, it was great. And it was fun. And, eventually, it also ended. And it was also very, very ugly. Although this one took bigger of a toll than anyone knows. I invested so much of myself emotionally that I self-destructed at the end. But I also learned so much from it -- including my love for Nashville, which has become a vital part of my future.
And for this, I am grateful of the mess.

The point is: I've been working on myself for over a year. It's not an easy process -- there was a lot of damage. And even though more rough patches ensued along the way, I was able to pull out the positives. The past year has been full of lessons -- the most critical being that no matter what you go through or who you meet, you can always take something away from it that will make you a better, stronger person. Sometimes they'll bring you back to yourself, even if only for a moment.
It's those kinds of experiences who make you who you are.
I feel like I have come a long way, but I still have a long way to go.

I am rebuilding myself every day.
I am enjoying the road to recovery.
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