Hello From the Other Side

via Unsplash
via Unsplash

It’s been a little over two weeks since I got out of the hospital. In those two weeks, I froze. I didn’t want to accept what had happened; I wanted to go back in time, smooth the ugly bump that blemished my sense of security and what I thought I knew about the world. I still do. If there was such a thing as a time machine, I would go back in a heartbeat. I would change it all.

But that’s the tricky thing about life. You can’t change the past. I’m learning that only by accepting it will you be set free—and that by accepting it, you are not condoning what happened. You are healing.

I’m working on that whole acceptance thing. As my girl Faith says, “Deal with it and move on.”

Turns out, there are a lot of things I need to confront. I’ve recently learned that my depression is probably not a chemical imbalance but a result of trauma—and avoidance. The more I learn about trauma, the more honest with myself I am, and the more I think about it, the more it all makes sense. My depression started when I was twelve, right after a major trauma. In the years that followed, I’ve been repeatedly misdiagnosed and, as a result, improperly treated.

But now, for the first time in fifteen years, I’m on the right path. It’s not an easy one. I’m learning to see myself as a victim of multiple traumas; I’m learning to stop blaming myself and practice radical acceptance. After spending the last fifteen years running from pain, it’s immensely difficult to face it head on. The last thing I want to do is think about any of these things. I actually physically feel sick.

Facing my demons and accepting the things that happened, though, happens to be the key to my recovery.

The other night, I dreamed that the zombie apocalypse unleashed itself and I was a bad-ass zombie slayer. In real life, if I saw a zombie, I would purposely give it a very wide berth. In my dream, though, I walked right up to those motherfuckers and annihilated them with a pair of kitchen scissors. Initially, I thought the dream was an anxiety dream. It scared me.

But in the hours after, I began to realize that this dream was actually me telling myself that I’m strong enough to face my real life demons head on. And, just like the everyday kitchen scissors that I used, the tools that I need are so common, they are actually already in my grasp.

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Elizabeth Barone

Elizabeth Barone is an American novelist who writes contemporary romance and suspense starring strong belles who chose a different path. Her debut novel Sade on the Wall was a quarterfinalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. She is the author of the South of Forever series and several other books.

When not writing, Elizabeth is very busy getting her latest fix of Yankee Candle, spicy Doritos chips, or whatever TV show she’s currently binging.

Elizabeth lives in northwestern Connecticut with her husband, a feisty little cat, and too many books.

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