A few months ago I was given a difficult assignment.
“Make a collage that represents your life and important relationships in your life.”
Armed with glue sticks, scissors, and oodles of magazines I was challenged to create a scene of me. Others at the retreat went to work immediately seemingly knowing exactly what they were looking for. I debated about what story I’d like to tell. What would represent me?
I wrote a book.
This book isn’t easy to share. It represents the hardest year of my life. Let me paint you a picture. The year: 2006. The drama: I was graduating from my first Master’s degree and, not knowing where I’d get a job, I moved back home with my parents. My two best friends moved out of state around the same time. I worked in an incredibly challenging and stressful job. And I broke up with my long-time boyfriend–the boy I thought I was going to marry.
All within three months.
At this time I was finishing up my internship at an inpatient psychiatric hospital and I remember commenting to my family that the only stable thing in my life was my time at the psych hospital. Something was wrong.
Part of me thought I was overreacting. No one died. No one was ill. It was a break up, a few relocations, and a rough job. But, for me, 2006 was a year full of darkness. I was literally grieving the death of the future I thought I wanted.
That’s where my story starts.