“Fell Years Ago. Never Gave Up.”
Uoon reading a bit of my story that I had shared, a peer posted this photo of the fallen tree that has continued to grow and thrive. They wrote that it reminded them of me.
This tree certainly is very symbolic of my life and my response to it. I was blessed to get a privileged, middle class start, with nearly all of my wants and needs met. Metaphorically, I began growing like a healthy young tree.
The problems were that our family dynamics were very toxic AND that my obvious budding mental health issues were not addressed. My trunk and branches werre relatively strong and lush, but my roots were weak and shallow.
By the time I was a freshman in college, my Bipolar Disorder 2 was in full bloom, manifesting as compulsive running and severe food restriction. I was literally running myself to death.
I survived that and went onto a prolonged period of Alcoholic drinking, hypo-manic episodes, clinically depressed episodes, a manic episode that almost lapsed into a psychotic break, under-employment, four divorces, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, legal entanglements, extreme political activism, an FBI investigation, a severe industrial accident that burned 20% of my body, self-harming, suicidal ideations, three psych hospitalizations, and more.
Like the tree in the image, I was uprooted and smashed to the ground by the gale-like forces that pummeled me for many years.
And yet, by God’s grace, my tenacious efforts, a great support network, AA, medication, and many other recovery and mental wellness tools, like the tree in the image, I have been able to not only survive, but to thrive and flourish. One day at a time.
Not everyone is a “thriving fallen tree,” but I know there are many other out there.
And we are all miracles. Praise God