I went back last night and for the first time read what I've written from the beginning. There's been so much else going on lately that I couldn't remember where I left off in telling my original story. I was surprised to find that reading it all wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I cried a few times. I even laughed a couple of times. But mostly I just remembered, and as I read I realized how far I've come since "that night". I know that I'm still not over what happened, and I probably never will be. I really don't think you ever get over losing someone you love. Actually I'm not even sure what being "over" it means. It's not like reading a book or watching a movie. When those are over you're finished with them. You don't dwell on them, and they don't stay with you for the rest of your life. But life isn't a book or a movie - when a loved one dies, we're not finished with them. They do stay with us for the rest of our life. They become a part of who and what we are, and that's a good thing. So getting over what happened isn't a goal of mine anymore.
My two goals when I started writing were to help myself move forward with my life and to possibly help others who might be going through something similar in their lives. I think I've made a great deal of progress toward the first goal. Writing about what happened, what it did to me, what I did and said, how I felt and still feel has truly helped me. I've written things that I never shared with anyone before - not my family, not my closest friends, not even the counselor or pastor I was seeing. Sharing these things has lightened some of the burden I was carrying and has allowed me to start moving on with my life - not my life as it was before but a new life. I know I can benefit from continuing to write though because I'm not where I want to be yet. Hopefully I'll know when I get there!
Sometime in the near future I would like to focus more on the second goal. I've heard from people over the past few months who have read what I've written. Some of them have told me that something I said inspired them or gave them strength. Some said they were just relieved to find out someone else thought or felt the same as they did. Others have shared similar experiences they had in their life. I'm thankful for any little bit of good my story has done for someone else, and I would like to find a way to do more. I don't have a counseling degree, so I can't professionally counsel others (and at this point I don't have any plans of going back to school for another degree!). But I would like to speak to individuals or groups about alcoholism, suicide, or both. I want to continue to share my story in the hope that my experience will help someone else. The thought that something good can possibly come out of something so bad helps me keep moving forward.
The Lord says, "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now shall it spring forth; shall you not know it?" Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV
I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other. Romans 1:12 NLT