The 10 year challenge.

I did a 10 year challenge in 2021 after I did my big chop. I struggle. So many beautiful parts of me are in my past. Yet, so many broken, sad, and hurt parts of me are in my past and linger in the present. I seem to languish with one leg in the NOW, my heart in the future, and my recent tears means the rest of my body is suspended in the purgatory of the past.

10 years ago:

  • I was still sick after I was diagnosed with Sarcoidosis.
  • Apparently, my then husband had started an affair and I was paying for it. Both fiscally and by the emotional abuse being hurled on me. I was paying a hefty price emotionally and with my mental health.
  • I was suicidal.
  • I was incredibly lonely and feeling desperately unloved.
  • I had a toddler and that child was the only reason I didn’t slit my wrists. My child was my only source of love. By this time, I didn’t have any love left for myself.
  • I stayed up late drinking and crying watching Hoarders and addiction shows because I was hurting just as much as the people in the show. I was in so much pain.
  • Masturbation was my only sexual activity.
  • I felt so angry at myself because I couldn’t figure out how to leave.
  • Soon I would have the first of two major nervous breakdowns. I had to be put on medication.
  • I was an alcoholic.
  • I was awake but I was dying in my spirit.
  • I blogged through it all as some way to stabilize my mind and anger.
  • I lied to all my friends and revealed myself to be the poser that I am, nothing was good. I was failing at love, marriage, and I failed at being a healthy adult.
  • The only thing I was good at was crunching numbers and being a loving mother, when I wasn’t having a breakdown or drunk or clinically depressed.
  • My fibroids were growing back and starting to wreck havoc with my body.

Now:

  • My Sarcoidosis is managed. I am on meds. I still have flares or fits of fatigue, but I can rest and restart again.
  • I am on the Women of Color Patient Advocacy Committee to being awareness to Black women about Sarcoidosis.
  • I am divorced. I filed the papers. My life was hell for year and he destroyed me. He won. He emptied my pockets, my heart, and my soul. That Erica I was — she is dead. I miss her a lot.
  • I coparent and I try to do it respectfully. I am only doing this because I know my child is damaged and I didn’t want to keep waging a war. I didn’t want to keep hurting my child so I conceded with kindness. The love I have for my child has lead me to make this great sacrifice and be present in an active and engaged co-parenting model.
  • I am no longer suicidal. I know where I can get help. I still cry a lot. As long as the crying doesn’t become uncontrollable again I will be okay.
  • I am loved by my support system. I also decided to love myself again. That should be enough to sustain me.
  • My child is still the only reason I get up in the mornings. I have lost so much in my lifetime and it’s broken me, but I am okay with it now. I live with it now, unashamedly.
  • My alcohol consumption has severely decreased. I used to be able to sit alone in the dark and smash an entire bottle. Now, I am back to enjoying wine, the flavors, the story of the region of the grapes. I enjoy wine and spirits again. Alcohol is no longer a tool for self medication.
  • Masturbation is still a primary source for sex. At least it’s sex with a person who adores me and sees me as beautiful.
  • I have had 2 failed relationships since my divorce. One was when an absolute loser. He was a scourge and that relationship represented how low I was in my life. My God forgive me for ever engaging that piece of trash. The second relationship was to teach me things and I am thankful for it, but I still got hurt. I don’t have anything more to say on that.
  • I love myself a lot more now. I am more forgiving. I give myself the same grace that I extend to others.
  • Off the meds and no more breakdowns. I do have big cries. I realize I have been through a lot. No one person should have to keep all that pain inside. Crying is good for the soul. So is laughter, so I laugh a lot too.
  • I am no longer an alcoholic.
  • I am awake. I am trying to gracefully and gratefully navigate the life I have been given. I still struggle with clinging on to the life I thought I deserved. A part of me is so broken and hurt because I did try and do everything right my whole life, I didn’t deserve the pain I endured.
  • I’m still blogging, but it is inconsistent and I need to woman up and dedicate a piece of myself to writing. I love to write. I am not really good at it, but I fucking love it. I have been writing since I was 13.
  • All my friends saw the real me. I lost friends along the way. I am trying to be a better friend and more transparent. I’m sorry my lying hurt people. I’ve never wanted to hurt others.
  • I’m still failing at a lot of shit. Daily. I am also winning at a lot of shit. Daily. Balance. Lol.
  • I am very good at crunching numbers, being a loving and doting Mother, and spreading kindness whenever I can.
  • One DVT later, I am so happy to wake up each morning.
  • My fibroids ravaged my body and now I live without my belligerent uterus. I am in menopause. I’m trying to live my best life but society deems me irrelevant, invisible, and undesirable. Women in menopause are still amazing, sexy, vibrant women. The wisdom and lived experience is the sexiest bit.
  • I’m still incredibly proud to be an amazing Black American woman and fuck everyone who has wronged Black American people.

I don’t know what the next 10, 20, 30 years will hold for me. I am going to enjoy, reflect, and cherish it all. The good and the bad. I will just feel Blessed to be alive.

2 thoughts on “The 10 year challenge.

  1. tisheadh says:

    Your transparency is breathtaking and I am ready to grab my vaseline on your behalf and give you a great big hug when the pondarosa is over. I want to tell you that I see you and I love you in the fullness of your humanity.

    Thank you for living your truth out loud.

    Liked by 1 person

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