Ya know when you feel like you just need a break?

Yeah me too.

I haven’t written a blog post In a minute, I know. But in other news…. I am writing a freaking book ya’ll! This is partly why I have not posted in about 2 weeks. Take it, that is really not that long but to me it feels like I have a crowd now that follows and reads and I just haven’t given you guys anything to read. But, I won’t apologize for that only because life is simply just life and it moves at different speeds and my energy goes to different things.

Everyday I am figuring out what works best for me, where I’m supposed to truly be and what brings my heart true joy.

I got my heartbroken about a month ago, or more now give or take and it was not so much that I felt like it was broken but more of what was said, the promises made and the WORDS used that broke my heart. If I’m being honest I KNEW it was coming and part of me was almost ok with it, because it was one of those “is this too good to be true moments” Yeah it was one of those. But I am also not mad about it, not angry, not hurt anymore. I was for a moment there and for different reasons but I truly felt like it was supposed to be exactly what it was, temporary and for what? I have my ideas and maybe one day I will have that moment where I say.. “ok I hear you lord, I see what you’ve done” So it’s a good thing. Don’t feel sorry for me or message me and ask questions. It was good while it lasted and it was exciting but it felt more like a really good friendship than someone I could see myself marrying one day. I had my own thoughts lingering in the back of my head about this BUT I got to experience a wonderful human from it and I am grateful for that. He just wasn’t MY person, my human. I know that.

If I look at the chances I have had in front of me to maybe be in relationships or not, I have chosen love. I have chosen to open myself up more than others. No, I am not lonely, I don’t NEED someone to feel happy. I have been thriving all on my own, I have finally figured out who I am, where I want to be and HOW I want to be loved if that time comes. I also have not shut myself off from it. Look at it this way, everyone is different, I am different. But, in no way does that make me a bad person or makes me less sure of myself and who I am when I am alone and most definitely does not make me desperate. No one has said this, but I know people well enough to know that this conversation and how I choose to go about my own life is a topic of conversation and the only reason I feel the need to address it is because I am.. ok. It is ok for people to have their opinions, because they are just that. Opinions. You are the only one living your life, you are the only one who gets to look through your manual of life and choose your chapters, how you want them to start and end. This is why over the course of this year alone, I stopped caring so much. It drained me, it left me to feel like I had to make choices and decisions based off other peoples input and opinions. It is one thing for someone to suggest something when you are in conversation but it is another to allow someone to give their inputs as if you HAVE to take it. No babe, you do not. Live life on your terms. There is and will always be a healthy balance with that. I know one things for sure, my best friend KNOWS how things will pan out before I do, and she has been right about almost everything every. single. time. I am so grateful for that. I should probably learn to listen to her more often than my own self… She’d laugh at this last sentence. If I would listen to anyone or take anything from someone who might have a good input it is her. She knows and has known, more than myself.

I have done a damn good job with curating my own life, being the master of writing my own story and following what God has to clearly laid out in front of me. Does it mean it’s been easy? Absolutely not. It has and will always be difficult, much like a rollercoaster. It has up its ups and downs, it’s bends and corners, it’s start and end, it has it’s highs and lows, it has some hard freaking winds that blow through like the wind blows in your face on a ride, it has the moment where you feel like you are dizzy after the ride and thinking ” What in the heck happened? How did I get through that?” Much like a rollercoaster. I say that and use that because I was just in 6 flags in may and it truly feels that way. As I was riding a ride I thought about the analogy of life and the ride and how similar it is. Think about it that way, you might be more at ease with the chaos of life and more willing to understand things and yourself if you just let it be there. Honestly, just more okay with life not always being what you want or picture it to be and more ok with YOUR own plans not panning out. I am more okay now with life just being life and me not having so much stress and anxiety over things not working out the way I wanted them to. Something better is always around the corner, maybe not always better but always what YOU need. God knows. Even when you do not, he does. Have some calmness in that, some patience.

Life is funny. You fall down and you pick back up. You get your heart broken sometimes, and then it passes and you feel as if you never even felt the heartache or wonder why you let it affect you so much. It is so weird how we get through things in life… So weird. But, we do and it is good to take a step back, look and remember that WE IN FACT DO get past everything in life and some might ignore what is has done and some, like myself, will acknowledge it all and use it. This has created me to be the version of me I am meant to be.

For the first time in my whole entire life, I feel like I can stand up for myself when needed, I can say NO. I am always a yeser kind of person, don’t @ me for using that term and knowing it is not a word. It is a word now, ok? ok. Cool.

I am now more willing and able and OKAY with saying the word NO.

No this does not work for me, no I don’t want to or I can’t do that, No I will not be available.

Where as in the past I would have always said yes because I hate confrontation or being a burden to people, I hate that I was so much of a people pleaser that the things I needed to do for myself always got pushed on the back burner and I caught myself saying, ” I don’t have time..” I did have time I was just using it all wrong.

There really was not point to this post, it was just to hop back on here and remind you all that I am not obligated, YOU are not obligated to do anything other than take care of yourself. That is what you are supposed to do and that is what I have been doing. I have been living my best life, truly happy and thriving. Smiling and doing all the things that make me, ME and bring me true joy and all the while I am seeing my favorite people more. I have come up with a damn good balance for my life that allows me to get all I need to do be done, see my friends and family, go on hikes, be a good and present mom, eat good and healthy, still workout 6 times a week and STILL be able to say ya know what…. I am writing the damn book. I am doing the damn thing you guys.

So please, don’t wear yourself thin. Don’t make excuses and don’t allow yourself to believe the words “I don’t have time.” Most of the time you do, you just don’t balance it out well enough and nothing has to be taken away unless it is no longer serving you and this is what I did. What did not serve me did not stay in my life, what was draining my battery was GONE. I made that choice and I’m damn proud that I did, I am a much happier bre for doing so.

Love you all, thanks for reading this no direction blog post and always showing me love and support.

Until next week friends. 🙂

Hi honey,

June 21, 2021

I am writing you a letter. I don’t know what else to do tonight. Today and tonight you have weighed heavily on my heart and my mind. You know what I miss the most? Being known by you. My best friend. We connected immediately and I ache for that.. with you. I find myself scooting on by in life and I know I am making lots of progress but nights like tonight I feel like I am almost reminded that I have be to extra picky with who I choose to allow in my corner in my life. This gut feeling I have in my stomach that I need to be extra careful and be aware. To go with my gut, to allow love to enter but be picky. I know you are here honey. I know you are watching and listening. I need you, I want YOU. Sometimes I say the same words over and over again… I don’t know how to do this. I am sorry for every fight we ever had. I am sorry we never got the chance to say the words “I do”. No one will ever understand the depth of my love for you. The life we WERE building together. I know you were not what your addicton made you to be. I know that was not the Chris we all knew, it was only a part of your story and it never defined you as a whole person.

Remember the few weeks you were away at work? Remember the anticipation to come home to me? I remember that few weeks so clearly. We were always head over heels for each other. We missed one another even when it was just a normal work day. We were somewhat obsessed with each other and everyone could see it. I miss that, I miss US.

I tried so hard to save you. I remember sitting in my car with you for the first time and just listening to you talk about your past and you thought the whole time that I would say never mind and never see you again. That did not happen and fast forward to 3 months later we got our place together and I was so thrilled. All we ever wanted was to wake up next to each other and fall asleep together. That quickly became a favorite routine and in the morning when you left for work you would kiss me goodbye while I was most of the time still asleep, you never skipped a beat with that. I miss that.

I think on nights like tonight i am just missing my best friend. The person I share everyday life with and no matter how hard, no matter how many tears were shed, no matter what happened between us I was still committed to you. You could ask anyone and they would say, “those two love each other with everything they have.” No it was not easy, it is never easy being with someone who has mental health issues and is an ex addict but baby, I always knew the real you. I knew and still know who you really are. You were the man that wanted a normal life with me and us, our boys. You wanted the whole thing, a home, a baby of our OWN, a career… but you always felt 10 steps backwards. I wish I could’ve helped you realize how special you were, how I saw more in you than you did in yourself. I wish you saw that light and that true genuine care and love that you carried with you, even in your worst moments.

I just don’t know how I am supposed to do this, sometimes I think I am there, sometimes I think “ok I can do this, I can find love again, I can be open to this..” and SOMETHING has continued to either stop me, get in the way or just not pan out. No I am not searching, but in a way, actually I believe 110% God is telling me…. this is not your time and I am working on it but keep doing what you are doing and I promise I will come through.

I am trying to sit in these moments of despair. You know want to know how I truly feel tonight? I feel lost and alone, and not alone as in I have no one, I mean alone in the deepest, darkest parts of my soul. That if I’m being honest Chris, I just want to be with you again. I want to see you again and wrap my arms around you. Rylan misses you, your own son needs his daddy and I just wish we could turn back time and take that entire week back. I never thought I would lose you, I always expressed to you that I don’t know what I would do if I lost you… and here I am trying to figure out how to do this without you. This is not easy, but you know what I do know honey?

Here is what I do know.

I am a child of God, I know I am saved and so loved by our God and it brings much so much joy to know you are riding high in heaven with him, watching, listening, guiding me too. I know you have us and I KNOW you are sending me someone special, I know you know my heart. You know the person I have always been and the way I ache to be loved and cherished and adored, you know I want more babies and to build a life with my person. I wish that was you but here is what else I know… I know because you want that for me too, I know that one day the person that does come into my life..that will be a surprise, I won’t have to hide the loss of you, you will be excepted with open arms, there will be no jealousy, no competition in love, no questioning, it will just be. As is. I know this person, this individual will make a huge point to make you and your memory a part of OUR lives. I will come naturally, gently, compassionately, lovingly, authentically, genuinely.

I crave that genuine authenticity from someone. I crave the real deep, raw love that goes down in the depths of someones soul, where you look at that person and you say… yep THIS is the person I can’t live without and that bond… could never be broken even with the sharpest knife out there. Our bond never broke, not even on our worst day or in the worst fight we ever had. It was still there and everyone saw that.

Tonight’s been hard, I love you and I ache for you tonight babe. This is not fair, I need your love and your ability to know me as I knew you. I feel like my other half got ripped away from me and one day you were here and I was sitting next to you telling you how much I loved you and that I was here and would always be here for you and then… you were just gone. How is this real life? How are you just gone like this? At times, it doesn’t feel real and I know when those specific feelings of it being fuzzy in my head, where I don’t really know how to explain how much I miss you or how this doesn’t feel real, that is YOU telling me you are here. You aren’t here for me to see, hug and love on but you are here and you know the aching in my chest, the agony that consumes me sometimes where I just cry out. You know my heart, you know what I deserve and I know you will forever be here to support me in all my endeavors.

Baby I hope you are so damn proud of me, I hope you have heard every single word and felt every feeling that I have felt, that you have closed your eyes with me as I prayed. I hope you continue to be here for me and for us. I need you, I need you in so many ways.

I love you endlessly and I will cherish what time we did have together for as long as I live, until the day I get to see you again.

What truly matters?

The other day I wrote out a list of what truly matters to me.

Here they are.

  1. Being a good, present mother
  2. Family
  3. Community
  4. Prayer
  5. The gift of LIFE
  6. Faith
  7. Food
  8. Health
  9. Boundaries
  10. Friends
  11. Memories made
  12. JESUS!!!

When I say what truly MATTERS, I mean like what if you were sitting in your special chair at the peak END of your life? Close your eyes, as you are reading this, take just a moment to really step into that space and ask yourself.. What matters to you? What WILL matter to you at the end?Let’s make it clear that I think when some people read this they might say to themselves.. ” why is she writing aboutt the future, why is she not just living presently?” This is my point though.. we often forget to live in the present and really remember what is important so much so that we do NOT think about how fast time moves. How quickly things can change. I don’t want this to be taken the wrong way. I just want to shed light on this just a tad.

I did not put money on my list because I know it is not the most important aspect of my life. While I know we need it to an extent, there is also so much hurt and damage and toxicity wrapped around the idea that money can solve anything in life. Jesus trumps money, he over powers everything. Remember this. In the past year I have really, truly reminded myself that no matter what comes my way, difficult or otherwise, that I am taken care of, I will always hand my life over to him. I know it is easier said than done, especially in the middle of what feels like an.. “Oh no, what am I going to do? How am I going to fix this?” In those moments I have really taken a huge deep breath and said these words. “Breanna, it is okay. It will always be OKAY.” I say a prayer and I move forward. Guess what? Somehow I ALWAYS find the way. Not MY WAY, but whatever way comes, I follow and I am indeed OKAY!

Your mind, your brain, what you have the ability to utilize in everyday life, the power and knowledge in what you walk around with is beyond me, it is insane and most people do not use it enough. Most people would rather shut it off or distract themselves and let me explain something honey.. If you ALWAYS turned it off, shut off, distracted yourself ( even with things that may seem positive or healthy ) they are still negative distractions. They take you away from the one place that you actually need to be present in, for whatever THAT is. For me, it was being present in my grief and trauma, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t put myself in the place of losing Chris, finding him and the many minutes after that. The fact that my best friend lived that awful few moments with me, that she had to be the one to make the phone call to the police, she had to be the one to get him down… She had to be the one because I could not. That eats at me sometimes. Sometimes it is almost as if I am out of my body reliving that entire day through every step I took. At first I felt like I was forcing myself too, then I realized that was not the case. I remember what I remember and each time I do, I don’t always feel the same emotions. Each time I remember something from that day or the WHOLE day, different feelings take place. This will happen, for a long time. But, this is where I am supposed to be. It also does not take away the growth I have had through all of that. It only creates more to grow from and move forward with it apart of my story.

I talk about this often and it is because I feel like you could benefit from really taking a pen to paper, your fingertips to a keyboard and writing out YOUR story. We all have one, we all have SOMETHING. That is what makes this world so unique, in a world where most people of all ages want to be the next best person they see on social media, constantly comparing and I feel like now it’s not just an outer body comparison, its a lifestyle comparison. Guess what? Those beautiful people you see one social media, they are human too. They feel too. That beautiful girl who seems to have it together all the time? She lost someone too. That guy who seems to always be having a good time, or out with all his “buddies”? He is hiding from something he is not ready to face and distracts himself with meaningless friendships where he can be anyone he wants to be. I feel like the vulnerability that I share here or on all my socials honestly gives you a better, more real and raw view of who I am. I can share these pretty filtered photos, photos of my life with my friends and my child. I may LOOK like it’s always a good time, but what I want to remind you of is there is always a part of my day where I sit back and I am reminded with what happened that forever changed who I was and forever changed my outlook on life. It is with me everyday, I forget that I went through a very traumatic experience and it is catching up with me and causing me different triggers everyday, but nothing that I can’t handle and get through ( not easily ) but I will get through it no matter what. I am just like you, my heart has been broken, I have lost someone ( to suicide and to be the person who found him) nonetheless, I have a horrible relationship that I wish with all my heart would one day take a beautiful turn with the father of my child and it has been so so hard to deal with. I don’t have my own private space anymore and I just quit my office job to make more money babysitting WHILE giving myself the freedom to also dive deeper into my passions and my newest one yet, figuring out how to become an addiction counselor. I am thrilled. Even in the midst of a storm, I am still seeing that light at the end of the tunnel and it leads me into a beautiful new world. A world I am creating for myself, one I am proud of.

Life is colorful and beautiful and worth being LIVED. This is a huge reason why I took a step back, reevaluated and restructured my life a little bit.

The gym used to be ALL I was about, it was all that mattered to me, it is still a huge part of me and I do it 5 times a week, sometimes 6. But it is better managed time wise and schedule wise, I don’t feel like I am saying no to friends all the time because the gym comes first. I never wanted to get rid of the things that made me happy but better yet I wanted to make them all work for me and not against me. Like I said in the beginning of this post, what matters to you? What needs more of your time and attention? What is something you have wanted to do but found yourself saying you are too busy? We are never too busy to be fulfilling our dreams and aspirations. Life is too short to forget that you weren’t just put here to live a CONTENT and COMPLACENT life. You are meant to LIVE babe.

I am thrilled and so flipping stoked that I have had the ability to not only put myself first but truly focus on LIFE. At the end of it, I know I will have memories to hold onto from this life with all the people I love most in the world. Because that is important, not the times I spent saying no to opportunity and chances to make a memory or two. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say ” well, I made all this money, what do I have to show for it?” I want to say I finally realized at almost 30 years old that I figured out the true meaning of being PRESENT. Truly present in life, in the world, in memory making, present in Gods word and praising him daily. THAT is what I live for these days.

Yes, I believe everyone should be able to get the chance to touch their dreams, make a true dedication to their desires, dreams, aspirations. Most people stay complacent and content to a point where it becomes unhealthy and then that disappointment in THEMSELVES allows it to be bled into friendships and family. Ask yourself if that is happening to you now or with someone in your family? Does someone talk about wanting to do something but never actually takes the steps to get there. I know how important it is to be able to live a life that you love and admire. A life fulfilling that dream you have, just remember that it should never compromise your integrity, your friendships with family and friends. It should never take over so much so you lose sight of everything else around you. Don’t let your passion become a negative thing. I believe we can all take a step back, look at the picture in front of us and balance things out. I am sorry I don’t have more beautiful words and some better terminology to use here but truthfully. Just balance. Restructure. Rebuild.

I remember saying today that we are made for more than just a good day and smiles. The storms that have showered over my life have always passed and with it came a beautiful, colorful rainbow. We have to experience those storms, because if we didn’t.. who would you be? Some people have said, ” Why do I have to experience a storm at all? I just want to be mentally stable. Guess what? You don’t get to just BE mentally stable and just have a good day. If you experience happiness and joy, you also experience sadness and anger. There is never one emotion you feel over the other. That is not how it works. Stories aren’t made from all good days and everything always working out in your favor. All storms look different, A LOT different and that is OKAY! My story might seem like it has more but I promise you it does not. Mine is different because it is MINE. What is yours? What do you have to share? You are made for more, always. It doesn’t always have to look pretty, put together. Life is MESSY all on its own and you, NO ONE can change that. Life can get pretty ugly, it is meant to be at times. We just get used to managing it so much so that we forget to just be present in the messy and remember life is still so gorgeous. Even in the midst of messy and figuring things out.

You have so much to offer.

I truly want to hear what matters to you? Write out a list and email me your list, I truly want to read it and maybe an explanation as to why near some them or the most important ones.

You are adored.

Bre

My new life

I don’t often come on here and speak about my new life. The one I am currently living without my Chris. It becomes so painful at times remembering that he is no longer living his life here on earth with me, but I am comforted knowing he is living his heavenly life. He is home. I speak so much on my own strength and perseverance through this hard season, I don’t know if I would call it a season actually. Maybe this is more of a time In my life that will take some time to really figure out, how to really get through all the bits and pieces of what losing him and losing him to suicide nonetheless did to me, the long road that it has been but I have hardly have talked about this new life I am living. Without him, and it has not been easy.

As most of you know, some of you do not. Chris and I moved really fast in our relationship. We moved in together three whole months of being together. We were head over heels in love, we could never get enough of each other. It was apparent to everyone around us, even to us. I loved his big strong arms, his goofy quirky personality and the way he was so selfless with everyone he loved. Even if it meant giving up things for himself, he would do that without hesitation for someone he loved. He was selfless and kind, he was caring.

Our relationship was not easy, being with someone who struggled with a past of addiction, someone who relapsed twice while we were together, someone who was so damaged from his years while being in his addiction, he just was not the same person even though he tried every single day. I saw glimpses of this other Chris, the one who wanted so badly to just feel like a normal human, someone who did not feel like he walked around with this mental illness and the awful effects that his time spent in addiction did to him. Even when our relationship was not easy, we always came back around to the same feeling, the same comittment we had for one another. How much we deeply loved one another and I would still to this day fight for us and for him. I never turned my back, I never walked away, I probably took more than I should have but I loved that man with every part of my soul and he knew that.

January 22, 2020 I got a text while at work and Chris was away for work for 3 weeks but he would come back for the weekends. I got a text from him saying,

Chris: “I want to marry you, just decided”

Me: “Don’t mess with me like that.”

Chris: ” I’m not, I’m serious

Me: ” You already know how I feel about this..”

Chris: ” Lets just got to Vegas”

Chris: ” I’m serious, Let’s get married, I don’t care if we go to the courthouse. I wanna spend my life with you.”

Reading those messages again and again break my freaking heart. He knew how much I wanted to marry him, at first he didn’t think he would ever want that nor did he think he wanted another child since we both had one of our own. That changed quickly in our relationship and suddenly we kept talking about how we wanted another one of us running around, how much we wanted to see our two boys be big brothers to another little one. We had dreams for our life, we had plans, we had a deep love that even when things got extremely hard, life came rushing at us like a speed of light I KNEW, WE knew without a doubt our souls were connected. I loved him, hard.

When Chris died and I found him, it was hard and still is hard to process. Even still, I think now, in this part of the healing I am just now trying to find my way through the trauma part of it all. Expected, this I know. But, a whole new life took form for me. An entire new bre was just being prepped for her journey through unknown territory and very difficult waters. Nothing God knew I wouldn’t be able to handle though. He knew this would break me but just enough to rebuild me. Now, I see life through a different lens with a new set of eyes, eyes that catch every single special moment, eyes that SEE the world as is, eyes that notice the little things and live in a moment just for it to pass. Moments pass us by like trains on a highway, they come and go, they are there and they aren’t. Life happens, things in life not only catch us by surprise but things that are almost always expected to break us and then when they don’t break us I imagine God is sitting there clapping right along side of us saying, “See this is what I made you for. I made you for so much more and you did not let the enemy win this battle.” Some battles have been lost, Chris’s battle with depression and his struggle with feelings where he felt he lacked worth, that might of seemed to of win but it didn’t. He is home with the Lord, he is truly home and at peace. At first, I just kept saying how I would never be able to think about another man let alone look at another man in interest. God has his own ways of guiding us through grief and opening doors that you never thought would open and sometimes they open to teach us something and then they just close. Never onto the next, but a what can I learn from this? Where can this help me grow type of door opening? Am I right? Can any of you relate or tell me a time where you felt like a door opening was a lesson to be aware of?

My new life was just that, new. It was scary, it was lonely sometimes, and not in a way where I wanted to fill the void or fill the emptiness because truthfully I would have rather been alone than without Chris by my side. The person I spent the last two years sleeping next to every single night, the person I was building a new foundation with, a new life together, our routines, our home, our hobbies, our kids, our love, our inside jokes, our dreams and aspirations, our ability to still act so in love and head over heels for one another. I feel like now, I am still navigating a new life. I am not scared for this new life, do I miss me old one? A lot of the time I do, there are things I miss daily about my old life and it honestly felt as if I was just awaiting the days to be over, I was just barley making it day by day, I just wanted to be close to him. I just wanted him back so badly and I was so eager to hear from him in my dreams somehow.

My new life is filled with more wonder, more love, more compassion, more adventure, more appreciation for just life, more desires and dreams, more courage and grace, more perseverance and patience, more moments that I take and grab onto so that I can live inside each and every single one. But it is also filled with, anger, frustration, sadness, questions, confusion, days where I feel utterly depressed, days where I just wish with all my heart I could run into his arms and just hug him and I know I can’t and it kills me, days where I don’t know why I feel that heavy weight but it is there and I just have to feel it in order for it to pass. This new life is filled with a purpose and joy, it is filled with many new relationships, it is filled with all of the Lord and this new life is completely structured IN him and BY him. He did this, he made me new, he guided me, was there for me, loved me recklessly and knew I would make it out of this with a new understanding of life. The Lord KNEW I would use this to change a life or two or three. He knew what I was going to do. That is continuing to be shown to me and I am more aware and awake now to see his vision for me.

When I think of my new life and my old, I won’t lie and say I don’t miss it. I miss everything about our daily routine together, the way we loved even on those hard days. I miss Chris every single second of everyday. I miss the way he laughed, the way he cooked dinner and played music and we just became present. I miss the way we would get in bed and spend 30 minutes picking a movie just to go downstairs and eat some ice cream or some kind of sugary goodness then go back to bed and snuggle. I miss waking up to his warm arms and his middle of the night kisses consuming me. I miss waking up to his kiss before leaving for work every morning, he never missed a beat when he kissed me goodbye for the day. I miss us planning our workouts together for everyday of the week. I miss the way we started to read the 5 love languages together and even though it wasn’t something that really interested in him he did it anyway because he knew it would better our relationship on some level and all he wanted was to do that, with me, us holding hands doing this life together. I miss the way he sang in the shower and I laughed while waiting for him to be done. I miss our clinginess and the way we both craved our physical touch for one another and the words of affirmation we gave. I miss the mid day texts from each other, just to come home and still act as if we hadn’t talked all day already. I miss his love. I miss our life together. I miss… HIM.

I was reading something about perseverance. Perseverance is taken as pushing on, get through it, just get to the other side. Right? But what is not said often is how just because you press on and push through something does not mean you are automatically strong, it does not mean it isn’t hard because it is NOT. It is not easy. It is painful. That is the truth right there, and most people don’t talk about that. I was and always am walking by faith, walking by God through all of this. Even to this day and it has only been 8 months. I forget how fresh that still is for me. The valley that I am now walking through, the trauma. He is still there with me, loving me and helping shine light on my perseverance. He is not yet done with me and my story. I CHOSE to turn my page, I CHOSE to press on, I CHOSE to literally fall to my knees and BEG God to save me. I knew what had to be done. I CHOSE to persevere, to fight for my life back, I CHOSE to fight my way out of this tight little bubble of despair, pain, trauma, grief, guilt, anger, lostness, sadness, depression, I CHOSE to find my way out of that, and it was not easy. I’m embracing all things new, I am embracing the new life I have and while I am still going through the moments, I can appreciate life more now. I appreciate the meaning of true love. I appreciate the unconditional love my child has for me, how much he needs mommy. I appreciate the sun shining, I appreciate the days where I just need to cry. I appreciate that because I am human, I feel and because I feel I am able to be compassionate and understanding to those around me and then some. I appreciate that I still get to wake up and BREATHE another day of this life, I appreciate that even though I don’t see Chris now I know one day we will be together again, in heaven and I will get to be reunited with that love. I appreciate every single moment in my life, it all means something in some way shape or form. I appreciate the ability to explore and get outside in nature, I appreciate that I have a passion and a gift to be able to write the way I do and write from the deepest parts of my heart and soul. I appreciate that I even got 2 years of life with someone who changed me forever. I appreciate that I was able to love him and him i. I appreciate life. Moments pass us by, as I said, but my moments are being lived so much more definitely. My moments in this life are being lived with much more purpose and strive, passion and grace. To notice all the small things because they also make up the big things, that life is to precious and our relationships with our loved ones are so important, that we only have this one life to live and at the end of my life I would like to think that the most important aspects of THIS life will be the only things that would have ever mattered. My child, my loved ones, and most of all the relationship between me and the father. That is all.

This new life is and will be spent appreciating everything, taking in the moments around me that come and go and cherishing what is in the moment. My new life, is more colorful in lots of different areas. This new life is different and while I know it is painful sometimes to remember that I am doing this without him, the person I thought I would marry, I know he is cheering me on, he is oh so proud and he is right here with me for every milestone accomplished, for every birthday that will come and go, for all my passions being fulfilled, he is here while I support him and continue to honor him in all the ways I know how. He is here for all the things he can’t physically be here for and as much as I wish was here to hold, I know he is here no matter what. He’s watching. He is listening. He is smiling.

It is kind of like the wind, I can’t see it but I can feel it.

Chris, I can’t see you but I can feel you. And, I know you are here.

I love you,

Bre

All of Gods beautiful breadcrumbs in my life

All of Gods breadcrumbs, his tiny little stepping stones, placement of ANYTHING that he sets before me. This I have seen, this I have noticed, this now more than ever I have payed attention to. Maybe it took something tragic happening to open my eyes, unfortunately sometimes I feel like that is the case. I have always been empathetic and aware, but now more than ever I’m on high alert, I am way more aware, I am even more emotional than ever before, I am even more vulnerable than ever before and most of all I am more of an open book than I ever thought I was. I always say ” I see through a different lens of life.” I love differently, I give my energy and time differently now.

I guess my point to this topic was to talk about those breadcrumbs I have noticed God place before me. My counselor that I talked with after everything took place told me I was different, she told me I was an old soul, that it was remarkable to her the mindset I walked around with, the ability to see something peaceful and worthy at the end of the tunnel, that in the midst of all the ugly I chose to see beauty. Does this mean It weighed or hurt any less? Nope. Not one bit, but I fought everyday, and I still fight. I think now, in this particular time of my healing, the grief and the trauma.. I am now dealing with what I saw, having to find him. The last few months have been a whirlwind of uncertain events, moments where I crave and ache Chris so much, how I just wish I had one more chance to save him and I seem to forget what happened. I don’t know if that’s the right sentence to better explain this but that’s what i’m going with. I am NOW, dealing with the trauma of finding the person I loved so much, the details of the day he left this earth and all the puzzle pieces leading up to that moment. Coming home from work, walking in OUR home, seeing two letters on our coffee table. One letter was a love letter I had written him prior that week and the other was his goodbye letter. Our brand new puppy in her kennel to my right. When I looked left I saw our garage door wide open and I had this eery feeling, I slowly turned the corner and I saw him there. I saw him for a split second and fell to my knees. We had neighbors all up by our house from my street crying with me, I don’t know how long I was screaming and wailing for and from what I was told, no one had ever heard someone make the sounds that I made that day. I look back and I can see myself in the moment, I can see myself wailing and remember rocking back and forth, hitting the ground beneath me and screaming NO at the very top of my lungs over and over and over again. My best friends mom walked me over to the other side of the townhome because my bestie lived right next door and if you have read my other blog posts, she was there for the entire thing. She was right by my side, she had to do the part of this that I could never ever do. She did so much for me that day that I just could not do. I was in a daze, I felt like someone ran me over multiple times and was continuing to rip my heart out of my chest.

What felt like forever was only like 2 hours after I found him and I finally got the ability to stand up and go to the bathroom. My body was in so much physical pain. I was so tired yet terrified to go to sleep. For weeks after I did not sleep. I would lie awake at night terrified to fall asleep. I would wake up and immediately be in this depressive state of mind and I truly felt like I did not want to keep going. It was so damn painful that I felt so broken I was not able to come back from this. I truly did not understand how or when I was going to come back from this. The next day we woke up and were taken to the funeral home where he was at for a little bit, we only had a window of time to say our goodbyes. I was really on my way to a funeral home to say goodbye to the person I loved with every inch of my soul, the person I just spent the last 2 years with, moved into my first home with, bought a puppy with. I could go on. I walked in that funeral home and as we were walking in the room where he was laying… I was being held on either side by my mother and my best friends mom. I walked every so slowly over to him to touch him and I immediately jumped back. I was terrified. He was so cold, he was so clammy, and hard as a rock. He wasn’t my Chris. I just wailed and wailed. I finally got the strength to touch him and hug him and kiss him goodbye. When I looked at him he seemed to have a smirk on his face, not like his was smiling but he was at peace. That brought my some comfort. That was the hardest goodbye I have ever had to make.

The first breadcrumb he left me.

The day he took his life I KNEW God was there, I knew he had all of us. My best friend was the one running around trying to take care of everyone, make the appropriate phone calls and so on. One phone call she made I will remember forever. She made a phone call to our landlord to inform her of the events. Little did we know that THAT phone call she stated might of saved her daughters life. We had zero idea that anything similar was going on with her and her family.. but how would we know unless we asked? Can you think of how many times you don’t ask or don’t check in with a friend or family member who may be having similar thoughts and feelings? In a way I believe from that moment on God was showing me a new path. A new way to open my heart and be more compassionate than I already am in this life. That even through something so awful that some other lives are destined to be changed because of this story. It is obvious you can’t save everyone but I will do my best to be the listening ear, the compassionate and understanding heart that someone needs if that means saving a life and relieving even a little bit of that pain they feel.

The second breadcrumb

My second one was I think two weeks after his passing. It felt like such a blur to me so when I relive those days and weeks they all almost seem to mesh together in one giant ball. I was so eager to have him visit my dreams, I was angry. I was feeling the sadness but I was just angry. I was angry that he had done what he did in OUR home. That OUR home was now not the same place it was before. I couldn’t be alone in that home, I couldn’t walk around that house by myself and I definitely couldn’t walk by the garage ( which was right near our upstairs) without getting an eerie feeling. I was angry at him for what he did not just in our home but to me… how could he let me come home to him like that? How could he do something like this KNOWING I would be the only person to come inside our home that day or ever.. I had so many questions and now looking back I feel awful for being angry at him for that and here is why.

Suicide is NOT selfish act, I will forever stand firm on that.

I had all these questions and the anger bubbling up inside me I just wanted SOMETHING, literally anything to answer even just one question that I had. Whatever it was 2 weeks or 3, like I said I am not sure. But, I had a gal I hardly know message me on instagram. Out of the blue, we just follow each other and have met a few times like 6 years ago. This was out of nowhere. She was just messaging me and opening up to me about her own past traumas and such. We got to talking and she wanted to remind me that Chris did not do what he did to hurt me, he did not do it in our home to hurt me or damage our humble abode and make it not homey anymore.. he did it where he did it because that is where he felt MOST comfortable. He felt at peace in our home, how could he not? It was our space. He did it at home and let me to find him because he felt comfort knowing the love of his life would be there to find him. I don’t know why that doesn’t make me second guess my questions but it makes sense and it made sense when she was explaining this to me. As soon as she further explained or tried to explain it to me because of her own personal handles with suicide and potential suicide herself she was able to give me a little comfort at the time and just remind me that the last thing he was trying to do was hurt me. I felt a little bit of relief after that conversation. Only a little bit.. and the time, a little bit was more than I could’ve asked for. At that point I wanted so badly to have him visit me so I could tell him how much we loved him and how we wish we could’ve saved him and how I am not angry anymore, I just felt sad for him. Sad that he felt the way he did enough to make that permanent choice. None of us will ever go a day without this memory.

For a few weeks, I wrote so much. I wrote to him, I texted his phone, I called his phone, I wrote him letters, I wrote out things just to write. I used to say ” I will never be the same again” I said that a lot and looking back I still stand firm on that. Was I supposed to stay the same? Absolutely not. That forever changed my life in more ways than one. But now… now is a different ball game. No I am never going to be the same, I don’t want to be. I want to grow, heal, change lives, love more, love harder, smile more, pray more, be more ambitious, I want to write more and tell my story to so many more people out there. So when I used to say, ” I will never be the same” I am now saying it from a different place in my healing process because at the time I was saying it as if I could never live without my Chris. Life is not easy I will give you that, living life without him is not easy. What happened, that is not for the faint of heart. I know I will see him again one day, I know he’s always watching over me. He is watching over all his loved ones. I always hope I am making him proud up there and keeping his memory alive in every way. I am constantly doing my best. That is all the grace I can give myself.

The 3rd breadcrumb

I ended up connecting with a girl who was experiencing a situation with a family member who was in this certain state of mind, he was suicidal. We got to talking on social media, I ended up continuing to check in on her here and there and just talk to her, ask what I can pray for. This relationship, with a complete stranger nonetheless blossomed into a supportive friendship, where we both understand one another. On a different level than most BECAUSE of my story. Because of that, she felt comfortable coming to me to talk and share with. THAT is why I share the way I do. Where I was able to lend a different view or just be another voice for her to hear and at the time I was still SO fresh from losing Chris. Little did I know God was and still is placing these different people in my life, different situations and many different conversations all to open my eyes to the door he has waiting for me to open. I feel like I have heard him loud and clear, I am listening. I am watching and I am aware of all the beauty even during the ugly and messy days. God has continued to show up and remind me why this story is going to change lives, because it has already changed a few and in another blog post I will share more about that in some of the messages I have recieved ( I will keep names out though for privacy reasons ) I hear my purpose and I see the path set before me, I just have to open that door.

The 4th breadcrumb

I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do next with my purpose and the place I have been speaking from, I feel this fire in my soul that just wants to HELP people in some way but at the same time I have wanted to honor Chris’s life as well. I was thinking “what could I do?” And I had this idea to try and look into becoming an addiction counselor for some time now. No one knew about this idea at all, I mean NO ONE!

I was serving at church one morning and as a really good friend of mine and I were talking she was asking me all kinds of questions about what I wanted to do and then suggested I talk to this lady at our church who is involved with the addiction side of things. I was honestly like.. ” OK God I hear you, I see you now.” I was in awe of what that conversation came out to be because I had that idea in the back of my head for weeks and then all of a sudden a friend suggests it to me WITH opportunities surrounding us for me to get involved and I just knew THAT is what I was supposed to look into doing. Even if it was just volunteering for a little while so I get a feel, I just did not care what I had to do as long as I was doing something that was fulfilling me and my purpose. I am still now in the process of trying to get involved and I will always keep you all update on how all that goes. I am so excited because being with someone who was in addiction himself and hearing many testimonies from many different guys around him including his.. I was just blown away by Gods goodness. Those testimonies were a true test of faith, they bolster your faith in the Lord and remind you of all his grace. I know for me, hearing stories as such, it brings me back to a place where I KNOW God does work miracles, he is a miracle worker you guys and THESE stories just prove that. Time and Time again. No one is too broken for God, you are NOT too far gone and testimonies remind you of that.

So I encourage you, if you need a reminder on his promise to us, his grace and love for us PLEASE go listen to someone’s testimony and really hear where they came from and where they are now. Miracles do happen, and lives can be saved. They are every single day. This is where I want to give my energy these days. We are all broken in our own ways, we walk around carrying our OWN story and your story is unique in it’s own way. I have always said that sometimes people like to read the words they can’t say, or they like to listen to the words in a song that describes something they might be going through. I promise whatever you have to say, it does not go unnoticed. Someone is watching, someone is reading, someone is listening and most of SOMEONE is being changed and enlightened because of YOU.

I have so many more breadcrumbs to share but I am going to leave this post at just this. I always have more to say but I am afraid if I make these too long no one will take the time to read it. So, stay tuned for more and have an amazing new week ahead.

You are loved

You are worthy

You are beautifully made new.

Bre

Part Two

I felt my last post getting just a tad too long, hence why I said to be continued…

Monday, May 24, 202

It is Monday, I am sitting in the coffee shop waiting to join my first young adults group. Before I walked in here I got a voice memo from a sweet friend of mine praying for me. I will never go a day fully understanding Gods grace and love, how he shows up for me in so many ways, ways I never could have even fathomed. I am continuing to be made aware of the blessings, my surroundings, the people in my life that each bring their own light, their own voice that speaks into me all in their own way. I am so grateful.

Today had some light, I woke up and got my workout done, I did not want to because lets face it… who’s really a morning person? Not very many of us. I am trying to be simply because I have had so much on my plate, not in a negative way but things I want to do, places I WANT to be and being that the gym is a huge part of who I am, I feed now heavily off meaningful relationships and where I can serve that will fulfill my soul in all the ways I know God is trying to guide me to. He’s showing me where I’m supposed to be most, showing me that I have way more to offer than just going to the gym everyday, going to work and doing JUST that. I am not made for just the same things everyday that limit my time and my efforts. I am tired of saying NO because I have the gym and I have found that, the gym is still a place I love and a place I want to be but on MY OWN time. I will work around the gym not me around the gym. If that makes sense.

The enemy works in his own mysterious ways, the lord works in his BIG ways. His love is abundant and holy. It is fulfilling.

Tuesday May, 25th, 2020

Part of me realized today that there is still so much growing left to do within myself in my alone time. I am on fire in so many other areas, I am determined, full of life, focused, motivated…a little distracted. Sometimes not in the healthiest ways.

It has always been hard for me to be alone. Enjoy my own company, and when I mean alone I mean not being constantly surrounded by other people. It is why I would rather be at work than at home. It is why I would rather sit in my car and listen to music for a stupid amount of time when I should be somewhere because I ma distracted. It is why our phones and social media can be so damaging. This is something I am planning to do, a social media cleanse once a month. A friend suggested it and it resonated with me. Good for the soul, more time to spend with the lord. I am also choosing to re read through the Bible study I just did because it was just that good and I want take the time ALONE to really dive in and I already have the book so why not 🙂

If you want a normal look into one of my days or what my weeks look like here it is. Here is what it used to look like..

  1. Wake up and get ready for work
  2. eat breakfast and either take little man to school then head to work or just head to work
  3. work all day, 1 break in the AM, 30 minute lunch, and another 15 min break. Giving almost no time for anything else on those breaks
  4. Get off work and M, W, F head to Redmond to workout for about an hour or more most times. ( in a powerlifting team which I enjoy but it is very time consuming )
  5. Get home, cook dinner, make lunch, get ready for bed
  6. Go to bed
  7. do it all over again….

HERE IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE NOW

I am not even going to number these because it isn’t a list… my life does not need to be based off a list. That is so sad. Yes have things that NEED to get done, mark them off great. BUT, if you are living the same way 5 days a week… somethings gotta change. Are you really being fulfilled.

In this last 2 months I have finished yet another bible study but another book club coming up on Wednesday nights with some amazing women from church. I have joined a young adults group with a bunch of adults around my age, spending time in the word, good community, games and just an amazing well spent time. I have taken my passion to write and blog and journal way more seriously than ever before. I ran with it, and it has been…. exactly what my heart needed. I have chosen to take my time way more seriously with where I’m serving, am I giving to much to one area and not enough to myself? No, now I am making a point to give more to what I need. What is going to create a better me. The things that truly bring me joy I am now learning are just as important and they don’t belong on the back burner, they don’t deserve a no or an I guess I will do it tomorrow. They deserve for me to rearrange my life in order to better serve me.

SUNDAY May 30th, 2021

I am hopping back on here to write tonight and it is Sunday night, I had written a bit In my notes on my phone and when I do that it’s because I have things that pop into my head and I don’t want to lose my thoughts so I put them down wherever I can. So sorry for the gap in the days this week you guys, I had a lot going on and I like to take my time when writing out this stuff for the most part.

It was Memorial Day weekend. I made plans to hike crater lake here in Oregon, and we did that. I made plans to meet friends out at the Prineville reservoir and enjoy the sun, some food and some amazing company. I attended church this morning as well. It was a good day. A good weekend and it is a good life.

We have worship every Sunday, obviously and this one was powerful. I stood in the front row, held my hands together, and my eyes started to get teary eyed. I tend to get emotional no matter what but this one was different. The feeling I had was different. While talking to a friend, a really good friend this week about Chris I just remember telling her that when I think about him being gone it doesn’t feel real. That sometimes I walk around in denial of his absence and then I sit in church, the place we came and went together and I just cry. Tears flowing. Sometimes I feel Chris so near. Sometimes it just does not feel real that he is gone and there is so many things in this life that I just want to run and tell him. So many moments I wish we could get back. Some of my favorite moments in our relationship were our late night snacking in the kitchen just laughing, talking and pigging out. That time was special because it was just him and i. Present and goofy.

I am so damn proud of the choices I have made and I pray everyday that I am also making him proud up there. I know I am. Because of him, because of this entire other door to another world I knew nothing about…. I have decided it was time for me to give back. It was time for me to serve God in all ways, every way. Sharing his good news, changing lives, speaking truth, caring for those who need a little extra love and guidance, being vulnerable for myself and for the people who need to hear someone else’s vulnerability. I want to help, I want to love, I want to share and be a light. I have made lots of changes in order to accomplish the small things that bring me joy just to create them into bigger things. I know more is coming, I am sure of Gods goodness.

Whatever it is you choose to do in life, do it 110% but make sure you are having a healthy balance. At the end of the day and at the end of this life, I don’t want to be remembered solely for my hard work, to be remembered as the girl who busted her butt so much so she lost sight the important things in life. Family, friends, your children and most of all GOD. I am focusing on a much simpler life that better serve MY life.

You are loved, by more people than you know. Remember what is important in life, where do you want to be at the end of your life and who do you want standing next to you? Where is your time and effort being used? Ask yourself this, How will I be remembered? What do I want to leave behind one day? I know some people say, “just focus on the now, don’t think ahead or of the past” but that isn’t me and personally it is not realistic to me. What is the harm in wanting to have ambitions and dreams, or to have a goal in mind, a place you want to be and who you want to be there. Don’t let anyone tell you it is damaging to think ahead or to think of the past. In my head, my past has experiences that NOW I can use to speak from and on and THAT is beautiful. Your life is a story, it is a beautiful messy story, we all have one and each is unique.

Choosing to remember that life has lots of little things that make up all the big things. If you look close enough you can find the beauty in the world. When I sit and stare at my Childs sweet face and listen to him speak I am in awe that I created that. How lucky I am to be a momma. How special it is that I get to raise a human, there is nothing in this world more important to me than being a momma, and the best one I can be. If you pay attention in life you can feel and see all the magnificence in this world. There is so much to be grateful for, you can feel a true blessing.

I am going to cut this off and write again this week, there were many gaps in this one due to the week I have had. With that being said, I send you of this week to write yourself a kind affirmation everyday of the week. This is something I have HAD to do for myself in order to remind myself just how special I truly am. Sometimes we need to remind us… when it comes from someone else it is great, but you have to feel it for yourself too.

Beautifully Made New

Bre

This post is title-less, I just want to speak.

I decided to just speak. To just write. To just let it flow. No direction, no topic. Just me, my words and most of all my vulnerability.

I feel like I talk so much about how beneficial it is to be vulnerable, how important it is to be raw and real. When we go through the motions, when we have good days, we really cling to those, even just the good moments. Those will suffice for the time being right? When we experience a not so good day, a not so good moment.. while we remember how great it is to use that and grow from it, we ask ourselves how are we supposed to ride this out. It Is easier to remember that then it is to apply it. It is easier to also give input and advice to someone else when you aren’t going through it and someone else IS walking through it or whatever it is they are walking through. But, when you are going through that thing.. you end up being harder on yourself because you HAVE grown, You HAVE acquired a certain level of strength that you speak about or carry and its unsettling to have a wave you don’t really want to ride. But it would not be possible for me to even speak what I have had I not gone through what I have, I hope that makes sense. My experiences, my challenges, life hiccups and sudden earthquakes have given me a VOICE.

Last night (may 19th ) actually off and on this week I have had a really hard time getting out of my head. I have felt a little lonely ( I am the furthest thing from “alone” ) I have felt a level of insignificance and feeling irrelevant. Feeling a weight within in me that has felt way too heavy to carry and I was mad at myself for feeling it because I can tell it was bleeding into my relationships and my environment. In the past, I would have completely shut down, created issues that weren’t even there. I would create an argument based off how I am personally feeling. Even when the people that do care are only trying to help, so not only am I shutting down but I would be rude and insensitive, I would snap, get irritated easily and suddenly annoyed.. I would feel so crappy about MYSELF I would allow it to bleed into the most important relationships in my life. I would allow it to affect some moments that could’ve been beautiful.

Last night I had my first anxiety attack in a long time, I pulled over and I just sat in my car and I cried and cried. I can sit here and say ” I don’t know what came over me, I don’t know why that happened, why am I feeling this way?” I can sit there and try too make sense of something I probably can’t make sense of but it is EXPECTED.

I forget that in these short 7 months I have had to really learn to lean into uncomfortable spaces and emotions, I have had to re learn how to live. Really live. For weeks I felt so broken and lost that I felt like I was walking around in my own bubble of despair. My own bubble of anger, grief, sadness, confusion, healing, broken moments, feeling lost, loneliness. If I’m being honest, I felt like I lost my best friend. No matter what happened between me and Chris in our relationship, no matter WHAT we still held a bond, a friendship and we leaned on each other for everything. Sometimes the fact that he’s gone, the fact that October 16th and everything about that day had even happened.. I literally watched my old life vanish right before my eyes and I picked up the pieces to continue to keep living. I had to keep living for my sweet boy. I had to find a way to move FORWARD because moving on is never going to be a thing. I will never MOVE ON from what happened. I will only learn to move forward and let it be apart of my story and the way I walk through life.

The one place and space that has made me feel most at home and accepted within this walk is the church, the women in my studies, the friendships I have created inside church that now flow outside the church. God knew what was going to happen, he knew this was coming and what would then unfold afterwards. He knew and he was there to take care of me and love me, guide me, teach me, cherish me. He met me in my free fall, he never let me down, he was and is never far away. He is always here, right by side, waiting with all of his grace and abundant love.

I have walked through the fire, I have been the one to light the flame on my own life at times, I have most definitely burned myself. Ive been the one to bring destruction. I have walked through a valley. I have allowed my scars to define me not guide me and heal me. I was broken but God made me whole. I was lost and he found me. I was feeling alone and he continues to remind me that I am NEVER alone. I have seen breakthrough, I have felt breakthrough, even in the midst of my sadness or one of my anxiety attacks I still feel this cloud of weightless love. A love so light, so pure, so warm and reassuring. It feels perfect. It feels like God has his hand on me and he’s reminding me, “Let this out, I am right here.” God swooped me up. He takes this all in his hands, he is the defender of my heart. He is always near. He has the power, he is bigger than all the oceans, he shakes mountains and breaks down the walls, he is my mighty God. My savior. My father.

This last week has been hard, it is now Sunday and I have been off and on writing this all week. Today I woke up with my little man. I had to serve this morning so we got up, got ready, had some breakfast and headed off to church. I was expecting to serve in the babies per usual. We ended having no babies so I was let go of having to stay in the room. I headed upstairs to listen to the rest of the worship, hear the message and be present. As I am every Sunday. I sat alone, which has happened a lot more lately. Like I said this week has been really hard on me, emotionally and mentally and if I’m being honest.. physically as well. I did a lot of crying, a lot of asking myself why, what was happening and what in the world was causing me this? I still don’t have an answer and I never will. All I can say is that depression and grief come in waves. This week it felt like a dark cloud was washing over me, I felt numb some days, and other days I felt so much I had moments where I wish I could just turn it off. I speak so much about how strong I have been, how much I have healed and how far and few between my attacks have been since that day. I can tell you right now, the one word I can use to describe myself and the way it feels… I feel… broken. I feel like I’m stuck in this own bubble of mine and no one could possibly understand what it is I’m feeling and how could I even begin to describe the pains in the depths of my heart? How one day I can feel like I have all the love in the world and how I have so many people who are here and care and the next day…. the entire rest of my week I feel as if I am all alone. Mentally I make myself be that way. I feel trapped, I feel lost, I feel broken. The last week has made me realize that when the going gets tough with me, when it feels heavy and overwhelming I am not FULLY giving it to God. I am not FULLY leaning in on those who have clearly said they are here for me. I know they mean it and I know they are here. In this head of mine, I don’t fully let that sink in. I start to feel like it is a burden, I am too much, too broken, too “down”. I close off, I shut down and I allow myself to wallow in the sadness instead of truly letting those doors open and let the people who love me, love me. For the first time in I don’t know how long I took two naps this weekend on two different days. I was tired but it wasn’t a tired I have been doing stuff all day kind of tired. I was emotionally exhausted. I knew today that me taking a nap was not because I needed it, it was me trying to shut off my emotions and sleep off some of what I was feeling only to wake up and feel it even harder, even deeper. I know the difference between the depression in me wanting me to sleep and not deal with things and the other part of me that is actually just tired. I know this difference and this… this was the depressed part of me wanting to sleep and wallow. I felt that and I recognized it.

It is Sunday night. I usually either pick up Rylan or take him back to his dads. Tonight was a drop off and I was already feeling the way I was and then having to drop off the one person who makes me fight to stay strong was leaving me for the week. Some days I am ok, other days It really dwells within me that I only get my sweet boy every other week. He is a big reason why I am still standing here, fighting every single day to be as strong as I know I am. He is my reason and my why. I dropped him off and I headed to the gym, per usual. I got a little cardio in because sometimes to distract myself just for a moment, I like to turn on a good movie, get some steps in and just be in that one spot and in that one moment. I don’t get a lot of tv time in so this is usually my chance. I felt good after that. I got in my car to leave and I felt another wave, it hit harder. I drove home and I pulled over twice on my way home. I sat there, I prayed, I cried and cried and I let it all out. I pulled into my driveway and sat there for another almost half hour just sobbing. That dark cloud I was talking about, felt like it was thunderstorms over my heart. My soul was feeling so defeated and broken. This week alone I have had two different occasions where an anxiety attack has completely taken ahold of me. Left me unable to catch my breath, my heart feeling like it was beating from my chest and me sitting there sobbing so much I couldn’t breathe. I haven’t had anything like that in a while, like I said, they are far and few between these days. I can sit here and tell you I don’t know why… but I do know why.

Like I said in earlier paragraphs.. I am living a different life, the life I once knew is gone. It was gone October 16, 2020. The person I was is no longer the person I look at in the mirror everyday. The person I see on a daily basis has and still is finding her way, step by step, moment by moment, minute by minute, experience by experience, month after month I am still finding the words, still finding my path, still finding the stepping stones and along the way I am constantly picking up all the breadcrumbs God has left in front of me. I feel like a completely different BRE. Here is the thing, I don’t write or share for pitty or for sympathy. I don’t share for people to feel bad for me or to check in on me. I share because THIS is real life. THIS is who I am. THIS is raw and this is vulnerability at its finest. I have so much freaking work left to do on my soul. There is so much healing left to happen. I have so much love in my heart still yearning to give and I am. I am NOT broken, this I know… but dammit sometimes it most definitely feels like it and that depression… that deep deep pain you feel in the deepest parts of your heart. That doesn’t go away. It has not gone away, I am just learning to live with it. Some days it’s not has heavy, it feels lighter. Some other days… it feels so heavy, it feels completely overwhelming and suffocating and it feels like it is diminishing me as a whole. But.. I know it is not. If this has been teaching me anything it has been teaching me that I am still so fresh in this, I am still learning and growing, changing and evolving. There is still so much left to do.

I am not lost, I am found. I am so completely loved by God.

I listened to this song called “you say” on the way home tonight, if I’m being honest I had it on repeat and I just let the words wash over my soul, I digested every single word. I hear you Lord. I heard you. Here are the lyrics…

 I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure upAm I more than just the sum of every high and every low
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know
Ooh-ohYou say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
I believeThe only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity
Ooh-ohYou say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
And you say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
Oh, I believeTaking all I have, and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure, God, You have every victory
Ooh-ohYou say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours
And I believe
Oh, I believe
What You say of me
I believeOh, I believe
Yes, I believe
What You say of me
I believe..

To be continued…

BRE

Understanding me.

It has taken me a very very long time to understand who I am, what makes me tick, what lights a fire in my soul. I think I finally figured it out but in a way.. have I really figured it out? Probably not fully, I think I will spend the rest of my life constantly figuring myself out. As we grow we also change out thought process, how we handle anger and frustration, how we keep ourselves healthy or not, how we navigate those curve balls life throws us, how we are in relationships with friends, family, partners, children, co workers, strangers. Everything changes even when you don’t see it. A year, a few months. Things can really change and that time.. flies by so quickly.

For someone like myself, I have always struggled with feeling accepted, feeling comfortable enough in being who I was made to be by God. Was I pretty enough than the next girl? Was I interesting enough or is someone else more interesting than me always? Was I smart enough, funny enough? The list goes on. I struggled with self esteem and confidience and even still… it arises in moments. It will haunt me and creep up and try to destroy me. At least it used to. I have found new ways to help myself get through those moments and those days.

I know I tend to use MY story in losing my partner to relate to anything in life and here is why.

I spent a lot of that relationship trying to be more for someone that felt like less of the person he was. I tried to be the bandaid, I tried to heal him a lot of the time, I tried so hard to be everything he needed from me because he went through so much of feeling not good enough, not worthy enough, not ENOUGH. I lifted him up constantly.

If I look back I can recognize where I went wrong and it was not putting myself first enough.. I loved that man for all that he was. All his failures and mistakes, all his successes and triumphs. Our relationship was not easy, I lost a lot of trust and I had this conversation of trust and what it did to me, a few nights ago with someone. I said all the things out loud that had created the person I now see in my past. She lost herself completely, she was constantly worried about when the other shoe was going to drop, she said no to her friends a lot. She missed out on a lot because she was worried about her partner constantly. I was always on edge.

I will NEVER shine a negative light on Chris’s life because he was not defined by his addiction and what that did to him. He did try everyday to become the person he always wanted to be. He fought really hard to create a new life for himself and to build a relationship with his son again. He fought every SINGLE day.

With that being said, I lost who I was. I was on edge, worried, stressed.. simply just lost, I cried a lot more than I ever should have. I just lost ME. I can look back now and it makes me so sad to say the words out loud of the things I used to do that LOOKED crazy, that LOOKED and FELT insane for me to even have to do. I did not recognize myself and neither did the people around me who loved me. The amount of times I heard.. ” I miss the bre who was always such a light, who said yes to enjoying time with the people she cared about most, who was present and positive”

I did not carry trust with me for a better part of our relationship and the people closest to me knew what that did to me. I could never fully enjoy myself out without him because I was constantly worried about something, where he was, what he was doing, what shoe was going to drop?

I now understand a few things about why I was the way I was.

I had zero confidence in MYSELF. I always thought there was someone better out there than me, I thought that if someone seemed more interesting than me then that would be it. This isn’t all based on my own lack of self esteem and or my confidence because there were mistakes made that caused me to lose my trust in the first place BUT everything just came full circle.

I had ZERO self esteem or ambition, no drive, not a lot of life to me, not a lot of positive energy was being put towards the things that mattered to me or the things I had a desire to accomplish. I felt like I was walking on egg shells, I lost myself and lost the drive I once ever had. I don’t even recognize that person anymore.

I am in a place now where I feel like my best self, my best version and that path for her is newly paved. None of this means that I don’t love my Chris. Because, that loss did a number on me. That pain, the grief, the loss, the memories we had.. It comes rushing back at a speed of light sometimes and it almost takes my breath away. I loved that man with everything I had, this is why I allowed my self to be lost in the first place. I CHOSE to not put myself first sometimes because I felt as if he needed more of me than myself needed of me.. if that makes sense.

I am now in a place where I am so unbelievably sure of who I am, what my purpose is, the heart I have, the joy I have in my soul, the love I have for life and the appreciation nonetheless. I APPRECIATE life. I APPRECIATE the little things that surround me. I try to take more notice of the simple things life has to offer. I try to smile through the awful feelings while still feeling them and allowing them to run the course it has to. I have always said, “happiness is temporary, it comes and goes and that is okay.” I stand by this, only I use the term joy now because JOY is constant. Joy is constantly in my heart. I am JOYFUL about the life I get to live. I AM JOYOUS in my role as a momma. I am JOYFUL that I am surrounded by so many people who love me and understand me as well as I am finally somewhat understanding ME. I am JOYFUL that I get to serve a God who is always faithful and forgiving. That his love never waivers. I am JOYFUL in the fact that I get to raise a little boy who will also have a love for the Lord and that I am the one who gets to watch him walk by faith, build his relationship with the Lord.

I am so joyful.

I understand now that how I choose to flow through my own life is up to me, solely up to this momma. If I want to get stuff done I have to create a space for myself that is organized and planned out to get those things done. I understand that the one thing that has gotten me through this entire process and the healing is my faith and my love for the church and helping serve in some way. I understand that there may be someone else who is more interesting, more lovable, more fun or funny, someone who is more attractive than myself. There is always someone who has something you don’t or carries themselves in a different way than you do. I am who I am, I am firm in who I carry myself to be. I know what is set upon my heart and I have been so excited to see the purpose God has set in front of me to pursue. I understand that I won’t always have a sunshiny day, that I will cry, I will scream, I will get angry, I will feel those emotions that most people really don’t want to feel but for me… it is designing a completely new Breanna. It is building and structuring me in the ways God has intended for them to do. He is not yet done with me. He is always working on my heart, filling me up, answering prayers, leaving me breadcrumbs and he is always, ALWAYS present.

I actually like to look back on who I once was, how I carried myself, what were my strengths and my weaknesses, what did I work on in order to be where I’m at now. I have somewhat of a painted clear picture on who I am NOW. It has helped me grow, flourish, blossom, create, love more, be extra kind, many things have bolstered my faith, my purpose is being brought to my attention in so many ways, in some ways it has shown up through other people. It is amazing what God places on your path. He has had me since day one, this story of mine is continuing to allow me the ability to speak in the ways I have, it has allowed me to finally understand myself in some ways, I know what needed to change in order for me to have healthier relationships in my life. I finally understand myself, in more ways than one but at the same time I am still growing and evolving, learning new things, acquiring new knowledge and with that allows me the ability to always find ways to be the best version of myself while still allowing myself the grace to not always have it right. The grace to get through the days where I just don’t know how to hold myself together, or why I am questioning myself. Those to me now… are all great ways to GROW and LEARN more about myself. This is a never ending road to always becoming the best version of yourself and recognizing that the things you make think are a downfall, are actually probably the very thing that is creating you to be who you are. Allow yourself the grace to figure things out slowly, gracefully and with all the kindness in the world. You deserve it. You are a masterpiece.

I am proud of this version but always excited to see me grow in many new ways.

Bre

A letter to myself

Dear Bre,

Love whole heartedly. Continue to find beauty in all things. Find solace in that fresh summer morning where coffee is in hand and a good read is in the other. Seek gratitude. Truly smile. Write down what you are thankful for in each day. Write down how you see God working in your new life. LOVE your new life. Cry those tough moments out. Experience new things. Accept help and be gracious with your process. Grief has been hard, don’t let it take you to a dark place. Let God continue writing your story because we know its the best one yet. I am proud of the women you have become in the last 6 months. The women you are still becoming. You took something dark, painful, grueling, unsettling, life changing and you used it to ask God to create you a new beautiful story… without pain we don’t have joy and even though I have felt true pain.. I have TRULY felt TRUE and IMMENSE joy. Wow isn’t that something? She is learning to breathe again, she is learning that God doesn’t work on MY time, he works on HIS time. Instead of constantly trying to rush life or get somewhere I’m not ready to be she is learning to wait in the process for the beauty that is unfolding. I surrender. I hand over my entire life to God and let him rewrite my story, turn a new page to a whole new chapter that was my life and be present in what NOW is my life. That is beautiful. Let’s take it all in. Let’s have fun with this. Because we are over here reminding people that you can smile and cry at the same time. You can feel joy and sadness at the same time. Healing is so hard, it is holy, it is painful, it is scary, it is raw and real all at the same time. We are here learning what it truly means to let new hope, peace and joy flow into our life. In life, we will grieve. We will love. Without love there is no grieving.. without grieving there is no love. I am constantly being reminded that because I have felt true, debilitating pain… that I now feel true love. I now feel what it means to love whole heartedly, I know what it means to truly, deeply CARE. So I hope and I pray that you, Breanna, continue on with what God has in store for you, he is so very present In all that you do. He is not yet done, he has a beautiful plan for your life and there is PURPOSE on the other side of PAIN. There is a beautiful story on the other side of what once was. Moving forward does NOT mean moving on. Give yourself grace. Be patient with your journey because it is YOUR journey and it is Gods journey. Let yourself have fun, laugh, cry, smile, yell, scream, be silent, take it all in, be stimulated and surrounded. Take some time for YOU. Be present in all that you do and most of all… ALL THAT YOU ARE. Be the momma YOU need yourself to be and who Rylan needs you to be. Be adventurous. Get outside more. Spend less time on your phone. Continue to write your little heart out. Read more books and less instagram posts. Find ways to help someone in need. Pray, Pray and Pray. Dive deeper into the word of God. Dream and flourish in the new things that have been set upon your heart. Be passionate and purposeful. Be the new you, let your new story be told. Keep sharing the depths of your heart because… sis it is helping and the more you share, the more you are reminded that it IS in fact helping. So while this is helping heal YOU, it is also helping heal others as well. You are doing such an amazing job. You riding a new wave, you are taking on new challenges and figuring things out one day at a time, one hour at time.. This version of you is pretty awesome, you are one of the strongest people, God has a huge purpose and plan for your life.

You are loved. You are valued and strong. You are powerful In all your own ways. You are free from evil and rejoicing in the Glory of God. You are a new women with a new heart and new set of eyes. You love differently. You are seen and you are heard. She is compassionate and strong willed. You are beautifully made new !

Love, Bre

The Anger and The Guilt

I told you guy’s that I would write about a little bit about the stages of grief from loosing someone by suicide. It carries a different process and set of emotions with it that is different than someone just passing. It doesn’t mean this holds more or less significance but it carries emotions and feelings that I feel most people would have a hard time understanding.

It is sudden

It is final

It is ugly.

It is confusing..

A N G E R

When anger set in for me I also felt guilt. I woke up on the day of Christophers funeral, November 12th, I was so angry. My anger came from a place of love, because I was so angry that he was GONE. Continuing to ask myself “why?” ” Did I not do enough?” I asked myself many questions. I asked the what if’s. I disected everything as much as I could to try and understand why it was I was angry, the anger didn’t feel right. I felt like it was awful to HIM for me to be angry, because I was not the one who felt like I had to take my own life right? He did, so he deserved grace and understanding.

Then… I let myself just be angry because I knew where it was coming from. I knew that if I had the chance to see him again, just one more time I would’ve told him to hold my hand and that we would get him through it, TOGETHER. But, as I have said he had checked out. I watched the light in his eyes diminish for 6 days. I was also angry because he CHOSE to go missing the Sunday before he took his life. I was SO angry, worried, lost, confused.. At that time I had thought he was dead. I thought he got in an accident on his way home from the valley and I was a wreck. We found him and I knew immediately that he had checked out, mentally. He didn’t want to show his face because I had gotten everyone involved in finding him and that was the only thing he had said to me for days, “I never want to show my face again”. I will never fully know what happened that night he went missing.. maybe I don’t want to know. I was angry.

He left us all with so many questions and unfortunately those will never be answered. I just had to learn to stop trying to make sense of something that was just never going to make sense. I had to ride out the anger and when I did.. I then just had to remind myself that what I continue to feel is all validated and OKAY! I was angry that he took his life in OUR home. I was angry because he knew that not a single person would have come over to check on me or him besides my best friend next door and even then a part of me felt like he knew that I would be ok because I had her. I was angry that he knew I would come home and see him that way. I was angry that he left the door to our garage wide open for me to see when I turned that corner. I was SO angry that I could not sleep for days, I could not be alone, I could not shower alone, change alone, go to the bathroom alone. Anytime I had to get anything from the house I needed company and I always felt scared to be inside. I was angry that for weeks on end I was not able to sleep without someone sleeping with me and lights on and tv on. I couldn’t eat, I lost weight quickly. I was angry that it felt like my whole world was turned upside down, but somehow, I knew I would be ok. I was learning how to navigate all of that while grieving his absence. I was so angry. I just wanted him back, I wanted a do over, I wanted to save him.

G U I L T

This one.. this one hit me hard and it still does to this very day.

Friday morning, October 16th I woke up feeling defeated. I had felt so stepped on, not appreciated for having just spent 24 hours the Sunday before looking for my person only to find out he chose not to find a phone to call someone.. I thought he was dead somewhere. I woke up that Friday morning after he had completely checked out and given up. He didn’t move from the couch for 6 days, he didn’t shower, he didn’t change his clothes, he didn’t brush his teeth, he did nothing but watch tv. Every day I left for work I sat right next to him and said, “I love you, I am here for you, we can get through this.” and everyday he never looked at me and just told me to leave him alone. I was pushed away second by second, sleeping in our bed by myself, I was fed up come Friday morning. I had found his goodbye letter on the top of our closet on his side and I took it, I went next door and I called non emergency and I tried to get someone to come get him or at least come check on him. I had proof that he wanted to take his life and I thought that was enough… but no one came. I reached out to teen challenge, the program he had graduated from. No one came. Even when I read his letter I still didn’t think he would do this.. I never really put myself in the mindset that he must of been in to make such a final decision. Only one person came the night before that Friday and it was his best friend, I thought the conversation went well. But, Chris was still checked out. I even asked him how it went and he said ” It was good, but it didn’t change anything” then he just went back to not looking at me and telling me to leave him alone. I still have this idea in my head that he pushed everyone away because he had already made up his mind about what he was going to do and he didn’t want to change his mind. Whatever it was that caught up to him so much so that he felt the need to leave this earth. To leave his sweet baby boy, to leave another boy who loved him dearly, to leave the person he wanted to marry. To leave his family and friends. He had so many people in his corner, people who truly cared about him and knew what he struggled with mentally.

The guilt set in for multiple different reasons. That day I left to walmart and then work. On my way to work from walmart I had this insane urge to go home.. it felt like a pull, it was an intense battle with MYSELF and I almost took a left turn to go home and instead I took a right, I went to work and got it done in less than an hour so I could hurry home but I didn’t know why. My gut was eating at me. I got home and my life changed forever. The man I loved SO hard was just gone. He had my love letter I wrote him earlier that week sitting next to his second goodbye letter on our coffee table and our brand new puppy in her kennel. I felt guilty that I did not come home in enough time. I was guilty that I didn’t stay home with him, why did I leave? I felt guilty that I didn’t fight harder even though to me it felt like I was fighting as hard as I could to bring him back to a place where he could feel possibility again. That he could get better. I felt guilty for not recognizing more of what he was saying or feeling, but I did. After he left this earth it was like puzzle pieces came together and things made sense. I felt guilty for so much and I just wish I had the chance to tell him ONE MORE TIME how much I loved him and how I would’ve gone to hell and back to support him with every ounce of my being. He meant the world to me, anyone who knew our relationship knew it wasn’t easy but that I loved that man with my entire soul. I fought for US every single day. I did everything I could to make that man feel special, loved, and cherished. He deserved it, he deserved to feel whole again after such a hard life prior to meeting me. I took his broken pieces and I loved them with all of me, I never once judged him for his mistakes or used them against him. We didn’t struggle or have the hard times we did because he didn’t love me…he had such a hard life with addiction and he never felt good enough for me and Rylan. He always felt like we were better off, and I tried to hug those broken pieces and the doubts he had within himself. He still deserves that, I will forever honor him, Cherish him and share his beautiful life in all of its rawness.

I know for some people this may be hard to read, I know this isn’t ideal to share, I know some might not understand why I choose to share such details or the story at all. I recently read a book called ” FEAR GONE WILD” and this book is a whole story written from a wife who lost her preacher husband to suicide. She shares some dark details, some unsettling pieces of their life and his life during his depressed and lost state of mind, her life after, the messy process after loosing someone to suicide.

We can’t just sit here and only talk about mental health or suicide and how big it is and then just stop there. We all know how serious this is. We all know that mental health is not only important but that in the last year alone that more people have died by suicide than ever before. The rates are only rising and it makes me feel like I want to scoop up all those people who feel so unworthy of life and remind them that their life here has purpose and that they CAN get through this. I want so badly to snap my fingers and take away that pain, because from experience in MY personal life I know what it feels like to have those thoughts room your mind. I have been there, a few times. I CHOOSE to share this story and part of my life because it HAS to be shared. More people need to be more comfortable sharing those broken pieces and asking for help or accepting it when it is offered. I have had many people reach out to me a little bit after Chris left this earth expressing their gratitude for how I share, asking for prayer because they are or a family member is experiencing a similar situation. We got a phone call from our landlord that day saying that our phone call about what happened might of saved her teenage daughters life that day… to me, that only makes me want to share more. Why? because if telling this story can change someones life or save someones life then I will tell it until I’m blue in the face. This is why I write, this is why I share and I am so vulnerable.

I love you all,

Bre