Guest Post: A Stranger in the Mirror

Photo: Cheyenne Bowman

Today's guest post is from Cheyenne Bowman - Stay-at-home mom, ginger, and good friend. 
Looking into the reflective glass, she stares at the woman in front of her - but it isn't a woman she sees at all. Reflecting back at her is a scared little girl with eyes full of disgust and sadness. This isn't the person she was suppose to be. This isn't the plan she had for herself. The little girl's eyes scornfully accuse her of all their lost hopes and dreams. 
She was supposed to grow up strong and independent. She was supposed to grow up moral, loyal, and confident. This woman looking into the mirror was none of these things. Where had she gone wrong? She had hit all the major points in her life plan. But life, she'd learned, doesn't give two shits about your plans. 
Wallowing in self pity won't change anything, so she'd better pick up the pieces around her and try again. Can you try again? The answer to that question was elusive, but the only way to find out was to take action. All right, she thinks as she exhales and wipes away the fallen tears, straightens her clothing, and turns the knob on the bathroom door. "Today will be different," she tells herself. "Today I will be the person I am meant to be. Today I will take control of my life!" 
She opens the door and faces the world with a false confidence only she can muster.

Depression is a bitch and riddled with anxiety. It's left me frozen in fear of making the wrong move and at the same time it has been the leading factor in many of my bad decisions. It has pushed away friends and prevented me from making new ones. It has made my new role as a mommy scary as hell and I fight daily to not allow it to hinder my relationship with my son. It has made me susceptible to lies and manipulative people, which in turn has made me distrustful of everyone around me. It's made me feel very low about myself for being so weak to allow people to manipulate me. I've fallen victim to deceitful people more times then I would like to admit.

Recently, I lost myself to depression. I couldn't remember that my life was not hinged on one individual or that I was more than just a mother, daughter, and wife. I had forgotten that I was a complex individual who also loved to write, explore, learn, and dance. In order to remember all this, I had to be bold and step out from under my anxiety. I called upon my tribe and they bravely began to help me rediscover myself. My lesson is that without my tribe I am lost. I need to be more mindful to include them in my life and if I am lucky, my tribe will not only thrive, but expand. 
Find your tribe, hold on to them with both hands, and love them fiercely.


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