it dawned on me, that others may not understand why everything is such a miracle for/to me. so here is the most succinct synopsis i can write: 11-18 runaway (on and off, mostly on) group homes, foster homes, the streets of the NYC, runaway shelters, drugs, a foiled overdose, post-partum depression psychosis… etc. 18-25ish married, three kids, domestic violence and lotsa dysfunction 26-40ish was the “fake it till I make it” years, explored concepts but had no idea what total authenticity would look like or what it would ‘cost’. 40-46 began implementing a few tools, explored alternative modalities, began to choose love over fear but still had the poor me’s., still thought on some level of my subconscious that someone was gonna save me <eyeroll> jeez huh??? still thought I could bully myself into a higher expression, or berate myself there, was a judgy judy to others, still whined and moaned… still tried to embrace the light … more conceptual than actual… got my associates. 46 to now (jumpin jehoshaphat) my aunt and best friend died in 2012, which propelled me into panic, gotta save the world before I die mode, legit dictatored myself to lose 130lbs, started breaking chains, forced myself to root through layers of residual pain, and began excavating. embarked on a quest to be of service … got scared, and made a few decisions based on guilt and shame, ended up diving head first into the abyss. 2 years of suicidal depression, a legit dark night of the soul, survived a few attempts <still makes no human reasoning kind of sense that i'm still here at all> in march of 2016 left the last hospital, took six months to just figure out my next step <couldn’t really feel my own intuition/light> since i had fed and focused on the darkness for two entire and I mean ENTIRE years. decided to go to PR, to recreate, it was something different, something NOT on the hamster wheel i had been on. 8/31/16, arrived in PR (this is what i looked like, on 11 different heavy hitting psychotropic medications) crazy huh?? blows my mind. i spent 15 months literally rerouting the synapsis in my brain. i CHOSE at the crossroads for EVERY thought and decided love over fear so many times, it became my default. i weaned myself off meds including but not limited to paxil, neurontin, lithium, abilify, remeron, serequel (etc.) i was alone for the first time in my life, legit faced my demons, couldn’t even sleep with the lights off while i weaned off the meds. implemented affirmations, meditation, and SURRENDER. faced EVERYTHING, embarked on my quest for my bachelor’s in psychology with a concentration in children and adolescents. wrote a book called, “meant to be here”, about the two years in the abyss, had the best birthday i have every had in my life on august 19th (turned 50) then on september 19, my dad's birthday, hurricane maria bitchslapped my island respite, was without power and water for about 40ish days (16 of which i was legit ALONE in the dark, lol if there was any proof i had integrated and made friends with my monsters, that was it)… wrote another book <nothing else to do to stay sane> called, surviving maria… had to leave PR, on 11/8/17 and came to mass till graduation. commencement is in 18 days, and the date of my last class is 8/26. i AM a wonder woman for getting back up time and time again. i no longer have ANY signs of depression or panic attacks. i do sometimes have regular human anxiety like before i began my STATS class .. <jesus> anyway… EVERYTHING is a miracle to me, i cannot believe i made it out of the abyss. i really believed that was it for me. i didn’t know one could return from a darkness such as that. there you have it, in a nutshell, the shortest i could make it, and now you may understand, why gratitude is my dominant, constant companion.