Sometimes you just don’t know how bad things were, until it’s behind you.

Time and distance allow you perspective that you otherwise don’t have when you are right in thick of something. Because when you are unhappy in a situation, it brings you down, and you aren’t able to even see or grasp just how down you are.

I feel like I was trapped under a sinking ship in the ocean. A massive, heavy ship that was going down, and I was bobbing under the water, coming back up to gasp for air, only to be pushed back down by a piece of the ship. Or sometimes sucked underwater by the suction of the ship; pulled down by the force. Many times I came up for air, and thought I was close to rescue. I grabbed a hold of life-saving implements in the water, but each time, I lost my grasp. Or it was pulled away from me.

But finally. Finally. I saved myself. I didn’t rely on someone to pull me from the water. I swam to shore. I got away from the entire site and came out of the water on my own, feet on the ground, forging a new path.

And now that I’ve started on my new path on the new island, I can clearly see how bad it was out there. Now that I’m happy. Now that I’m connected. Now that I’m encouraged. Now that I am immersed in what I feel close to most. Now, I realize I went somewhere else for a while in my head. And I’ve only just now returned to my true self. I was drowning for too long. But I have put it behind me. And this post is a part of my closure.

The lesson I can take from this is that I will know what to do next time, if there is ever a next time. I suspect I won’t be in that situation again. But if I am, I will know what to do and how to handle it. Grasping at flimsy hopes of rescue and salvation will get you nowhere. You have to make the decision to swim away. Even if it’s a long way and it takes a long time.

Because determination and knowing you did it on your own is part of what will make you feel whole again.

And then you can finally breathe.