THE PHOENIX

THE PHOENIX

Today I am writing this on April 21, 2019 and the world is celebrating the holiday of Easter. This is a day that represents so much to so many people worldwide. But what this day represents most for me is “Rebirth”.

“Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.”

As I am sitting down to write this I am looking around me and understanding clearly what my own rebirth has been. And this understanding has taken me quite a many years to realize and I will admit I work at it daily. I work with the utmost willingness and effort I can dig up inside myself, doing all of it despite hardships I have encountered. Sometimes I ask myself why? Why Stephanie, do you or did you take this road pathed with obstacles and every time I ask this question to myself I hear this knowing I have always had. The knowing behind all the efforts and all the willingness. A simple, yet strong knowing within my heart, that over my years I have called a push. That push has led me far with total confirmation even when it was hard, that said “you’re ok” stay strong keep going.

” There’s a redemption, something trans-formative in catching the stones thrown at each other unfairly.” ~Brian Stevenson

Whenever I give my testimony or speak on brain and mental health. I like to begin by saying life has strange ways of defining our characters. With moments usually disguised as trouble or heartbreak, then I like to tell of a few very defining moments of my own life. But I will be very honest and also very raw when I speak that remembering these moments until now have not been something that has been joyful for me.

In fact, I’ve spent so many hours and days looking back over these memories its turned into years. But as I say so often, those moments, that shook me straight to my core and I thought would break me have been my complete saving grace.

” In your surrender lies your liberation. “

One of those very defining moments I speak of and I recall, is a moment of “SEEING”. Let me explain exactly what I mean when I say those words…. There I was and I can see this so clearly as I am telling you now, 15 years old sitting in my wheelchair. I had maybe 2 weeks left of rehab in the hospital I was in, in Albany Georgia and I was on cloud 9. I was still being fed through a feeding tube but it was time for it to be taken out. I remember being so excited for this, and I don’t remember my mom with me this day, but I do remember my dad there. We were waiting patiently for the doctor to come around and meet us…. Then he came in, and took a stern look at me and said Stephanie don’t watch as I do this. Well, I was cognitive enough at this point to think to myself, WHATEVER, and I did exactly as he told me not to…. I watched the whole process of a small ball being pulled directly from my skin, surrounded in my own blood everywhere. Then it happened…. I panicked and glanced up for my dad and nothing was there. It was completely dark I couldn’t see anything… I remember grabbing at the air saying Daddy Daddy….. With my breath getting shallower and shallower the doctors put me in the bed and calmed me down then my eyesight came back to me….

Let it be. That is strength – to allow total weakness to happen without panic. Be in your Stillness

I have remembered that moment ALL of my life, and until recently only felt comfortable and confident enough to speak of it. Today the importance I cultivate of that moment is so much… In fact, there are times in my life when I am experiencing things and suddenly that picture will come to my mind and I understand clearly what is going on around me.

Nothing external to you has any power over you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

That defining moment I believe was just a beginning of some of the subtle mental issues I have faced over the years…. Coming back to my hometown area to visit my family and friends helps me to understand so much more of that particular day… And it has taken every ounce of my own willingness to take that look back and deep inside my own self… I can’t and won’t say it hasn’t been one of the hardest things I have done but it has helped me see more without blaming or being a victim… And I will close this by saying the best work I have ever done by far has been my own internal work of researching these defining moments within my heart that have never left my mind, and that have given my life the most character, and grace…. I am beyond grateful for them all….

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Dear Stephanie,