An excerpt from The Diaries Of Debra Westlake
The women next to me on line at the supermarket checkout blurted out in a taxing manner “I’m so far behind the eight-ball.” I nonchalantly avoided making small talk with her as I thought about that expression… of being stifled in a tough situation. I always liked the idiom behind the eight-ball. I guess when I was in a losing situation it didn’t appeal to me as much but for the past few months life has been good again—happily with a great guy who appreciates me and my baggage. My son is doing well in school and he seems to have found a healthy balance between his parents new life and the new people in it. My job is excelling with a recent promotion and physically I’ve never felt better, latest effort is training for my first marathon. Laughing more and looking at the glass half-full now, that alone is something to celebrate.
It’s hard to imagine that just a year ago… how different things were. Doubting myself and all of my choices at that time. Worrying about others, especially my son and not my own happiness. Ridding myself of all the struggle that comes along with crucial life changes that had to be made. Now the sky looks bluer to me. Even something as simple as breathing seems refreshingly easier. I guess the adage of what goes down, comes up again is true. There was a time when I thought someone had put a hex on me, cursing me with undeserved maladies. I didn’t realize at the time that statements like why is this happening to me? Why am I doomed? What have I done to deserve this horrible life? Actually immerses you further into an adverse abyss. Affirmations must be positive on a whole, specifically ones you mutter to yourself.
Gone are the days of being under someones ridiculous brow-beating control and fear of eliciting a harsh, crude response. There was a time I equated myself to a lonely weakened child in a sand box that was constantly bullied by an irrational boy. This deplorable behavior went on for years, with me never having the courage to say no mas. Finally one day my feeble body gained muscles and cut through any emotional torment I was victim to. A new backbone so-to-speak and I emerged as the master of my own destiny instead a servant to mine or anyone else’s judgement. Once a bully realizes they can no longer play on someones emotions by stinging them, they go onto the next prey. Look, I’m no expert but I do know what works and what doesn’t for me. I learned valuable lessons that have now enhanced my life despite suffocating me at the time I was in class forced to study them—and now I couldn’t be more grateful.
The women next to me gathers her bags in her basket. I lean over towards her and put my hand on her shoulder saying “It may be tough now… whatever it is that has you behind, but it can get better… if you want it to.” She put her hand on mine and thanked me. Maybe I inspired her. Maybe not. Either way, I’m motivated more than I ever have been and all I can say is wow.