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*ray of hope*
May 8, 2006
1:50 pm
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Hi!

I know there is so much that we all have to deal with, cope with, battle with..but if there is a little ray of hope there, grab it and hold on.

I recall how I felt, just over a year ago, when, in my search for the panacea to the pain I felt, I stumbled upon this site...the nearness of so much unconditonal humanity, a haven, a place of comfort, advice...of sharing.

This site has remained in my heart...from that first day, back in February last year, when the desperation became too much.

I was suicidal, drinking, obsessing, and coping with years of anxiety, panic, dissasociation....and the copu de grace for me was the loss of the most intense love I had for a man who took my soul with him when he walked away.

That's how I felt, hollow, bleak, detached, grieving, soulless...

The break-up occured a year before that even, so it had already been a year of gut-wrenching "anniversaries"...every day more painful than the last... each note of every song, the way the sun caught the roof-tiles and the tops of trees, the cliches of falling leaves and full moons...everything in my waking universe....and even in my sleeping one...the endless dreams that found me waking, shallow breathing, sobbing, shaking...

It has now been over two years, and I have found love again. Or rather, it found me.

I am amazed at the miracle of it. Keep pinching myself lightly to reassure myself it's true.

I made some terrible decisions this past year...had some downright dangerous liasons...and as though it had been bound to happen all along, out of the mire, came a man who I can love without the 'need' for the love of him.

This is the difference.

I took the advice of those, here, who had gone through experiences that teach us to love ourselves first. I suppose our lessons come in many different ways, unique to each and every one of us. It was an abstract concept...looking at myself in the mirror and learning to like what I saw there...the image reflected all the things I should have cherished, and all the things I knew I had to change....because, in the end, I knew I had to earn my own self respect...

So, I found some mental stability through therapy and in a career, I confided in friends, and made time for them, I made peace with a least half my demons, I stopped drinking to self-medicate, and manage now to enjoy occasional drinks with friends or to toast a celebration, I read widely, I started exercising and eating healthily, kept my house in order, hugged my kids....

...and then along came the sweetest man, quietly, assuredly, no games, just a little flirting, no guilt trips, no impatience, no setting tests...just acceptance

And this site, and time, and action...allowed me to love again, which was the greatest sorrow for me back then..the fear that it had 'been and gone'; that 'that was it'...

I suppose what it was I wanted to convey was that on that first day, with soothing words, and patience...I felt the ray of hope, and I grabbed on....

I wish the same for all of you...and on the days when you just have to let go...let go...because once you find that ray of hope...you no longer have to hold it tight, you just feel it....

Love and peace to all...

~charlie~X

May 8, 2006
5:12 pm
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Wow, thank you charlie. I needed to read that today! And all the best with your new journey. kroika

May 9, 2006
2:39 am
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Thank you kroika : )

I REALLY appreciate your encouragement...even now, that I seem to have found the right path, it's so easy to wander again, or for some unexpected obstacle to block the way...things have a way of changing suddenly or insidiously..either way, because of my fears (which are still there, though somewhat latently now), I still expect the worst.

I hadn't posted a thread here since January this year...the last one, it was a sort of good-bye to my old self...and also to everyone I had met here, because I felt I had become too dependant on the site. At first it was like weening myself away from some addiction...then, gradually I realised that I had again been looking at it as though 'needing' something, or someone was a bad thing, when really it's about not giving up all trust in myself. Sometimes, I can help myself. I have come to rely on my own jugement, instincts and so on.

After I posted this thread...which poses neither a question to be solved, nor profound advice...an old fear popped into my head...

I was brought up by fairly strict parents. I live in England. Didn't listen to music until I was sixteen, because my father frowned upon the 'pop industry' (I was a teenager in the punk era!), and I was rarely held, never heard the words 'I love you'. I was never praised, never encouraged.

Happiness to me was as elusive as a hug.

So I became the sort of person who never tried, never spoke of my acheivements....in my clouded eyes, that was 'bragging'!!

So, the fear that popped into my head, when I wrote this thread? A thread that, unlike this time last year, does not ask for help, is not full of despair...as was my life back then...

My one big fear?

That, like my parents' legacy, no-one would reach out to say 'well done'

For proving them wrong, kroika, I thank you from the bottom of my heart...

~love charlie~X

May 9, 2006
2:47 am
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tinkrbell
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charlie

Way to go sweetie. Gee...what a turn around for you. I have been on this site for a few years and I always get such support and love from everyone here. This a wonderful site.

HOORAY FOR CHARLIE!!

**tink**

May 9, 2006
2:54 am
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((((((tink))))))))

For putting an even wider smile on my face this morning, I thank you so much!!! : )

I have learned such a lot through my journey, and the biggest surprise is that the destination I was striving to arrive at, is just another journey with a different set of luggage!!! But I have a new one with a strong handle and a set of wheels this time!!! LOL

Wishing you a wonderful day..

: )

~love charlie~X

May 9, 2006
3:12 am
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BelieveLove
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I´m VERY proud of you.

I´m very happy you achieve so much in the past few years.

Thank you for giving us hope.

May 9, 2006
3:19 am
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tinkrbell
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Hope is the one thing we all should have no matter what the problem may be. Just got'a believe in yourself.

**tink**

May 9, 2006
5:38 am
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snowlover
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Charlie.....thank you so much for sharing!! Its really wonderful to see that someone actually made it thru all the turmoil, and was able to find love after their recovery.

Your timing was perfect to share. More than anything, I needed to see that there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

You should be soooo proud of yourself for taking care of YOU first, and letting go of old demons!!

Hugs.....Snow

May 9, 2006
7:54 am
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Oh Charlie, you've done it and are still doing it. You have broken free. Changed for the better your entire life. What an inspiration you are.

"Well Done" Charlie You are a "Ray of Hope"

May 9, 2006
9:56 am
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BelieveLove,

I am glad to have shared my story, if it helps in small ways. Thank you for your kind words! Btw, I like your name...I am not sure of your story, but your name is a strong sign that you are somewhere in the right direction!!! : )

Love to you,

~charlie~X

May 9, 2006
10:01 am
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snow : )

(((((((((hugs 2!!))))))))))

Thanks!!! I don't know what's going on in your life at the moment... but I hope things are good for you right now...you are so right ..the pot of gold is there...but I think it is one big pot for us all to share...and also top-up when we can!! Your post just did that!!

: )

~love charlie~X

May 9, 2006
10:07 am
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Littlespirit,

Your name conjures up such a sweet vision!!

Your encouragement is not lost on me...(thank you so much!!! : )

I will continue to live as well as I can, and not lose ALL hope (as my depression used to cause me to), on the days that really suck (and we all have those days...I had one on Sunday, when I injured my shoulder..but I am feeling better now!).

I hope you are doing great, wherever you are!!

~charlie, with love~X

May 9, 2006
3:33 pm
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BelieveLove
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Charlie,

Your story really helped me.

And you should be very proud of yourself.

Regarding my name, despite all my suffering, i never stoped believe in love.

I think real love has a healing miracle effect. Love ourselves first and being our best friend is definitely what allows us to really love someone else.

May 9, 2006
6:11 pm
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readyforachange
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(((charlie))) WELL DONE!!!! I'm proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself!!! Thanks for sharing your ray of hope with us.

May 9, 2006
7:42 pm
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Rasputin
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((((Charlie))))

Welcome back! Thrilled to see your name on the post. I am so delighted you found hope and love of man who is worthy of you.

I pray each one of us will experience the same thing some day or another.

~Ras~

May 11, 2006
11:15 am
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I just KNEW it.

I have to see the amusing side of this...

My whole ray of hope snuffed out in an afternoon.

My relationship....over.

It hasn't sunk in yet...

~c~X

May 11, 2006
11:45 am
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Anam Cara
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charlie - where do you go from here? Forward - onward and upwards! You can do it.because life hasent finished with you yet - has other matters on the back burner.
AC.

May 11, 2006
12:47 pm
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smarterone
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Charlie: thanks for the dose of encouragement today, we all need it. We need to see that we are not alone and there is hope;;;;;for everyone. Good luck

May 11, 2006
8:29 pm
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Charlie, what??? Your relationship is over?? What happened.....??

It's only 3 days since your first post that all was well; did this come completely out of the blue?

From the sounds of it, you are reaching higher and higher plateaus of health. So even if this is a real and final breakup, I believe the ray of hope shines on because this will not play out like the unhealthy scenarios.

But, for now, just hugs as you weather the shock. Please write more if you feel up to it. Best wishes, kroika.

May 12, 2006
2:11 am
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kroika,

Completely out of the blue...but also at my hands, again.

We were getting along so wonderfully. He is such an incredible guy. And this time I did not place him on a pedestal...I just admired his natural calm and also his talents...he is an artist and photographer.

I think I am addicted to self-sabotage.

It's really about me not 'quite there' yet. Will I ever be.

Such a sad day yesterday...

Thank you for picking up on my distress this time....that's twice you have come to my rescue!!!

Will write more later,

~love charlie~X

May 12, 2006
2:36 am
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Charlie:

I was reading thru your thread and my smile on my face and in my heart was so big. It was such a proud feeling I had for you.

Then w/ the stroke of the keys it all turned. Your new love is gone. I'm so sorry.

But let me ask you this... Is your "ray of hope" gone? Can you hold onto the knowledge and the warmth of a short love as a type of practice for when that everlasting big relationship comes?

I know you can. I know you will not look back. Maybe just to shed a tear or two, but you have come so far that you will not let this beat you down. You will rise above and you will go on to help others hee and/or where you are. Ya know, that ripple effect.

Hey, did you ever take the time to stop at the side of the road and pick a "queen anne" or as you call them "cow ????" (I forgot) and look at the magnificance of God's work?

Chin up Charlie girl. You are on the right road this time.

May 12, 2006
10:45 am
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Anam Cara
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Cow Parsley ! With a little ray of hope on top - dear God stay with us all.
AC.

May 12, 2006
11:00 am
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gayle
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Charlie Girl!! Hello there! I don't come here everyday like I used to and I post even less but I am glad to see you again! You are in my thoughts and prayers, I remember how things were before and I remember you leaving in January. Don't lose your ray of hope honey, it resides in you and not in any man. Think of how it feels to hug your kids and tell them you love them and to see the way they look into your eyes and you know that there is noone in the world that can be who you are to them. I am here for you and when you are ready to talk more about what is going on, as always I am here to listen. Take care, dear heart! Gayle

May 12, 2006
1:24 pm
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Matteo
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This Ray of Hope didn't go away with him; it didn't disappear because you broke up with your new love. This Ray of Hope is inside you, hold on to it, and don't let it go again. Please read your first post, the hope is there, just look at it from a little bit different point of view.

I know very little about your story, what brought you here only that you've lost your greatest love so far, judging from what you've said about it, about your dreams and your reactions. It was a major event in your life. When I read your first post about your new boyfriend, I thought “that's too early, unless she is extremely lucky, I cannot believe it”...It is you, because it takes time. You don't have to rush to find new love; just like you don't have to pretend that you are absolutely happy being alone. I don't believe that people really are, because if we are mentally healthy, we are social beings, and we need, among other things, intimacy on many levels. But your journey to the point where you can only remember how you felt without still feeling it (e.g. insecure) and learn from that, and fully understands the lessons, didn’t end yet. Please don’t blame yourself for destroying your relationship, just look deep inside yourself and see what might be a factor and what you can change for yourself, for your future.

There was a reason why you life went the way it did. Perhaps you were conditioned for making mistakes in your life for many years, like people usually are. That doesn’t change overnight. It takes a lot of effort and many other mistakes; it is a fluid, continuous process and it takes time. Give yourself permission to use all the time you need and hold on to the Ray of Hope which you’ve already grasped.

May 12, 2006
2:33 pm
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Anam Cara
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Matteo. charlie is a 'ray of hope' to us all. She suffers and shares. Her hopes are often dashed yet their is nobody that I would rather meet because she is sunshine and life. Her writing skills have been a gift from God and you know how God suffers. Thank you for your most useful post I enjoyed it immensely!
AC

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