I’ll never first forget my first morning at LIC. I was hung over from throwing back vodka on the plane ride over. My eyes were swollen from crying. My body was exhausted from the year long abuse it had endured from constant self medicating. My spirit was broken. My mind was all over the place. My life was a mess. The “real me” was hiding somewhere amongst the wreckage. “But at least I’m here,” I thought, as I huddled outside smoking my cigarette.
Right then this sweet, cheerful little woman came outside to greet me with a warm bowl of oatmeal and an even warmer smile. “Nina, I’m Anita!” she exclaimed as she embraced me. “I’m SO HAPPY you’re here.” Right then I knew I was going to be ok. Anita took me under her wing and made me feel important, loved, and reminded me everyday of my goodness.
Sometimes life becomes a cluttered closet that’s such a mess, the thought of confronting it is overwhelming. There’s so much sh*t in there. If you open it up, it could all come crashing down. Anita and Les encouraged me to open that closet, take everything out, and organize it. I found stuff I didn’t need and could throw away (like my bad habits). I found stuff I wanted to keep (like my talents). They provided me with tools and showed me how to use them. They helped me fix what was broken and they let me decide where everything went. Getting ready to leave I look at that cleaned up closet (my life). I like what I see. I know I can rearrange it. Going forward, stuff will end up in there that maybe shouldn’t be, but I know now I can confront it. It’s all up to me what goes in this closet and what doesn’t. Knowing that, I can make decisions about what I want my life to look like. I can choose wisely, honestly, calmly, and practically. The most precious thing I found underneath that pile of stuff was ME.
Analogies aside I feel strong and happy again. I feel confident. I’m excited about my life and what I’m going to do with it. I am eternally grateful for the gift that this has been. I look forward to being a better friend, daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, girlfriend, etc. I look forward to being myself again. Thanks to Anita, Les, Frankie, Mary, Linda, my family, my friends, and myself I’m ready to let this little light of mine SHINE! NS