I made it. I kicked grief and depression in its rear.
It started in September of 2020 when my dad became sick. A week later, my cousin, who was like a son to me, died in a car accident, and 2 months after that, my Pomeranian, Sammy, of 17 ½ years, had to be put down. Grief took over me. I remember lying in bed for 2 days straight, only getting up to use the bathroom. I didn’t eat or drink anything. On the 3rd day, my cousin visited me in a dream. He said, cuz you tripping. I immediately woke up. I picked up my phone to check the time, and a Youtube video with Sarah Jakes popped up. The title read, Girl, get up. I thought it was a sign, so I watched it. Pastor Sarah Jakes’s words gave me the strength to peel myself out of bed. I got dressed, ate a banana, and went to mine and Sammy’s favorite spot at the beach.
I sat on a rock at the beach, listened to the ocean waves, and talked to God. I asked him to send me help. Send me someone that will be here for me like I’ve been there for so many. After watching the sunset, I took a few pictures and left.
A week later, I felt depression trying to creep in, so I decided to go hiking with a group off Meetup. While hiking, I met a lady. We exchanged numbers. The next day she invited me to hang out with her on her friend’s boat, they were going to Catalina. Her other friend, B, invited me to join them at a Superbowl Party. These were the most down-to-earth women I met since moving to LA in 2009. The following week B and I went hiking. She showed me a beautiful place to hike near the ocean. It was serene, with a breathtaking view that calmed me. I found myself there often.
The following month I went hiking with another group, and I met a lady who was new to LA; she was from Chicago like me. She was dealing with adjusting to being an empty nester, living in LA, and setting boundaries with the people in her life. I was all too familiar with all of the above, so I was able to help her, and helping her helped me.
My youngest daughter and I went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in April. It was just what I needed. The people there are laidback and courteous. They seemed so happy with the simplest things in life.
The month after that, an old acquaintance invited people to learn how to surf. I went!
I met some ladies on an impromptu trip to San Diego the following month. We exchanged numbers and started hanging out, going out to eat, and events around town. One of the ladies had gone through what I was with dealing with my dad’s illness with her mom. She was able to give me advice on how to deal with it, and I gave her advice on a health issue that we had in common.
September was back around. Out of nowhere, I asked a long-time friend if he would go half with me in financing my movie. To my surprise, he said yes, with no hesitation.
October, I decided to take a trip to NYC since I haven’t been there in over 15 years, and they had a round trip flight for $150.
New York City has an energy like no other state in the USA that I’ve been to. I feel like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to after visiting there.
Fast-forward to today, 12/31/2021. As I sit here reflecting on 2021, I realize that God sent me the people I needed to help me get through my grief and fight off the depression that was trying to control me.
My lessons and blessing of 2021
- The first two ladies taught me how to get back out, enjoy life, and party like there’s no tomorrow.
- The second lady reminded me of what I survived and that we all fall down; we just have to remember to get back up.
- My daughter showed me that she can handle herself.
- Surfing reminded me to face my fears straight on. (I forgot to mention that I can hardly swim and drowned before.)
- My friend of 30 years taught me the power of asking and not assuming the answer. He showed me that their are out here rooting for me and willing to support me; they just may not always be around to show it. His belief in me reignited my belief in myself.
- My trip to NYC reminded me that I am resilient and a survivor.
God answered my prayer through strangers. He sent me exactly who I needed when I needed them. I now know for sure that there’s no such thing as strangers in God’s eyes, we are all his children, and he put us here to help one another, even when we are unaware that we are.