Reflecting on My Life: The Past, The Present, The Future

Self-ImprovementMotivational

  • Author Haleigh Martin
  • Published November 8, 2021
  • Word count 1,854

Reflecting on My Life

Past, Present, and Future

The Past:

2015 Broke Me

This was the year that formed me and started to shape me into the woman I’ve become. I did not know true pain and hurt until 2015. I was a senior in high school trying to find myself while navigating through an abusive relationship. Our adolescent years are focused on shaping our morality and self identity. I was searching for an identity for all of these years, but it was hard to focus on that while battling depression and being involved in an abusive relationship. The abusive relationship took away who I was, and caused me to be depressed, leading to further self sabotage. My abusive partner not only put me down and physically hurt me, but he also cheated on me. Getting hurt by someone you romantically love is brutal, one might say it hurts as much as menstrual cramps. I felt abandoned, unworthy of love, depressed, and angry. This trauma would later cause years of insecurity, self-love issues, and severe depression.

I thought I could get over this hurt and walk away from my abuser, but fall of 2015 came around. I went off to college to get away from my abusive boyfriend, and start a new life. September of 2015 I was at college taking an exam, afterward I received the worst phone call of my life. My mom had called me to tell me that my little brother ( 16 years old at the time) was admitted to a children's hospital in an oncology unit. Some days went by and more testing was done, and it was confirmed that my brother had acute myeloid leukemia. I broke into a million pieces, I got flashbacks of moments from my childhood with him. The guilt ate me alive and made me feel empty, because I wanted to take his place. I felt like I deserved to be sick far more than he did, but he proved that none of us could’ve ever endured and overcome the pain that he went through.

2016 Changed Me

Still an adolescent searching for my identity, and my vision was a complete blur. I spent my days working, and spent my nights getting drunk and fighting with the abusive boyfriend. Yes, he was still around. I think I clung to him when Andrew got sick because it felt safe. I was afraid to go through this alone and I needed someone to lean on. Too bad he was still cheating on me and abusing me, but to make things worse now it was while my brother was fighting for his life in the hospital. I still blame myself for this hurt because I chose to stay in this mess, but again I was only an adolescent trying to find my identity whilst enduring traumatic life experiences.

Christmas 2015 was spent in the hospital, which was dreadful for the whole family. We prayed for Andrew to be healthy enough to come home for the holidays. The winter of 2016 Andrew went through some of his worst treatments, each chemotherapy treatment got more potent every time. There were nights my mom called to tell me he was almost sent to the ICU, or the day she texted me and said the skin on the bottoms of his feet were completely gone. I was enduring so much emotional stress and trauma and I didn’t even realize it. I stayed positive throughout this experience, I prayed and spoke to God. Family that we held near and dear to us decided they could not support Andrew anymore and abandoned us. The despair that this brought to Andrew was mortifying for us, he just couldn’t understand why they didn’t want to stand by his side anymore. Spring 2016 Andrew was done with all of his chemo treatments and cleared his infections, which led him down the road to finally being home again. One month after being home, he had a check up and it was confirmed that Andrew was cancer free. My family was elated, we finally felt whole again, and felt an immense amount of relief.

My brother inspired me so much to follow my dreams, I left my abusive boyfriend and began to pursue a career in nursing.

2020 Opened My Eyes

Four years have gone by and I’m now dealing with the repercussions of enduring so much emotional stress. Four years later, Andrew still remained cancer free, I was still away from my abusive boyfriend, and I had graduated from nursing school. May of 2019 I graduated nursing school, I went through a lot of hardships to accomplish that and I was extremely proud of myself. I was living in a fun city, and had just turned 21. I coped with the emotional stress that I experienced by drinking. Alcohol was sure as hell my drug, it made me happy, and confident. I met so many amazing people while living in Pittsburgh, but most of my relationships revolved around drinking and partying. I had no meaning or purpose in my life and I expected things to just fall in my lap. I took the NCLEX in the fall of 2019 and failed miserably, this was a wake up call but also a road that led to more binge drinking and depression.

The winter of 2020 I knew I had to get my shit together. I was in yet another meaningless relationship, but I left because I knew it was not what I wanted. I made the choice to start going to therapy, I began to see a tutor for my NCLEX, and started taking an antidepressant. I made huge changes to my life, and began to feel the shifts. I still struggled with addiction. I was tempted to drink almost every night and I was surrounded by people that were binge drinking. I realized that this was my true problem now and I slowed down. I passed the NCLEX in June of 2020 and started working as a licensed nurse in July 2020. I had so much hope for the future, I was so confident in my knowledge and myself. I reflected and realized how much I went through and how I used that experience to shape me into a stronger, successful woman. The fall of 2020 I met the love of my life and he changed me for the better. He motivated me to become the best version of myself and I never thought I would find true love.

The Present:

2021 I Found Me

Navigating through being in a healthy relationship is not easy. As someone that was only in an abusive relationship I’m not used to being loved in a healthy manner. I have a hard time accepting that I’m worthy of this love, and I still have insecurities and fears from my last relationship. I communicate all of these things with my partner and he has been a rock and stayed by my side through it all. Sometimes I feel stuck but I realize that I need to focus on the present more and see that I’m on my way to greatness. I do feel that I’ve met my soulmate, he loves me unconditionally, accepts all of my flaws, and understands me like no one else ever did. I’m so lucky and fortunate to have what I have with Nick.

My journey of becoming a nurse has been interesting. I started at a very scary time and it has been mentally trying. The winter of 2021 was my breaking point, I was assigned 8-9 patients and had to fill the duty of being charge nurse. I did very well as a charge nurse and was impressed with my leadership skills. My coworkers came to me for advice, expertise, medical questions, and I was even beginning to train new nurses. I didn’t know what it felt like to feel proud of myself until I reached this milestone. As much as I loved being a leader and helping people this job was leading to severe stress, so I left and transferred to the ICU. They say you have to be a certain creature to be a critical care nurse. I’m slowly becoming that creature, and to be quite honest I’m not sure I like the person that this job is turning me into. Taking care of patients dying from covid is what has really thrown me into a state of numbness. I know this is not who I am and I've been doing some soul searching to get out of this state of mind.

I’ve been searching for my sense of self because for the past three years my identity has revolved around becoming a nurse. Well now I’m a nurse and I want to pursue more. I know my soul longs for more and bedside nursing will not be all my career consists of. I desire to become a Nurse Practitioner specializing in psychology. After enduring so much emotional trauma and overcoming it I’m confident that I can help so many people, and I cannot wait to start this journey.

The Future:

2022 I’m Coming Back

In 2022 I’m leaving my toxic workplace to become a travel nurse and expand my nursing experience. I’m interested to see different hospitals and learn from so many people. I’m also going back to school to obtain my bachelors degree so I can start my NP program. The future looks so clear and beautiful. I will be free from negativity, I will do more of what I love and try new things. I will still have a healthy relationship with Nick and we will focus on leading happy lives together. I will not let bitter people get in my head and start intrusive thinking. I will believe in myself and accomplish all of these goals. I will write more and use my writing to help people going through the similar things I’ve gone through.

There were times I never saw the light at the end of the tunnel, I was so hopeless and literally thought my life had to come to an end. I believed in myself and my knowledge and used that to become a stronger person. I healed parts of me that I didn’t even know were still broken. I went from being the girl that was searching for herself, to becoming the girl that I never thought I could be. I stopped draining my energy for people or things that weren’t for me, I formed good habits, and high standards. I realized that peoples opinions were reflections of themselves, and not actually of me. I accepted a lot about myself, and just life in general. Acceptance is the final stage of grief and I’m still grieving the girl I used to be, but accepting who I am and who I am becoming brings a lot more healing to this sense of loss. I have become an empathetic, spiritual, happy, loving, and strong human and I am so proud of myself. I healed myself without becoming the people and experiences that traumatized me.

My name is Haleigh. I am from Pittsburgh, PA and I'm 24 years old. I am a nurse, beginning to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner. I've always loved reading and writing, but I never felt confident enough to put my journaling or writing out in the world. I have nothing to lose and I'm confident my writing can help people. I have a passion for psychology and am very empathetic in this area. I love listening to others stories and telling my own.

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