Have you ever noticed that every journey in life starts with a step?

You’re laughing right now, aren’t you? Saying to yourself, if not out loud to the room at large, “Of course you have to take a step. Everyone knows that.”

And you are so right. But do you take a step forward or backwards? Sometimes when we start a new journey in our lives, we think we are taking a step forward, when, in fact, we are taking one backward.

Now you’re saying or thinking, “What on earth is she talking about. You always move forward.”

No, my friend, not everyone does. It took me 18 months to break a pattern of abuse. And to a certain extent it took me another 16 years to change my steps to forward, not backward. And 45 years afterwards I am still working on keeping my steps going forward, not backward.

With me, it was an abusive marriage. I would get up and start a new day with what I thought was a step forward because I forgave him and just knew he would keep his promise to change. But he didn’t. I didn’t start a new journey in a forward motion until he tried to keep me from our baby. That gave me the necessary kick in the pants to make changes for her and me that didn’t include him.

That was the beginning of a new journey. Along the way I’ve thought I was keeping a forward motion, but like I said early I started to regress. I had to have an epiphany. I realized, after being married to my 2nd and current husband, that I kept reacting to anything he said and did as I had to my 1st husband. He never did, but it didn’t stop me from trying to force him into a mold he didn’t fit. Once, I realized though what I was doing to both of us and our children; I worked on correcting my reactions.

I told you early that 45 years later I’m still working on trekking forward, not backward. And I bet you’re wondering why and how. Well, like most women, the trauma of marriage #1 and some other things that happened before I met my wonder #2 husband caused me to have PTSI. Back then (the 70s) they didn’t have any real help those whose lives were a war daily. And many became casualties because of it.

I was one of the lucky ones. With my baby’s help, I found a wonderful man that has never given up on me. He has been there to guide me through panic attacks. Flash backs. And when things got full-blown again, worked with me to find a therapist that didn’t use drugs but counseling to help me face each day.

That is why I said I’m still working 45 years later. I still battle depression. Things I can see in life or on TV or even read in a book can bring back some of those memories causing me mentally and physically turn myself around to a forward momentum and only look back to heal, not travel.

Look at your feet daily. Do you have them facing forward or did those little buggers slip in to a backward position on your legs during the night while you slept?

Please, don’t give up on yourself. You are worth the effort to change.

I saw a TV show last night, a couple just had a baby, and a client of the husband had come by the hospital to thank him, but before he left, he said something I thought was profound. Almost like a blessing upon that infant. He said, “The world is a much better place today; because you are in it.”

If you think nothing else of yourself, hide that quote in your heart. You might want to even write it on a paper where you can see it, or use a marker and write it on your mirror so you can tell yourself that every day.