New Castle News

March 11, 2013

Lisa Madras: I made it to my year of catharsis, and you will, too

Lisa Madras
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — How would you describe the past year of your life in one sentence?

"The past year of my life has been cathartic."  That's my easy one-sentence summary.  I've been waiting to say that for such a long time.  And boy, does it feel good.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that I'm where I want to be, but  you know what they say... life's a journey.  It's hard to believe that it's been five years since my world started unravelling, and believe me, during that time it seemed to crawl at a snail's pace.

I love being able to look back objectively at the past and feel pride that I've managed to bring my children and myself relatively unscathed though circumstances that would have broken weaker people.  You've been here with me through all of this... you know how I started this process with no idea of where I was going, or how I was going to make it there.  You know that on day one, I was looking out over what seemed to be a black chasm, terrified that any wrong move could be the undoing of what little sanity I had left.

I'd never felt so alone or so unsure of myself.  I had been a strong woman before I had my trust shattered, my family destroyed, and my own mental and physical health put to ruins.  That was just a few years ago, when I started writing this blog, reaching out to form any kind of tenuous connection I could find with anyone who felt compelled to join me by reading my story.

I knew you were there, even though at first you were just a figment of my imagination.  But I knew you were real when you started calling, and writing, and e-mailing.  I knew when you stopped to talk to me in the bowling alley, and at the hairdressers, and at your children's birthday parties. 

Some of you I've only met once, or only spoke to on the phone.  Some of you I've formed life-long friendships with.  Some of you were already life-long friends.

So many of you have told me how good it felt to know that you weren't alone in your struggles.  And I love hearing that, even though in my heart I wish you hadn't had anything to overcome in the first place.  And I listened to your stories like they were already a part of me, lapping up your words because they helped to fill the aloneness that was inside of me.

I think about you often.  I hope that your year has been cathartic, too.  I've hope I've been some small part of that.  I wish you knew how much you helped me, and that there were words to say thank you in some really big, throw-my-arms-around-you-and-cry-tears-of-gratitude way.

I hope if your catharsis hasn't started yet, that it will soon.  Believe me when I say that it will.  That's the great thing about adversity.  You go into it scared and alone, and if you fight long enough and hard enough, you come out the other side a warrior, with an army at your back. I never thought I'd make it through. But I did.       

You will, too.

"Then as it was, then again it will be, and though the course will change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea." - Led Zeppelin