What even is a sesquidecade you may ask? Well, according to google, it means it’s the way I should talk about my 15th year anniversary of sobriety from the drugs that nearly took my life.
15 years ago my brother drove 4 hours to get me and my trash bag of belongings in Las Vegas. I made the call that would change my entire life that day, and there on the other side, were my brothers and my sister in law, Martha. The moment we hung up the phone he started the drive to get me. I will never forget his trembling voice, “Are you finally ready?” My family had prayed for years that I would hit rock bottom and realize that I was throwing my precious life away.
I have journals where I knew I would die at 25. For some reason that number was always prevalent in my mind. I wrote good-bye letters to my family and I was ready. I wanted to go. I was tired and I didn’t think I had anything good to offer the world. Instead I was just darkness who killed anything she touched. I was worthless and had nothing to offer other than pain. We will come back to this number, 25.
15 years ago I decided to stop using, I left homelessness, I left being trafficked, I left my dark alley, I left begging for change, I left dumpster diving, and I left the girl who I thought I would die being behind.
My brother showed up with his childhood best friend. They tried really hard not to pity me and hid their emotions behind meaningless jokes and scarred smiles. I was terrified of the life that waited for me. I occasionally and spontaneously cried as I looked out the window and we left the place that I could never look at in the same way. The place that left me broken. The place where I left never being the same way.
It was a long and broken road of healing, but day by day, I began to regain the girl who I thought had died so many years ago. My family cheered me on as my life began to restructure around me. Not without mistakes, but I definitely gave it all I had. For the first time in a long time, I wanted to live.
And then the girl met a boy on the internet. I met the love of my life, only at that time I didn’t know that. A year and a half after an online romance I flew to Texas to meet him and next month we will be celebrating 12 years of marriage. He knew me at my darkest and yet all he could see in me was who he knew I would be.
Guess how old I was when we got married? 25. That magic number that was always whispered to me, but I could never recognize the voice. It was God. He whispered 25 to me. Because He knew that if I just held on a little longer I would begin to realize my purpose. He knew that my old life would die that day and I would gain a new one. I would grow to become a wife, a momma, a business owner, a voice for women, a warrior, a believer, and a testimony of hope. He was there with me all along. I just didn’t recognize His voice over the chaos I created. God did all of that. I couldn’t have done it alone.
So I say again, happy sesquidecade to me. I am glad I chose to live. I am glad that God allowed me to keep living. And I am so thankful that my family, my friends, and especially my husband keep cheering me on until I’m done with this race on Earth. And to my momma, thank you for being who you are.