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Sowing in Ashes

Our next feature, I met when she became a client at the gym. She was very quiet and reserved. But man, she was one of the hardest working members there. And let me tell you, she gave no fucks what anyone thought about her lol. She showed up, did her thing, and went straight home. I knew right away she was going to be a tough egg to crack. That is, until one fateful day, I noticed she didn't come into one of her work outs. I texted her immediately and she explained that she endured an anxiety attack. I was honestly shocked. I had no idea she had experienced anything like that! Later on that week, we had breakfast together and a friendship began to blossom. Here is her story..

My name is Alejandra Vargas. I am 31 years old and I live at home with my parents. I say this because that doesn't define me. Society has set these expectations for men and women by certain ages that hinders our mental growth. I am a kind, emotional, honest, and educated woman who has a thriving career in Healthcare Administration. I have a true passion to help others in need. But it took a life changing event to realize who I was and how important I am.

At age 25 I met who I thought was the love of my life. Instantly, I became a stepmom to two amazing children ages six and two. The three of them were my entire life for four years. I moved in with this man within months of dating and worked on building our family. We got engaged three years later. In 2018, I was planning to get married, and then pregnant, and I was going to graduate with my MBA as well. I envisioned 2018 being the best year of my life. In short, 2018 was the absolute worst year. My family was torn apart due to lies and cheating. The man I loved got another woman pregnant during our engagement. He ended our relationship and married the other woman.

So there I was, planning a wedding one day and the next my suicide. I remember contemplating three different ways on how to end my life. It really tore me up. I isolated myself from most of my family and friends for months. I was depressed. I barely had strength to get out of bed. I had anxiety attacks where I couldn't even breathe, I would cry and become paralyzed for long periods of time. It took a year of this for me to take the best step of my life, which was to seek professional help.

I had hit rock bottom and although a year had passed, I could not stop this pain in my heart and mind on my own.

My therapist listened to me with an unbiased ear. The most important part about therapy was that it wasn't there to fix my “brokenness" but to understand that I was not broken at all. I had to grieve the loss of the family I once had, and the children I raised as my own. I went to therapy for a year and I learned about who I was. I lost myself in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship, and I rediscovered the new strong woman with in me. In therapy, I would listen to myself speak of who I had become and where I had lost my self-worth. Through the sessions and tears, I realized I had developed strength, once I knew how important I was to myself.

You cannot love others if you do not love yourself first. You cannot take care of others if you do not take care of yourself first. You cannot be a better friend, family member, or life partner if you do not value yourself first.

Therapy has been the best investment of my life. I openly tell people I went to therapy because there are so many men and women who fear seeking professional help due to it having a bad stigma. Society has made it seem like it's a sign of weakness, or a taboo. I am here to tell you that it’s not. The strong-minded woman I have became is thanks to the help of my therapist. My life story isn’t about the love I lost, but about the steps I took to become a better me. Take care of yourself first because without you, this world would not be the same.

“Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind” Isaiah 58:8.

I want to leave off by thanking God for my blessing in disguise. To Mykee and Aubrey, if you ever read this, know that I will always love you.

-Alejandra Vargas

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