“Ugh, I can’t get comfortable and I can’t sleep!” I yell out into the empty bedroom. Exasperated I flop back down on the bed trying to get comfortable. “Just go to sleep Odette!” I cry. It’s nearly midnight and I have to wake up at 5 am to make the hour long drive to take my daughters, Michaela and Briana, to school. Sleep finally comes and relieves me of the reality of my life I call Hell.
But my dreams don’t take me to a far away Heaven, they only replay, night after night, month after month, the same reel of a horror movie that has become my life.
Scene one starts with my blended-family-of-seven common law husband asking us to move out. “It just isn’t working out”, he says. Scene two, three and four, covering a 6-month span, fall in quick succession leaving me an orphan at the age of 44. Mom and Dad, both in their 80’s, have died within two months of each other.
My past and my future wiped out in one foul swoop. As usual, I wake up in a fog from a place I can’t really call sleep. On this particular winter morning, the catalyst that broke the camel’s back, happened. I can’t get out of bed because I can’t move. “Wow I must have slept funny. My arms are asleep”, I wince in frustration. The demands of life finally took its toll as balled up tension pinching the nerves in my neck, literally leaving me paralyzed in my arms and hands. For the next 18 months I battled extreme fatigue, feelings of failure and despair, fear and overwhelm of being on my own as a single Mother again and painful rehabilitation to regain the use of my arms. Crazy as it may seem, I started a business in all of that muck and it was my life savior. Despite all that happened in those few years, something magically emerged: The real Me. A stronger Me. How did I do it? Support, Love and Belief in myself that I can overcome anything. Your turn.