For the last year, time passed ever-so-slowly. The pain burned into my chest and wore away at every corner of my mind. When would this end?

I wrote journal after journal, pouring out my feelings and flooding pages with words when all I felt was emptiness. I longed for the day when the memories wouldn’t hurt anymore, when the weight of the pain wouldn’t feel so heavy, and when I would finally feel a little like myself again.

And then, one day, it happened.

For so long, I almost didn’t believe the statement “time heals everything”. Every little memory—even the ones with seemingly the most insignificant details—had the power to control my emotions. One day turned into a week, which turned into a month, and then fall turned into an endless winter. Those rainy days clouded my mind with loneliness and darkness, a feeling I was so afraid I would never escape. It took ahold of my everyday thoughts and held on relentlessly.

The most empowering thing, however, was that I never succumbed to it. When spring finally arrived, the beautiful flowers of healing, hope, and peace began to bloom from within.

The first taste of emotional and mental freedom away from someone that bound you to pain is truly indescribable. It takes you by surprise, but it is one of the most pure, priceless feelings in the world. Finally, I could breathe in and breathe out without the burden on my shoulders. The sun became a little brighter, the ocean a little bluer, and life a little easier. My mind was cleansed more and more every day of the once toxic cycle of thoughts and negativity.

What happened cannot be reversed or erased from my mind, but I hope that day by day, those memories will fade away and eventually be lost. As I remember and learn from what happened, I will regain my inner strength and confidence in myself. Those experiences may have shaped my current self, but my personality and my dreams will never change because of the adversities I faced.

Looking back now, I smile and feel truly, deeply thankful that I made it out alive. What a journey—it was dark, devastating, and so lonely, but I emerged a better and stronger version of myself. I realized that the lies, the hurt, and the betrayal didn’t have the power to control my emotions anymore.

Finally, I can pick up the pieces and begin to feel like myself again.

I am free.

About the author
Living, reflecting, and learning to be my best self. Follow Lauren on Instagram or read more articles from Lauren on Thought Catalog.

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