SNAP: Stories for Living

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Story #10 – My Coming of Age

When I think about a specific person or event which has inspired me, it is impossible to narrow it down to just this year, thus what follows is “my coming of age”  through other’s flame of hope being passed on to me as I have been on a long recovery journey. By the time I found SNAP in 2002, I felt as if my life had lost all meaning. I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I can remember being in a meeting and Barbara Blaine asking for introductions.

I was awestruck by everyone’s ability to speak up, and filled with terror because my turn was approaching. I filled up with tears and just stood there. Barbara said just give us your name. This was the hardest part because I had been anonymous for so long in so many ways in my life, not just as a survivor, I just froze. I could never imagine how much my life would bloom from that day. I had been on disability and out of work by that time for 5 years, which only added to my deeply wounded self-esteem problems. However, there were a few leaders in SNAP who believed in me and had confidence in my abilities far beyond anything I was able to see at the time.

They delegated responsibilities to me without hesitation. These responsibilities sometimes included the privilege to share in the lives of other survivors. I was there to help guide them in various ways to resources for their journeys. Being honored with other survivors’ trust and being allowed into their inner circle again is a gift received beyond words.

The saying, you receive more than you give, doesn’t do justice to the Blessings I received in this process. As time went on, and my confidence grew, I have finally been able to begin the “second” part of my life. I am still on disability, yet I have enrolled in a University for some continuing education and by this time next year I shall have a part time job. In 2002, the thought of ever returning to the workforce was the furthest thing from my mind, and most assuredly I wouldn’t have believed I would have the ability to do so.

There are some specific special people I have met through SNAP who had relit my candle of hope, when I thought it was snuffed out. I can only hope I have been able to return this gift to others, most especially survivors who lacked any hope. I hope I have and will continue to spark their belief in their abilities as my life has been sparked.

Note: this story is from 2009. View other 2009 stories and 2009 voting results. View current stories.