I would want to tell you how the last 8.5 years was easy, happy, and there were no struggles. That is simply not the case. In fact, I have learned more about myself while scraping my life off the ground and climbing out of the dark hole I ended up in.

It was not always like this, but it’s also where I found my strength and ability to keep moving forward despite everything I felt was holding me down. There were days when I did not know how I would feed my children, let alone put clothes on their backs or make sure they had everything for school. It was on those particular days, that the best thing I could do was show up no matter how unprepared I was. Self-pity was not going to put food in our mouths or make me a good mother, but it was a shroud over me and lived there longer than I would ever want to admit.

It seemed like every new door I walked through, there was another obstacle that seemed to prevent me from succeeding or making it to the next level of my life. In those moments, you find out who is truly in your corner and want to help you, because they are genuinely good people and have your best interest at heart. Those were my people. I didn’t know it then, but I know it now.

They made sure my children had birthday parties, a bed to sleep in and a safe place to stay when things got tough. I had to stand up and fight the biggest battle of my life, my divorce and custody battle. I felt alone because the people you expect to show up didn’t. It was like they turned a blind eye and sent half-assed sympathy texts — which eventually stopped coming.

It has been a long journey to where I am today, and couldn’t be more proud of the person and mother I have become. Four years ago I somehow found it in me to go back to school while working a full-time job in hopes to provide a better life for my boys. By the grace of a higher power, a lot of tears, missed moments with my boys, and a lack of sleep…I graduated December 2017 with my Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Management.

The beginning of my last semester, I stumbled upon Only Human and it was really just a miracle. It was such a pivotal moment in my life. I have cultivated friendships because of it, and have made journeys to places I never really thought I would go. Today, I am only one semester away from graduating with my Master’s Degree in Higher Education and can’t wait to see where this takes me. Most importantly, I feel more confidence and strength in my ability to continue providing for my little family.

While I am far from where I was—I am closer to where I want to be.

My message to you is keep going—it gets better. I cannot promise you it will be easy, but it will be worth it.