Willow's Wonderland: A Tale of Overcoming and Rebuilding


New member
I was really hoping to start my blog with something more elegant, but its proving to be more and more difficult the longer I wait.

So here I am. Solo. Rebuilding my life through the trauma I managed to escape. Just me and my dogs. A decent job and a room I'm renting. Not the most glamorous life, covered in wet dog smell on the daily, coming home to people I barely talk to. But at least there's privacy.

I don't have to worry about being judged by those who are supposed to love me and I finally have the freedom and independence that I've always craved, despite the poorly built bridges I've taken it upon myself to burn in the process.

At this point, its a matter of cleaning up the rubble it all left behind. I hate how difficult it is some days, but the bad days seem fewer and further between as the months go on. But cleaning this rubble is more enriching and freeing than allowing others to control my life.

So here we are.


Well-known member
Welcome! Looking forward to more of your journey.


New member
I really did not realize that it's been 9 months since I started this blog.

It's hard to know where to begin. I remember when I used to journal/blog every day and how satisfying it was. As much as I have missed that, it truly feels like there is so much that has happened that I don't even know where to start.

My life between late 2019- 2021 was honestly a total mess. After leaving another abusive relationship in 2019, I really thought life could only go up from there, but I found myself spiralling into deeper and deeper depression and alcoholism, especially after losing my job. I spent a brief period through 2020 moved in with my dad. Not only did that turn out to be a huge mistake: within the first month I lost a friend that I had been close with since high school. I ended up helping plan her funeral and then one week later my car broke down and I had to finance a new one.

It's truly been quite a time.
By my 31st birthday (late April), I found myself pregnant. While the decision took far more of an emotional toll on me than I ever expected, I decided to terminate by medicated abortion. Alone in my apartment. #donotrecommend

I was also being taken for granted at my job: stolen from, overworked, underpaid, and just overall feeling extremely unsafe and unhappy. As much as I loved what I was doing, management was proving more and more incompetent every single day. And to make matters worse, I was having serious issues with management of the apartment complex I was living in.

I feel like I finally reached a breaking point. I quit my job and left that apartment.
Since then, I have been mostly freelancing and doing delivery. Of course, I have been on the prowl for something a little more consistent, but I refuse to accept less than I deserve anymore. I know my worth and my own rights. I know what I am capable of and I refuse to compromise anymore for the sake of a job when I can make that same money working for myself. I have far too many skills to be wasting them on ingratitude.

Over the past several months, I have found myself repeating this mantra
"I do not chase, I attract. What is meant for me will find me."
And since I have started, my life has slowly fallen into a far more wonderful place.

My cousin and I have started rooming together. Which has helped to fulfill a deep need of sisterhood in my life. I have known for a long time that I was built to be an older sibling. Unfortunately, my own sister isn't exactly a candidate for that kind of relationship. This cousin, however, is the oldest surviving child of my mother's identical twin. She and I have fallen into more of a sisterly relationship since her older brother's suicide in 2017. I am more than grateful to be able to step in as that role in her life. She and I are both artists with a ton of overlapping interests including most music, movies, food preferences, and food aversions, so we have found the transition to be pretty natural as well as beneficial for both of us on a daily basis.

It's also given me the opportunity to focus more on my health and being able to create and stick to routines. The gym rat in me is back as well as the foodie in me. It's taken me a year to get back here and I am grateful to finally feel like I am putting that depression behind me.

And just like it was kismet, this is also when I met my Bear.
I really had no plans to get into another relationship, unless it was exactly what I needed. My tolerance for red flags and overall temperament when it comes to spending extended time with people seems to have reached an all time high with particularity. But after meeting Bear, it felt like there was a new permanent space for him that was just so easy, I barely noticed.

He is a lovely, funny, and very skilled active outdoorsman. The majority of his formal education is actually in recreation and counseling. His wife is also a social worker. Kind, fun, open minded, and has been nothing short of welcoming to me. Every second that Bear and I spend together is soaked up in lighthearted and fun conversation. We lose ourselves sharing stories and ideas, relating and connecting. He never misses a single
"Good night, Beautiful." or "Good morning, Beautiful." and we are always fresh with ideas on new things to do together.

I am truly not used to the level of support that he shows. Or the thoughtfulness of the gifts he gives. This is the first relationship in which I literally feel zero anxiety about or doubt of their true intentions. Instead of feeling trapped, I almost feel freer. Perhaps because of the incredible amount of security I feel with his consistent support.

There are still a number of things that need to fall into place in order to continue pushing our lives forward, but I feel as though if I can accomplish what I did last year when I was still depressed and without intention, I am excited to see what I will accomplish within this next year with intention.

Until next time ;)
- W.


Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello WaywardWillow, thanks for sharing your story, it is good to hear that things are going so much better for you nowadays.


New member
I am beyond ready for this week to be over. If it's not one thing, it's another.

While life has been generally on the incline, it seems to be the tedious details that are becoming a major pain these days. Monday I had, what I thought was a working interview. I got a lead on a salary position at an up and coming tattoo shop here in Nashville. I honestly thought I had missed out on it because of my COVID diagnosis. Long story short, the manager rescheduled multiple times and still forgot and then disregarded our final scheduled meeting time as though we never agreed on it and called to tell me 20 minutes after said time. Only to show up and tell me that she filled the position already, but I could have Sundays and Mondays if I wanted. :cautious: For the equivalent of $9 less an hour.
Between that and noticing that she seemed to be distracted by her need to talk down about people, I feel like I dodged a bullet.

As I stay busy with my side gigs and continuing applying for jobs, I have found some peace in doing a great deal of digital housekeeping. Clearing out and organizing photos, emails, and documentation. I have also been busy transcribing my late mother's writings. Primarily her autobiography and some journaling. I've found it very therapeutic, but also exhausting, in a way. My mother was quite long winded, as well as scattered. But it's been very insightful to relive my her experiences considering her lack of presence in my life, but I know that is part of why she wrote it to begin with.

I have also been in the process of getting back to the gym. Bear was kind enough to call me this morning when I was in a frustrated tizzy about all of the tedious complications that have come up. I know they say not to worry about the things you can't control, but that saying has always been hard for me seeing as that's exactly why I worry. My sweet Bear spent time talking me down and making me laugh.

"Now go do something. I don't care what it is. Hit the gym. Get that anxiety out. You'll feel better."

I think Elowen (cousin/roommate) may be joining me soon. My own excitement about the prospect of getting back in shape has gotten her excited about it as well. I particularly enjoy that we seem to keep each other motivated in different ways like that. It's a relief to finally find that dynamic at home.

That being said, I'm going to settle in with my cup of hot tea, snuggle my pup, and finish my movie.
Safe and COVID free wishes.
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