I’m going to a class at my local Church – except we don’t like to use the word ‘church” – it brings up many connotations for those who have bad experiences at church. We like to call it a “Center for Spiritual Living”

The idea is to discover within yourself the strength to see the truth about yourself and that truth is that you are wonderful person deserving of love, that you are loved.

I don’t want to go into all that right now because that is not the purpose of this post. In this post I want to talk about me.

Some of you know I used to own 2 bookstores and a café, at one time they were very successful, sales of 5 million a year, one hundred employees.

Made so much money that, spending 10,000 here or there wasn’t something that we had to think about too much. We gave a nice size bonus for a bookstore, Christmas bonus were sometimes a months pay.

I was the Controller not an owner, when the landlord decided to raise the rent ((someone offered him 4.00 a sq ft)) So after a year of negotiation and decisions based on some health issues the owners decided that they should close up shop or sell the business.

After a year of looking for a buyer ((who had cash money)), they decided to close. One day, they said to me, that I should buy the store.

“ I laughed and said, “With what money?” Well I thought about it and decided that I had enough friends that could all loan me 10,000.00 each. The hard part would be raising the first 100,000.00, if I had the first 100,000 I knew I could get the rest.

Well long story short, it took me a week to borrow half a million dollars. I bought the bookstore. My mom died the day I signed the papers. I broke up with my boyfriend over his boyfriend that he had on the side. ((It was supposed to be manage a’ trois)) And then began a story of should haves, could haves, would haves.

I’d say, sometimes we fail because we didn’t plan on what to do if we succeeded. I went bankrupt, and there were many reasons you could point to say why. This happened, that happened, I didn’t do this I didn’t do that.

The reality is, it happened, and nothing can change that now, did I learn something?

But this post is really about my depression. I cut off most contact with my family, I did not call any of my friends, stopped answering emails, never opened Christmas cards that I had received in the mail. I even saved them, so whenever I wanted to feel guilty, I could go stare at them.

I didn’t work for a year, just living off money that other people owed me. I drank a lot, even blacked out a few times, and had a hard time remembering who that guy was I was sleeping next to. But time came when the money had run out, so I got a job, and then another better job. I started working out seriously, spending my lunchtimes at the gym instead of walking through stores looking at things I could not afford. I met Cowboy, and started a relationship with him, but I was still holding on to my depression and anger.

Then I did the best thing that ever happened to me ((not counting Cowboy)), I started doing the AIDS/Lifecycle ride.

I was doing something that didn’t exist to benefit me; I was doing something to help other people. That reaching out to help other people helped me. I have a better relationship with my family now. I reached out to old friends and got back in contact. I have a better relationship with Cowboy, a better relationship with myself.

I lost a few friends too. But that happens, sometimes we outgrow our friends, that doesn’t make them wrong.

Back to class, in this class it is basically about knowing the truth about yourself, that you are loved. That regardless of your failures, it does not change the essential truth about yourself. That you are a loved, cherished person, and that in the mind of God you are perfect just as you are.