January 2018 began on a high note. I had completed my fourth book a few months earlier, and my newly formed consulting company had just received its first out-of-state gig. My business partner and I were ecstatic. Within two weeks of receiving that news, and while in the middle of planning for the job, my twelve-year relationship came to a sudden end.

I was devastated. This was the second long-term relationship I had been in and there I was, alone again. I found it hard to accept that I was in my early fifties, yet a financial and emotional wreck.

My consulting business and writing fell by the wayside as I searched for a new place to live. On February 12, I packed a few belongings into a U-Haul and set out, two days before Valentine’s Day, four days before my birthday. I would not celebrate either.

I descended into depression. It was dark, and it was deep. There didn’t seem to be any way out. I was free-falling and knew that I had to save myself before it was too late.

In the midst of this turmoil, something called to me, pleading with me to see the opportunity I had been given. There was an important choice to make: fill the void in my life or walk the path of healing alone.

I chose to walk alone.

So, for twelve months I lived a life of isolation.

I ate alone. 

Laughed alone.

Wept alone. 

Slept alone.

Peeling back the layers of who I had become was necessary to be reunited with the core of who I truly was. Yes, I was still there, buried beneath years of distractions and detours.

I was compelled to write. To write for me, and me alone.

It was as though I had been locked in a dark room, and when I began writing the door was flung open and light poured in. Finally, there was an outlet for everything that was swirling through my mind and heart. If there was no one to listen, I would write. If it seemed that no one cared, I would write. When emotions were too intense, I would write. It was glorious, painful, and beautiful. More importantly, writing was a catalyst for healing.

Words came in bursts, short notes to me that became my healing balm. Where I had been free-falling, I began to soar. Writing, which had long been my passion, became my way back to life.

I began to share these notes with the world, unedited, raw, pure.

Soon, messages of gratitude, shared pain, and hope were received from dozens of people. My pain became my story, and my story became the power that allowed others to feel safe sharing their story.

The more I write, the more grateful I become.

With each word written, another piece of my soul is set free.

Writing brought me back from the brink.

There are ten thousand roads home.

Mine has been paved with words.