I remember standing at an event one day feeling proud and celebrated. The aura in the room was one that allowed all present to breathe a little freer and stand a little taller because we were surrounded by those that felt some of our deepest hurts but didn't judge us by them. They heard some things that could have made them look at us with disgust or pity. Instead they looked at us with awe, pride and support. The revelation of those hurts were used to strip others of shame and help them step out of darkness. At the same time we were allowed to step out of the shadows. As the sheroes of the day, we walked down the aisle with a victorious swagger. We then sauntered back the other way with dancing in our feet and an entourage of sisters at our sides with spirits that screamed YASSSS QUEEN! Yes, I remember that day. Since that day I have felt sadness, shame and guilt. I have slipped and fallen. I have had anxiety so strong that urgent care was my only option because closing my eyes and slowing my breathing couldn't help. While all of that has occurred, these times have been different because I knew I didn't have to stay there. This time I had the strength to come out of it sooner and stronger. I had the fight in me to tell the depression and anxiety that it was not welcome and could not stay. I knew how to serve eviction notices to the things that did not serve me. I say all of this to say it is not promised that you will never feel some of the same emotions or think the same thoughts. It is not promised that you won't cry some of the same tears. What is promised is that if you CHOOSE to, you can fight. If you CHOOSE to, you can breathe a little freer and walk a little swaggier. You will revisit the shadows, but you can step out if you CHOOSE!