Even in my darkest days there would always be a glimpse of light. It looked as though it was the one star in the darkest night. The glimpse of light became a reference point to me. The light bacame brighter and grew bigger. Before the light in my darkness could grow, I had to focus on it and move in that direction. Thinking back to where I was a few years ago, it has been a wild ride. I was shackled by my own darkness. It was like being on a never ending roller coaster and not the fun one. Some days I would wake up hopeful and other days I would wake up with a dark cloud over my head. Those good days were good until I allowed something to set me off. That something could be as little as walking through the grocery isle and running into a familiar scent. For some reason, a scent would be quick to take me to a place in my mind where I didn’t want to be, no matter how good my day was. In Camp Pendleton we would go on these long hikes and walk through this woodsy type terrain(s). Certain areas of Camp Pendleton where we would go hiking, smelled similar to Italian sausage on a pizza. Like I said in my previous blogs, I used to associate most military-related things with my brother’s passing. So at that point in my life the smell of Italian sausages would bring me back to a dark place in my head. The craziest and most ironic thing that I can clearly remember in relations to the scent of Italian sausages on pizza is it was my favorite topping. This smell was like a double-edged sword. At my heaviest (prior to me choosing the vegan lifestyle) I would destroy a whole Italian sausage pizza. The ironic part is it would make me feel sad, because of an associated memory I had with it. I would eat it to ease my sorrows away. Crazy and ironic right? At that time one of the soothing moments was when I was eating pizza with my favorite topping. When I decided to change my lifestyle, it began this cluster of good things. I picked myself up from sorrow and dusted myself off. I started focusing on the good. Along my journey I would address each issue one-on-one versus bombarding myself with multiple problems that I had. I focused on the good. A dot of light turned into a ray of light dissipating the darkness. It seems this change was over night. I can clearly remember how I felt empty. I don’t feel that anymore. I am filled with happiness. It’s crazy to sit here writing this blog and remembering exactly how I felt. At that time of my life, it seemed like it was never going to end. I decided to change and push forward. I took on each obstacle one-by-one until I eventually became an obstacle slayer. Nothing could stop me from rising. It’s a surreal feeling to be in complete control of my life. I broke my chains.