The Decision to Wake up and Live



After a few hours of Christmas shopping the other night, my husband and I went out for dinner. There was a young Japanese couple at the next table and I was drawn to watching their small child who kept looking over at me while he was waiting for his meal. 

I noticed that the whole family spoke Japanese to each other, and I could tell that they had not been in Canada long because of how much trouble they had with the English language when speaking to the waitress. 

When their food came, I also noticed how much trouble the parents had with the knives and forks. They were obviously uncomfortable with them and both adults used them in different ways than I had ever seen before. I realized that they were not accustomed to using these instruments for eating and how self conscious they were, even with each other about this fact.

Watching them reminded me of how scared I was to learn a new way of living. When I realized that all my coping methods were just that, only coping methods, and that if I was ever to be fully alive, I would have to get to the bottom of my mental health issues, I was frozen with fear; I was just as afraid to let go my coping methods to learn how to live a new way as I was of staying in the depths of depression and dissociation forever. I was afraid of how I would have to relate to others if I was to embrace wholeness.  I was afraid of the unknown. I was afraid to stick up for myself, I was used to things the way they were, even if they were not comfortable for me.  I was afraid that I would be even more deeply unhappy then I already was if I tried to learn how to live without dissociating. I was afraid to give up the long bouts of sleeping that characterized my depression. I was afraid I might have to stand up to the people in my life that disregarded me. I was afraid to own my value. My life was comfortable in a bizarre way; depression and dissociated identity disorder worked for me.

But just as this young couple was embracing new ways, I decided to learn new ways too. The process was long and difficult and worth every painful moment. Living in wholeness and fullness is something that I never imagined would be so fantastic. How could I imagine something that I had never experienced? How could I have ever known what I was missing?

These are the questions at the root of my passion to spread the hope of healing and wholeness to others.  If you like my post, and would like to help me spread the hope, please click on the share button below and share it on your favourite sites. If you would like to post comments or ask me a question, I welcome you to click on the post title which will open a new page and reveal the comment box.

~Darlene Ouimet

11 response to "The Decision to Wake up and Live"

  1. By: Janice Posted: 22nd December

    How did you go about changing your life and getting over the depression? Did you do it in steps?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd December

      Hi Janice
      Welcome to Emerging from Broken!
      It isn’t about changing so much as about becoming aware of the truth vs the lies that I had always believed about me and how they got there in the first place. This article was written almost at the beginning of when I started this website. There have been almost 400 written since then and my whole story is within the pages of this site. I hope you will read more!
      hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Jane Posted: 22nd December

    Yes Darlene that is exactly what I am asking. This morning my husband told me he had problems with life in general and he told me if he were to let them out it would only cause more problems. His ongoing fight with me is that I am taking the time to heal from my trauma without any support from him except financial which is just room and board. For the last six years he has turned his back on me emotionally and has blamed me and shamed me into accepting that all our financial difficulties are a result of me quitting my job and not working outside the home. Darlene he has a good paying job with benefits. He is an alcoholic who has had me as his enabler for over 28 years. Today I was just about to swallow all his blame and shame yet again and something inside me stopped it and threw it out of my heart and mind. Which made me gasp because in the past I made room for it with all the blame and shame that I had not let go of since the day i was born. It did feel liberating. Hope to have many more days of purging the old me and embracing my true self. Hugs again Jane.

  3. By: Jane Posted: 22nd December

    Hi Darlene, just reading those words helped me understand a lot. Blame and shame is the game my mother and brother played with me for years. And I found that my husband uses the same game. It has taken me ten years to come to this point with the last 5 in therapy. I’m still walking on this road to recovery thanks to your site as well. Can I ask when did this all finally stop for you. At what time did it become a stepping stone and not a boulder on your shoulder? hugs Jane

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 22nd December

      Hi Jane
      I am not sure how to answer but if I understand your question correctly, it was when I finally validated myself and the REAL reasons that I had struggled for so much of my life, that I woke up one day and knew that I was free from the lie that the problem was me. Laying down the weight of shame that didn’t belong to me was amazing!
      Hugs, Darlene

  4. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th January

    Thanks Fai,
    I am glad that you are here! (WOW I wrote this post a long time ago! LOL)

  5. By: Fai Posted: 26th January

    Darlene you really have such a great gift; you express thoughts I can’t flesh out at this time. I am changing thanks to your sharing. ” only hope” bless you =)

  6. By: J Posted: 20th November

    Hi Darlene,

    I just clicked the “dissociative” tag and came across this one…. wow!!! That fear you describe, and the understandable yet so sad feeling of wanting to stick with the familiar (even when it’s utterly miserable) is well known to me.

    And the line “how could I imagine something I had never experienced?” is exactly how I’ve been feeling in regards to having healthy relationships (of any kind, not just romantic); also about being free to make my own decisions and choices about my life.

    I think it’s still a bit more of a depressive thought in my mind though — as in, how do I even know what I’m shooting for when I’ve never seen it? But perhaps I can try to hold on to it as an exciting thought, more the way you describe it — as something amazing to look forward to, which you can’t possibly imagine til you get there.

    Thanks again!

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th November

      For me I had to really do the work to see where I got so damaged and how I came to have such low self esteem in the first place as I write in this site. It was not a vision that I had at first, only hope that it could be as you have expressed here in your second thought. But I caanged and my life changed in stages and each change kept me going forward.
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st December

    My answer to your comment got so long that I decided to make it my next post. Stay tuned for my post called; Relationships based on Wholeness and Truth

  8. By: Carla Posted: 20th December

    Darlene, I can relate to a lot of these fears and am also starting to feel gratitude for difficult decisions I made in my past that make for a much more fulfilling present. I’m interested in what you say about being “afraid of how I would have to relate to others if I was to embrace wholeness.” Can you expand on that? What’s it like to relate to others in wholeness now?

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