Rock Your Confidence: Augustine Civalier
Hello everyone. My name is Augustine Civalier and boy has my confidence been rocked!
My first thought… which story do I tell. Ha!
What does my confidence look like? Well, that depends on which situation we’re talking about. I can say there have been many times my confidence was rock bottom. A time that comes to mind is back in 2008.
First, let’s back up a bit. I lost my husband in June of 2007 to multiple sclerosis. At that time, I had been out of society for 15 years. Does anyone have any idea what that is like? Well, it’s what I refer to as being like one of the “4400” from the television series! 4400 people vanished over the course of five decades by alien abductions (though thankfully for me it was not that long) and then suddenly reappeared.
When I came out of 15 years of isolation, I realized how out of touch I was with EVERYTHING. I no longer had the skills I had in my prior life and some diminished from lack of performing. Everything had changed and unlike the 4400, at least I knew what a cell phone was. When I finally resurfaced I kept hearing about PowerPoint, and I was like, “what the heck is PowerPoint?”
I had to buy a car, but I didn’t know anything about makes and models. How does one buy a car without some prior knowledge that is up to date? Lastly, I remember not knowing what I even liked for clothes. All I was reduced to was wearing sweat suits. Yeah, sweat suits. :/
Being a 24/7 caregiver, I lost my entire self. I didn’t know anything about myself anymore: what I liked, what I didn’t want, nor how to rediscover myself. I didn’t know which way to turn or who to turn to. On top of all this, I fell ill with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome due to Mercury Poisoning. I was left feeling so depressed and displaced.
Luckily, as a former secretary, one thing that didn’t change was the concept of taking one bite at a time and not trying to eat the entire cow!
I went into research mode and reached out to everyone I thought could help me health wise and life wise. Not an easy task when you have so many different directions and so many things happening at once. Also, it is challenging when one does not feel well, and one’s health is unpredictable.
“If I survived a marriage of fifteen years with a monster disease such as M.S. I can survive anything!”
I cannot say I had that outlook every day. When I fell sick, there were times I recall becoming entirely negative and the only thing that helped with that was God, my holistic doctors, my therapist, and Louise Hays. God rest that sweet woman’s soul. I say that because Louise Hays saved my life and I will never forget her for that!
I watched her movie, “You Can Heal Your Life.” I remember thinking, “what kind of new fresh hell bullshit is someone going to tell me now?! I was so sick of people saying for me to be positive and so on. I wanted to scream! Sometimes I did and I’m not kidding, but her movie broke through.
It was a horrible time in my life I will never forget because it helps me appreciate everything I don’t lack at this present time. It’s my little way of being grateful for everything I have and realizing that nothing is as dire as it was.
After I started to feel somewhat human, I began to think about what to do with my life. That was another one of those perplexing things to contemplate. Initially, I wanted to be a chef, but after falling ill, I knew my body could not handle that. It wasn’t until my daughter was working on greeting cards for moms. She needed an illustrator and I said, “I can draw. Perhaps I can help.”
Through this journey, I discovered I love illustration and decided to attend school and get my degree. I graduated in August of 2015-something I couldn’t have fathomed I would be able to do at one point. Things still are not perfect, but I can say they are a lot better. My advice to anyone suffering as I did is to hold on tight to your faith in God and the people who tell you that you can because sometimes, at the end of the day, that is all we have.