Today is going to be difficult and wonderful all in one. Today I am celebrating 2 and half years clean from self-harm. I have always pictured myself as a recovering addict when it comes to being clean because the routine of self-harming became the norm for me; as with an alcoholic or substance abuser, it would be so easy to fall back into those routines when times get hard. Pill popping and self-mutilation was how I could deal with the pain, I could pretend it was something physical or distract how much my insides felt like they were rotting from worry and melancholy. So, today will be wonderful because, c’mon, 2 and half years is a HUGE step forward. It will also be difficult because this isn’t happily ever after yet; the landmark is also a reminder of how far I still have to go to love my life and myself wholly.
My main problem is just how much I feel and I’ve been trying to direct all that emotion into love and joy. I’ve been making an active effort this month to show the people in my life that I support them and my love for them is steadfast. But, the biggest anchor in my life is my ‘Reasons to Live’ list. Sounds depressing, no? Sometimes it is hard to daily things because I can’t breathe with the emotions filling my chest or I’m so exhausted from trying to do the simplest tasks. I take respite in this list because no matter how foggy my mind gets, there is a list, physical evidence, that I have so much to be grateful for. I read a post that said ‘interrupt anxiety with gratitude’; the best advice I’ve been given thus far.
Here are few things from my list, but give it a go yourself. Don’t let the things you don’t have cloud your acknowledgement of what you already have.
• My little sister is growing up and I want to see that
• I love the way autumn changes the leaves
• Halloween with friends is so special and I love fancy dress
• Home cooking is too good to miss out on
• Socks on a washing line remind me of grandma’s house, like good old fashioned love
• The rush of wind when an underground train is coming.
• Clean sheets are amazing especially when you’ve just shaved your legs
• My best friend is beautiful and I want to see her get everything she deserves in life
• Hugs with my parents
• There’s so much of the world I want to see and breathe in – all that history and culture
• Getting more freckles on my skin when it’s sunny
• Birthdays – everyone’s birthdays make them happy
• Having my hair stroked and back rubbed
• There are so many books I haven’t read
• Warm soup and crime dramas
• Chubby baby legs and cuddles from clingy cute ones
• Kind (and attractive) strangers that help you for no reason
• Seeing my friends loved up and actually not resenting them for it
• Real Christmas trees with meaningful decorations
Remember even if others have it worse than you, it doesn’t invalidate the fact that you are hurting. Stay strong, get help, and express your gratitude. I love you all, have the most amazing day. x