Five Years

flat lay photography of calendar


2014 – I tried to take on too much without proper energy or support for it. I wasn’t aware of what was going on or what I was doing and ended up, in a way, giving up on myself. I was struggling real bad without knowing how to cope. I didn’t know how to talk about it because I didn’t really understand what was going on. I was breaking down and fucking up real bad. It was when I was starting to hide from the world and myself. Instead of growing, I was breaking down.

2015, I was in denial about everything that was going on. I was being self-destructive and reckless. I pretended I was having fun when I was feeling empty inside. I knew there was something wrong with me but I didn’t know what it was. I thought I was going crazy at one point. I used a broken friendship to help lie to myself even further. I tried desperately to escape the emptiness without really know how. I was wearing myself thin and feeling emotionally exhausted. I was researching like crazy to figure out why I was the way I was. I hated myself and my body.

2016, I was a shell of a person and felt like I had to start over. I didn’t trust myself anymore but I was starting to get some help. I was seeing a counselor here and there. I started trying to connect with the world again and fumbling. I still didn’t have a sense of self though. I was still trying to escape myself by fucking around. It felt like I was groping around in the dark trying to find something. I had a lot of pent up anger about the way my life was going and didn’t know how to let it out. I was pretty negative. I was really mean to myself. I hated my body. I can’t believe I almost got fucking married to someone who I threw a blender at because that’s how much I started snapping. I went through some heavy family stuff that I had to shoulder and awful support from someone who I was going to get married to. I was really stupid. Oh my god, so stupid.

2017, I finally admitted to myself that I needed help. Like serious help and I had to get over the shame of it. I finally had to come to terms that I was putting myself through a lot because of the trauma that happened to me when I was younger. I couldn’t keep living how I was living anymore. I needed to learn to connect properly and get out of my own head. I started seeing a counselor more seriously and that helped. I was learning to open up. I started sharing myself with the world more instead of just hiding. It felt awkward. It felt weird. I had to do it though. I had to challenge all the bad stuff I convinced myself about myself. Maybe I wasn’t as dumb as I told myself I was all these years. Towards the end of it, I was improving but I still felt empty. I went on anti-depressants and it helped me but didn’t fix me. I snapped in a couple of ways but good ways. I was ready to do good for myself.

2018 was tough. I was going to weekly trauma therapy because I realized what was going on with me was pretty bad. It was so tough because I had to be raw in a way I’d never been in my life. I had to admit and talk about things I’d never told anyone. Suddenly there was an unexpected death that affected me deeply and I found myself crying in a way I’d never done. I had a breakdown that was, in hindsight, a healthy one. I learned how to not repress feelings like I once did. I still wasn’t learning to cope properly. It didn’t help that I got roofied in May and woke up in an alleyway. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life and left a hole in my invincibility shield I thought I had. I dated someone briefly who showed signs of being emotionally abusive. I started to recognize the signs even though I didn’t process them well at the time. At that point, I had stopped seeing my therapist and was off my antidepressants. But I went back to my counselor who helped me with clarity. I was going through some same old experiences but started to cope better. I stopped trying to escape and started opening up to people who made me feel safe about what I was going through. I started to learn things like love and trust properly. I started to believe in the value of myself. I stopped tolerating inconsistency and confusion. My old coping mechanisms were no longer working, no matter how I tried to go back to them. I made the decision to go back on anti-depressants after a bad workplace experience left me shutting down for a good while and I couldn’t even get out of bed. I’m not sure if I’m only going to need them temporarily or forever. I don’t really want to think about it. I’m just glad they’re helping. My friends let me learn not to rush the emotional recovery I needed and I learned to accept their support without feeling like a burden.

2019, I feel more self-oriented than ever. I’m learning to love the body I have even though it’s not as lean as I was chasing to be. I don’t feel the loneliness or emptiness I once have. I don’t escape anymore because I can face things better than I once did. I don’t hide anymore and have learned to show the world who I am because I’ve learned to show it to myself first. I like taking care of myself and have never felt as good as I do lately. It’s only a couple of months in and I’m still an embarrassment but you know, I’m not harsh at myself about it. I don’t drink as often or even close to what I used to. I’m less earnest and am starting to see the world in the way I’d like to see it. I don’t feel like I’m recovering anymore and feel like I’m finally starting to live. I can be myself and not feel like I’m stupid for it. I let other people accept me for me. I’ve got the right kind of love. I recognize what’s the effect of trauma and what’s actually normal. I know who can sit with me and who can’t. I feel like a person.

I’m feeling life.

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