I haven’t cut myself in 7 years.

I guess the thought of that came to me “randomly” one day while driving in my car.  It was weird realizing that that fact didn’t even cross my mind for so long.  It was as if I was too busy focusing on what other things I needed to improve on, what other things I was lacking, the ideals I was not meeting yet.  I hadn’t stopped to give myself any credit or acknowledgment for the things I did progress in and the actual difference in the quality of life I am living now compared to 7 years ago, when my world was much, much smaller and denser.

I cried out of a mixture of joy, disbelief, and amazement.  Because to go from hating yourself so much and feeling so much internal frustration with the inability to cope that you turn it against your own body and mind was really a battle.  Sitting here and being aware of how I, in contrast now, can physically recoil from even thinking of myself doing that is… something I am very grateful for.

It’s not an easy thing to overcome.  It took me 8 years for that scale to start tipping to the other side.  I was completely ruled by impulse.  But I was also fortunately, unbeknowingly then, ruled by a need for change inside, which is why I sought out therapy on my own.  I started also reading as much as I could about things like depression, mental illnesses, spirituality, and healing, and starting practicing yoga and meditation and seeking my intuitive guidance as well as validation from all sorts of other sources.  I initiated all of that for myself and still continue to do so.

I feel like you not only have got to want to change but that you have to also really believe that it is very possible.  Because it is.  I was lucky that cutting, now that I look back on it, was not a means to an end but something I was using because I didn’t know what else there was to help me.  I was using all I knew to do to deal with how I was feeling, which was part escapism, part distraction, and part punishment.  The challenge of growing up in a family and society where both intensely positive and negative emotions were negated naturally leads to the intensity blowing up inside of you like a grenade in a steel tight room.  We only did what we knew to do in those moments and so a part of the process is also removing the blame and not regarding our past methods of coping as wrong but something we can learn from and move on from.

Knowing there are hundreds of thousands of different kinds of resources and believing in the teeniest potential of a different sort of reality is a starting place.  You’ve got to listen to that inkling in whatever part of you because it is objective truth.  Let me say it again: it is OBJECTIVE TRUTH.  If you don’t believe that you can change or that your circumstances can change, that is only sprung from your trapped subjectivity in the moment.  You are a part of everything else and everything in this world eventually changes and yearns to evolve.

So for me, the journey from over a decade ago was slow and I had to be patient and even more so now.  But I have learned that it is so worth it even if it is sometimes so painful to grow.  And I guess if you keep seeking, one day you will look up and witness how the thing that seemed so impossible can turn out to be so very real.

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