The image on the left is from when I was hospitalized in September of 2012, while the picture on the right is from December of 2013.
Writing this itself is a great testament to how strong I’ve grown over the past year, and the difference between these two photos run deeper than their aesthetic. I’ve wanted to post something of this nature for quite some time but I’ve always succumbed to fear and changed my mind. But right now, on the cusp of the new year, I feel that I need to do this for myself, and for anyone I could possibly help.
In 2012 I was hospitalized after a suicide attempt, and I’m tired of hiding behind white lies and vagueness. I was sick, very sick, and I was afraid I would never get better. I tried to make everything stop because I was tired of every second of my existence being excruciating and I was stuck in a sick routine of self-destruction/harm/hatred. I was cruel to my body and my mind, crueler than anyone I had encountered, for nothing I did was good enough. I spent virtually every hour pushing through excuse after excuse to avoid existing, only to resort to behaviours that put my body through such a toll that frankly I’m surprised I survived. I would never be good enough for anyone, especially myself.
I thought that after I woke up from a week-long coma everything would have to magically be better. 2013 was the toughest year of my life and as I sit here and confess this to thousands of potential eyes, I’m tearing up just thinking about what I went through. Hospitalization and partial-hospitalization programs that dictated my every move for the majority of my days were just the beginning of what would be a dedication to a better self: recovery.
A little over a year has passed and I dont even recognize the girl I was in 2012. She was broken and scared and tired all the time. She never opened up to anyone, and destroyed herself habitually in order to simply feel something. She was sick and refused to accept it. She was sick and refused to fix it.
Recovery kicked my ass, and it still continues to. Nothing is harder than refusing the thoughts that constantly echo in my skull. But over this year, I found out that regardless of what I wrote in the letter I left to my mother on my bedside that September, I am strong enough. I constantly thought about giving in because recovery was “too hard” for me, and there was a pseudo-comforting allure to relapse, but every time I fell back I got right back at it and admitted I needed help and support.
Every single day I wake up and make an active choice to be the best self I can be. To love myself. To appreciate myself. To love my body. To love my mind. I am worth living and there is no part of me that would ever choose the picture on the left over that on the right. I have accepted that there will be bad days still ahead, and that recovery does not mean that everything will magically be perfect because you’ve gone through battles in the past. But I will say this: Recovery has made the distance of good things between the bad things longer. Long enough to breathe and appreciate the good things. Long enough to appreciate myself.
It’s almost 2014 and I can say completely honestly: I am happy.
I’m here for anyone out there who needs an ear to listen, always. You can’t recover unless you want to, and you won’t want to until you feel like it’s worth it. From me to anyone out there suffering from any degree or type of mental disorder or illness: RECOVERY IS WORTH IT AND IT’S WAITING FOR YOU.
9:21 PM on Monday 30th December 2013
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