There are a number of ways that I wanted to write this blog. I’ve been thinking about for days leading up to this moment. And it is not until now, at 2:54 in the morning, that I decided to just…tell the truth. February 11th is a day that I consider my “RE”birthday; A day that I wish to celebrate the decision to continue living, as I would celebrate my actual birth on October 17th. But again, today, I wish to tell you the truth of how February 11th became a “thing” in the first place.
As most of you may know from reading my About Section and from following me on social media, I have had a long history with self loathing and self harm. It started when I was 12, and continued off and on until I was 26. This started off as a way to feel something, anything really. Somewhere down the line, this self harm turned into a punishment. I would heavily internalize blame for situations that I now know were not my fault. When I was raped, I took on the blame, and cut myself for “allowing” myself to be in that situation or for someone to handle me that way. When I performed poorly in a basketball game or on a test and was told that this was hindering my future or that I should be better, I punished myself.
Some years after that, the self harm became…addicting. And then eventually I used it as a way to actually try to end my life, multiple different times. But, as you can see, I am still here.
I could walk you through a number of different psychological reasons for my being so hard on myself, internalizing all faults, and detaching myself from a conscious, rational reality. But even though I have my Psychology degree, I do not wish to analyze myself for you. So…moving on.
Starting the winter of 2017 into 2018, I had the worst year of my life up to this point. During this time, I’d hit my rock bottom and I was ready to meet my maker at any given point. On the surface, most people thought I was fine. But on the inside, I was dying. I felt like my soul had eroded completely and at any moment I could go away, what I thought would be unnoticed.
February 11th, 2019
February 11th, 2019. My “RE”birthday. I honestly couldn’t tell you a single thing I did that day, or who I saw. I don’t actually remember anything about the day except for where I was living and where I was working at the time. All I remember, vividly, is seeing the fresh, flushed red cuts on my wrists and my inner left thigh and thinking to myself “I can’t keep doing this to myself anymore”. I’d felt so broken by a number of different things, so battered, and it actually hurt my feelings that day, that I was harming and battering MYSELF. For whatever reason, something in my brain clicked.
That day, I decided I was going to LIVE, not just exist or wither the way that I was before, for a number of years. I gave myself future tasks, things to look forward to. I started to ENJOY the things that I was doing on a day to do, or rather, I gave myself things to enjoy instead of going through the motions. I wrote a bucket list for each month, then for the year, as a way to keep moving, but also as I way to encourage and motivate myself to do all the things I had put off because “it didn’t matter” or because “I wouldn’t be here anyways”.
On this day, I also decided, both directly and indirectly, that I was going to start my healing journey. At the time, I wasn’t sure what that meant or what it looked like. I just knew that I was determined to do it. Looking back on it, it consisted of all the things I talk about now: Therapy for a number of years, having tough conversations and unpacking childhood traumas, writing things down and burning them, writing letters to my younger self AND my future self, cutting off certain relationships and friendships that were no longer serving me…
It’s been two years (and counting) since I decided to continue myself and stop self harming both internally and externally. Last year, I was still in the middle of some heavy, heavy healing and cleansing and was not able to acknowledge this day the way that I would like. But this year, I have been able to look back and acknowledge all the work that I have done, the love I have fostered within myself, and the things I have accomplished for myself. The journey is not finished – as I always say, this thing is continuous – but I am happy with the progress that has been made. For those of you reading this who have known me for a number of years, you see it. For those of you reading this who do not know me well, welcome to my rebirth.
This is where I would normally express how proud I am of myself and how far I have come. But what I really want to do is tell you that I am proud of you for getting this far. You are on your own journey. You have made a decision to be here, reading this blog today, and that is PROGRESS. Stay here, in this present moment. Give yourself the credit you may deserve. And tell yourself that tomorrow, you will LIVE.
Until next time,
Growth, Positivity, & And all the things [healing]