*This post contains subject matter that may be a trigger. Abuse and self harm are discussed.*
This time last week I was standing tall. Well, as tall as I can for someone who is 5′ 1″. I had just broken free of the chains that had once held me down. For the first time in 5 years, the weight was taken off my shoulders, and the chains had been cut loose. I was finally free.
I know I only did a few days of my recovery week, but that is because I feel like I didn’t do any hard working steps toward recovery. Instead, I let life guide me. So, here’s the update y’all deserve from the week that I was going to recover. Which, by the way, I’ve made tremendous progress, while still having more to come.
As you may remember, this photo was taken the Sunday before my recovery week had begun. It was the lowest point I have hit in years. And I took a photo to show all of you. I wanted this photo to be as powerful as it is, to share with everyone just what anxiety could do. However, what I didn’t realize was that it wasn’t just anxiety creating this moment. It was abuse.
**Before I begin to explain, I want to state that I in no way believe that this person was ever purposely harming my mental state, I honestly don’t believe he realized the power he held over me. This post is not to condemn him, only share my experience of mental abuse.**
I told you all the story of me seeing a movie that brought back sensitive emotions and memories. This was a day after my ex had contacted me. I was trying so hard to ignore the negative impact his prensence had made in my life, even though all I could think or talk about was him. He didn’t realize this, or maybe he did, but I had given him full power over my emotions. I had done this for 4 years and another year of a back and forth battle of trying to get the power back. I finally won.
My anxiety and depression was being caused by not having control over my own mind in many forms. One of them being that he held all the power. And he took advantage of it. He could make me love him, hate him, feel guilty for shit I didn’t do, everything. Even as I write this I wonder, was I really standing up for myself, or did he make me? I honestly wouldn’t put it past him to say those things to me knowing they’d force me to get angry and leave him once and for all. I know somewhere, he does care about me. He knows we’re not good for each other.
The day before I went to therapy, I had broken down and hurt myself again. I was on my way home from a date and the feeling of being totally emotionless was overwhelming. A song came on that brought up a flood of emotions as it reminded me of him, I scratched my arm again. The second time in three days. I knew I was not okay.
The morning before therapy, I had created a plan. I was going to give myself until Sunday. The day my niece would be born. If I had not made progress by Sunday, I would take my dog to my sister’s house, her husband would then drive me to the hospital of my choosing. I would check myself in, possibly putting myself on suicide watch.
I can only ever recall two times of being suicidal before, and they were both due to medication. Not once before had I considered ending it all. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t think up ways to harm myself, I just remember thinking, “What would happen if I floored it into oncoming traffic? What would happen if I just drove into a wall?” Thank God for my mother, while she put some not so pleasing things into my mind, she also instilled this in me, “I want to kill myself, but my luck I would mess up and just end up paralyzed for the rest of my life.” While it may be dark, it’s one of the best things my mother could have ever said to me. It’s kept me alive for more than a decade.
Later that day, I went and saw my therapist. While he liked that I was coming up with a plan, he didn’t like the plan itself. I didn’t really like it either, but part of me felt it was the only way to get someone to care for me. He suggested this instead, to wait until our next appointment, a full week. And to do things in the mean time to get out of my house, to experience being uncomfortable. So that way, I’d have emotion.
I attempted to follow his advice, as well as my own all week. I ended up having a pretty busy week and the things I’m used to doing/needed to do got put off. I went to my coffee shop, I spent a day getting a new phone, I went to the hospital to welcome my new niece, and I went back the next day to spend most of my day helping them out. Tuesday came around and I thought I’d have the day to myself, but instead I went on a date to a new place. Then, we hung out at my apartment for hours. Wednesday came, and my week was up.
I started my day by getting up early and getting ready for a date. A date at 7:30am. Yeah, I might just like the guy a bit. I went to a new coffee shop, which I plan on revisiting, and spent a while with him talking. He invited me to go out with him and some friends tonight, so hopefully that goes well. I left my date, after having a good bye kiss I will never forget.
Later that day, was my therapy appointment. The moment I’d get to look at my therapist and tell him, I did it. I changed my number and I cut my toxic person out of my life. I took my power back. I went on to tell him how busy my week was, about the new baby, everything. He seemed really impressed, yet he knew more work had to be done. I’d given up on reading my anxiety work book. I hadn’t been doing a healthy routine. This week, it’s dedicated to getting back into the swing of things. And, hopefully more dates with this guy!
My life has made a complete turn around since a week ago. I still have a lot of inner work ahead of me. I still am not feeling emotion as well as I’d like, and now I have to deal with the fact that there’s a new guy in my life that has gotten my attention. I’m working hard to deal with this in a healthy way. I’ll possibly be writing about dating and mental illness here soon. It’s been on my mind lately.