Sunday, 6 August 2017

Six


See previous instalments here: FIVE, FOUR, THREE and THIS one. The article I refer to is HERE

This anniversary post has been a little late in making an appearance. I wasn't sure whether I wanted to make an anniversary post as I have done for the last three years but somehow not acknowledging it didn't feel right either.

But anyway, here we are. I'm pleased to say that I've made it to another year of being self harm free. We can now say that I've been self harm free for more than half a decade, which sounds a lot grander than just saying "six years" so just let me roll with that.

In all honesty, the reason why this post is later than normal and why it's been harder to write than usual is because I nearly didn't make it to six years. This year life really got on top of me and I felt like I was loosing my grip on it. It's been the closest I have ever come to relapsing and starting that awful twisted cycle all over again.


I'm back in counselling/therapy. It was the only thing I could think of to help me stay on track. I've been to three sessions so far and I'm booked in on a weekly basis for all of August.

My counselling sessions have been exhausting but enlightening all at the same time, which is a difficult combination because it all feels a little overwhelming. I've realised that part of my sinking feelings and lack of control are heightened partially by the big song and dance that I make each year about my recovery.

The article that I did with the national newspaper of Wales and these posts means that at times, when I'm down and close to relapsing, I feel like a fraud. I put forward this image of having my shit together and being past it, when in reality I'm not. I felt like I set a standard and I didn't want to disappoint or let people down.

The counselling has helped because I'm coming to accept that my self harm will always be with me. I had previously hoped that by going to therapy and by doing the article, that my self harm issue was a closed chapter, that it was over. But that's not the case. Now I'm almost comfortable knowing that this can't be 'fixed' and that spending time fighting and pretending it can go away is just time wasted.



My scars continue to fade and time does continue to heal me, sometimes with more success than other times. But the flip side of time is that as I said last year, the further I get from the last time I hurt myself the harder it sometimes becomes to remember that this was something I lived through, that it actually happened. That it's not just a bad dream.

Going back to a therapist initially felt like I was waving the white flag of surrender, that I couldn't do it alone anymore. Obviously I know that's not the case. It doesn't make me weak and it doesn't mean I've failed.

I'm approaching the future with some trepidation. A big fear for me is meeting someone and having to explain this part of me. Because that's what this is, this is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It's not like a broken bone, which once fixed you can take the cast off. I worry it will push someone away, because I'm always going to have to keep a vigilant eye on my mental health. I'm in this for life, and that can make me difficult to be around. I don't expect my future partner to save or fix me, but all I really want is understanding and support. We'll see.

But I'm also approaching the future with timid hope. I got this far, I will get even further. Now that I've accepted counselling as a stepping stone, it can only get better and I can only start to feel stronger mentally.

The best thing I ever did was ask for help. It was so hard back then, and it was just as hard this year. But I was so tired of fighting this alone, and now I'm not.

I know life isn't always going to be this way, I won't always feel like I'm fighting against the current, I won't always feel like my mind is letting me down. I hope that next year, when I get to seven years I will be in a better place and that I have learnt how to move on to the next stage of my life.

There is so much to be happy about and life is for living after all.

"They told me life is tough, I told them I was tougher"


Support for dealing with self harm, whether you personally struggle with it or know someone who does can be found here:

Mind | Heads Above The Waves | The Samaritans | Befrienders (worldwide)



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1 comment

  1. 6 years is amazing. This post sums up a lot of how I feel about the term 'recovery'. For me, it puts too much pressure on being well and makes me feel like a failure if I do go through a bad patch. I prefer to think in terms of having a chronic condition that I have to manage, and that flares up every so often.

    Liz x
    Distract Me Now Please

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