The above was written in November 2004. I was 25 years old. I should have been in the prime of my life – young and vibrant and full of hope and possibility.
Instead I was isolated, alone, severely depressed, self-harming and highly suicidal. And I didn’t even know why. I thought I was just weak, flawed, broken. The excerpt above wasn’t just a bad day. I have screeds of journal pages where I just beg to die, and feel trapped in living.
I had never had therapy, it didn’t even occur to me at that age that it was something I could get outwith the National Health Service. And I had tried and failed to get any help through them.
It would be another 6 years before I entered the world of therapy and began my healing journey. It’s a miracle I even survived that long to be honest, because there were times I was hanging on by a thread. I truly did not expect to make it to 27 years old.
The reason I am sharing this with you all is because it’s important. It’s important to see where I came from, started from ; a place of deep self-hate. A place of blackest depression and hopeless, confused pit of despair.
And it’s only reading back my old diaries, that I realise how far I’ve truly come. How much I’ve healed already, because I am glad and proud to say that I don’t feel that way anymore.
Something occurred this week that made me realise just how far I’d come. I follow a positive thinking career type account on Instagram that encourages women to support one another and realise their dreams. One of their posts encouraged us to write down three things we love about ourselves.
The girl who wrote the journal page above couldn’t find even one thing to love about herself. But this woman I have become today….. she couldn’t decide what 3 to use!
I actually thought to myself seriously ” We can only choose 3???? This is hard.”
I can’t believe it. I laughed to myself as I realised what I’d just said.
I can’t believe that I finally have gotten to a place where I have so many things about myself that I love. I really do have some really lovely qualities. I like myself. I am a half-decent human being!
I am not perfect. I have a shadow side, as we all do. I have annoying traits too – like everyone does. And I have days where I don’t like myself much or have much self-confidence. I have teen parts who are still stuck in that pit of self-loathing. But they will catch up with time and they will realise they are worthy and lovable and that they are allowed to live. They are allowed to take up space in the world.
But the woman I am today. I love her and she is good enough.
And that my friends, is the value of (lots of) therapy. It’s a hard road. It’s the most painful journey we’ll ever undertake and it feels slow… it is slow I suppose. But it is so worth it when you look back and see where you started and how far you’ve come.