I’m not really sure how to handle this. I’m not used to recovery.
When you’ve spent your entire life being traumatized, terrified, and abused…you sort of become used to it. And, if it’s the only thing you feel regularly, then it’s not only something you become used to it, but it becomes normalized. It’s just how you feel. But, 2017, despite all of the horribleness that’s filled it (and let’s be totally transparent here, it’s been 97% horribleness, this year’s sucked eggs), has probably been the best year for progress on my mental health. It’s kind of amazing, because you’d think everything I’ve gone through this year, all of it being rather traumatic and miserable and in some cases literally abusive, would’ve had a negative effect on my mental health, and yet…
…yet I’ve managed to pull myself back up every time and keep on trudging along, continuing to find myself actually thinking I’m better than those who hurt me than thinking I deserved what they did to me because something is clearly wrong with me. I’m no longer actively calling myself the victim all of the time, and that’s…that’s a really weird, unfamiliar feeling to have, especially for someone who’s been a victim for the majority of her life. But now I see myself less a victim and more a survivor. I’m no longer just accepting that I was hurt and that that’s who I am (though, in no way am I saying that people who feel this way should feel bad for it taking them longer to get better), now I’m saying, “Well, I got really hurt and used and yes that’s a major part of my identity, but I am more than that too. I’m going to be okay.”
I’m going to be okay.
Never in my life did I ever imagine myself actually saying these words to myself. It doesn’t get better, don’t ever buy that bullshit line, but it does become moderately tolerable. Recovery is a scary word for me, especially because for so much time, I even denied I was sick or hurt. When told I had depression by multiple doctors, I denied it. I told them it wasn’t depression. I have denied being sick for so many years, until I finally realized there’s nothing wrong with being sick, nothing shameful about it, and it’s just another facet of my personality. What was shameful was denying it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a sick person, mental or physical wise. What’s wrong is that we make people ashamed of their sickness.
I am in recovery. I am recovering. I am recovering from a whole hell of a lot, but I’m still here. That’s not to say I’m fixed. Recovery doesn’t end, that’s the thing. There’s no end point, where suddenly I’m magically all better and I’m no longer in recovery. I will be recovering until the day that I die, that’s just how it works. Recovering from a multitude of things, always and forever, and that’s good, because starting to recognize that I’m ready to recover means I’ve moved past everything that hurt me. I’m still depressed. I still get sad thinking about the trauma I’ve endured, but I’m ready now. I’m ready. I’m alive, and I’m sick and I’m recovering.
That’s the nice thing about being a work in progress. You’re never out of things to fix.
Hi, I’m Maggie. If you liked this post, you might like some of my other work, like my depressing webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my writing over at Medium. You can also donate to the PayPal and help my girlfriend and I get groceries and pay our rent. Anything is greatly appreciated! Thanks for reading!