News flash: I love writing. Turns out (1) I’m rather good at it (2) I find it highly therapeutic. These are all things that are quite good for me. More importantly for me, today in this moment, my writing is helping me process. It’s helping me not pick up the bottle. It’s helping me not pick up the knife. I can’t say I ever expected both things to happen at the same time.
I’ve been self-harming for a long time. First with the bottle, later with a knife, and today I am doing neither. It’s probably for the best that today I find myself with an absolutely amazeballs group of support. Outside of my immediate family who has been naught but supportive – outside of my Chosen Family who’ve been naught but supportive – I’ve received untold messages via Facebook, email, text, whatever, saying, “Thanks. We love you and we support you.” Some of these messages have even come from strangers – outside of my sponsor who is, in essence, a stranger. These may be people I’ve interacted with on X, Y, Z occasion, but rarely someone I would definitively say, “I know.” And yet, there they are. Sending me messages with unquestioning love and support. Feeling worth it is something that’s always going to be a foreign concept to me. Today, in response to my sponsor saying, “You’re no longer alone,” and, “No more pain unaccompanied by hope,” I responded, “I don’t know what’s scarier – the aloneness or the hope.”
That’ll always be true.
I’ve felt a whole lot of pain my whole life. I’ve felt a whole lot of aloneness my whole life. But I’ve rarely felt hope. For myself. I’ve felt hope for myriad political things. I’ve felt hope for my family members, my friends, but never for me. Even the hint of it right now is almost paralyzing. I am so lucky to have myriad people in my life saying, “It’ll get better. Just start with one foot in front of the other and it’ll get better.” But hearing it in my head is light years different than knowing it in my heart. And that’s the point I am flirting with getting to. A point that I believe it’ll get better for me.
For now I’m comforting myself that at some point it’ll get better. Or rather I’m allowing myself to be content with other people telling me that. For me, right now, it feels impossibly daunting and terrifying. As I said to a friend, “Hope is the scariest fucking thing on the planet.”
Perhaps I’ll throttle back on the optimism for a bit. I’m in this because I want to feel less lost and alone. I may, for a while, feel like a member of Peter Pan’s Lost Boys, but at least we’ll be lost together.