(tw: self harm)
Writing my original post about suffering with self harm seems as though it was a lifetime ago. Recovery once seemed a distant goal and now that I'm here, although admittedly with a few relapses along the way, the girl writing seems like a whole different person. I can't imagine what I felt in those days to feel like that and it's weird and surreal, it's unnerving in so many ways. Recovery obviously feels good, like gaining a whole part of my life that I never knew was there - but I'd be lying if I said that it didn't feel strange in the same way, like to gain the person I am now, I had to lose the person that I was back then. Recovery has been a hard road, a long one and - for a huge majority of the way - a reluctant one. Now I'm here though, I finally feel confident enough to look back on the start of my recovery; I feel ready to talk about it.
Recovering from any addiction is hard, I'm sure - but self harm has the added bonus that you can't walk away from it. You can't flush your scars away, ask people not to show any fresh cuts accidental or otherwise in bars, you can't cut ties with everyone who made you feel unworthy or unhappy, you can't keep away from anything that's sharp at all. The difficulty with recovering from a self harm addiction is simple - you can't stay away from it, it's something that - for many of us - has become such a part of our everyday live that you can find it anywhere, create it in anything. Recovering from self harm is remembering how to talk about things, learning how to cope with stressful situations, it's learning how to feel and how to express those feelings from square one.
The truth is - recovery didn't only seem like something that I couldn't achieve, but it was sometimes something that I thought that I didn't want. I didn't want nights feeling like I'd do anything to stop feeling like this, I didn't want nights lying awake where it was all I could think about, I didn't want this addiction that was controlling my life to be replaced, and in it's place were all the emotions that I'd neatly stored in the box that it provided me with. I worried that without this outlet to hurt myself, I would want more, worse, further. There were nights that I did. There were nights that I thought I wouldn't make it through to feeling even slightly recovered. There were nights that I ruined it all.
Now though, I'm here. Not out of the woods, but the leafy canopies are definitely thinning out - I can start to see the light outside again. I know that a wrong turn could take me further in, but I also know that I'm still heading the right way to get out completely. I'm having to rebuild myself - find out the person that I am without this addiction; I've had to ask for support - I've had to accept it. Harder than the addiction itself has been the recovery - but I'm proud of it. I'm here. Just know that I know that it sometimes feels like you won't come out the other side, but take it from me, you can and you will.