People who saw me crash would never believe how well I’m doing now. Actually I prefer to never see most people again if they’ve seen me bottom out in hard core depression, they never look at you the same, rarely treat you the same. Social recovery is hard.
Then I look around and see how everything has changed, how much better I feel, and screw the doubters. Recovery is achievable, it’s just ongoing hard work. Good thing I got an early start.
I got effective treatment, and I committed to a life of health and recovery – I’ve worked on it constantly, through the crippling, debilitating pain of the lows, and through the ecstatic, hyperactive rush of the highs. Through the times when I could barely function due to constant panic attacks, and for all those years when the PTSD symptoms felt like too big a burden to carry. And losing so much in the battles – more than I thought I could stand.
I was told early that with the severity of my illness, a normal life was pretty much out of reach forever. Of course, I knew that already. I’d been molested from when I was 4 or 5 until I was 17, compounded with some other issues, so I had no illusions about happy endings or anything like that. No rescue, no Prince Charming, I just prepared for grueling struggle all the way through, with hopes for some happiness in bits along the way. I knew early that relationships would be challenging, especially with men, and that finding my path was not going to be easy.
Luckily I’ve met lots of teachers along the way, some better than others. My story isn’t even all that bad, all things considered. Millions and millions of people have it much much worse. Yet every time I feel a wave hit, it still hurts like hell. Like ripping open a deep old scar. Those are the times I go for a drive with the stereo cranked, run it out, find social support, do art – try anything I can to get out of that head space. It’s almost killed me twice, and that’s not even counting all the extreme sports. I don’t believe the label, but there’s a few elements of accuracy to it. Damn it anyway. But thank god/goddess/Quan Yin/FSM/etc for the abundance of blessings that I do have. Holy shit I am so grateful.
Goodbye to You – Patty Smith and Scandal
Stuck On A Feelin – Prince Royce