It’s been one week.
It’s been a long fucking week.
It’s been the first week of its kind in 16 years.
This week, for the first time since I was 11, I was completely sober: no major food symptoms, no self harm, no drugs, no anything.
It’s been hell.
I didn’t really believe that the things I did to distract myself from life really made that much of a difference. I was wrong. Until recently, I didn’t know all of what I was avoiding feeling. At least, I think I know all of it now . . . I hope I know all of it now. Now that I have nothing to distract myself, it’s all hitting me head on. It’s like I’m being forced to look directly into the sun after a lifetime of living in the dark. There’s no relief. Even things that I didn’t know I was upset about suddenly hurt a lot. Things that seem, comparatively, so small and insignificant, that I didn’t really care about at the time, that I’ve spoken about without emotion in years since, now feel like they’re destroying my soul.
So why do I keep doing it? Believe me, I ask myself that same question every day. It’s relatively simple. A two part answer. Part one:
There is nowhere left for me to run. I can’t have any semblance of a life if I keep avoiding the work. As much as I try to do the work, my body tries to stop me. It twitches, my hand clamps itself over my mouth, my head jerks violently to the right as if trying to escape my body, my voice won’t work. My brain tries to stop me, too. It tells me I’m not worth it, that I deserve the pain, that I’m better off dead.
So why do I keep doing it?
That shred of hope. Even if it’s not hope that it’s possible for things to get better, it’s hope that it might be possible for things to get a little bit less unbearable. Even if it fails, I can’t imagine things feeling any worse.
The shred comes from seeing people who’ve done it. People who have come through similar things, worse things, different hells, and survived. Some of them have even thrived. It’s inspiring to see. And maybe it might be possible.
That’s all I’ve got. It has to be enough.