I know, at least I think, that in a past entry I mentioned my struggles with mental health, depression, crisis, suicidal thoughts, attempts, self harm...all that kind of heavy stuff that right now I'd rather shove under the blanket and not mention again...especially with the holidays coming up. However, knowing that the holidays are often the toughest time for people I think it's that much more important to bring these things into the open and talk about them.
There is a cause I want to help raise awareness of that helps people that struggle with some of the above issues and more...like addiction. You'll notice I added a little something to my left sidebar asking you to help me support To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA). Here is a copy of their mission statement copied and pasted directly from their site:
In my title for this entry I mentioned a celebration. You may be wondering what I meant by that. Well, I will be honest...I am celebrating because since April 2008 I have been keeping track of when I've cut. Yeah I know, gruesome topic, but so many do this and hide it that I want it to be in the open...I want their to be awareness.
Anyway, in that time I've had multiple "relapses" but today marks 157 days since the last time I cut and in my time of tracking this that is the longest I have gone so it is quite an accomplishment. Self harm is something that at one time had a lot of control over my life. I didn't know how to cope with emotion of any type, happy or sad, and as a side effect of that I would find ways to hurt myself. The smallest thing would upset me to tears, and it would be stupid really, but because of that emotion I thought I needed to be punished, I thought I should die but the only thing I could do was hurt myself. I have attempted suicide, I have been close to death, I've been told I shouldn't still be alive, but I AM. And while I still struggle it's not to the same degree it once was. So because of my experiences I want to make sure to raise as much awareness of these issues as possible and to make sure I support causes such as TWLOHA!
I want people to know that there is hope and that yes, the journey is painful, but it is worth it. Life is worth it, YOU are worth it! But it takes work, even when you feel like you have nothing left to give and for me it took prayer and acceptance that yes their is a God who cares but that some things happen to make us stronger and to prosper us. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
My celebration is just that, a celebration of life, of each day even if it is a struggle, a celebration that I can say it's been 157 since the last time I cut and nearly 11 months since the last time I needed to be in the hospital because of my depression. A celebration that with each time we awake we can start again. And even as I'm writing this I am struggling with another depressive episode but I can look back and acknowledge that progress has been made and that while the feelings I have right now are horribly uncomfortable they will pass in time.