Thursday, 31 March 2016

Embrace Your Past Conclusion

“…once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is even over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
There has been something empowering about embracing my past this month. While I had worried that looking back and delving in detail into what had beens would be triggering for me, it's had a much more calming and peaceful effect than I ever thought possible.

Since my diagnosis with depression, I have often chosen to ignore my triggers, the effects mental illness had on me, and my history; especially the more painful parts.
Shackled by my past, I could never fully leave it behind while it still clung on to me. I knew I had to delve back in if I was to ever fully make it out.

Over the past four weeks I have explored some of the least discussed aspects of mental illness - self-harm, suicide, and nightmares. And I have come out of the month stronger than I was on February 29th.

For years I have struggled to forgive myself. I saw my reckless behaviour as something shameful, something that could not be fully understood by anyone who had not lived through it, something that could not be forgiven. This month I have finally accepted that my suicide attempt is not unforgivable. It does not make me a failure. It makes me a survivor, because I learned to live again, and not only that, but to love life.
"No matter how many scars we carry from hat we have gone through and suffered in the past, our intrinsic wholeness is still there." - Jon Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living
I believed I would be forever defined by my past. That I would be held back because of who I was. This month I've come to realise that it's okay to have flaws, a history, a past.

I've also realised that time doesn't heal wounds all by itself. Sometimes we have to sew the stitches ourselves. And that's what this month has been all about - delving into my past so I can begin to fully move forward.

Letting go is a work in progress and it's something I will further explore throughout April, my month to Be Free.

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