I’m thinking clearly for the first time in a long time - no alcohol to cloud my mind like usual. I’ve had 11 days off of work and it has been so wonderful to just be free to be myself. I’ve chosen to immerse myself in nature every single day, just hiking the forests and wandering the shores of the various lakes around here. I’ve even taken mini road trips by myself to visit other parks that I’ve never explored before.
Nature is like a therapy to me; Whenever I feel down or anxious, I retreat into the woods. It is the only healthy thing that I have found that takes away those uneasy feelings. When I’m out on the trails, and I don’t see a single human, I am completely at peace. Love the wind in my hair, the chill biting at my cheeks and the crunch of those fallen leaves beneath my feet - or more recently lately, the sound of squishy mud under my boots! This winter has been rather strange and its concerning to me. There are tulips coming up already and its only December, but it sure feels like spring. Lots of rain and 60F degree weather here when it used to be 30F or less with snow this time of year! This world is changing and I am fearful.
Having this time to myself though, has been truly wonderful. I’ve been able to go out and get exercise, take some gorgeous pictures, and experience new places, sing at the top of my lungs in the car ride there and back. I can be my raw self, no makeup, hair a mess and I don’t care in the slightest. No real time constraints that I have to abide by. I don’t have to have these pointless conversations that I’m usually forced to have at work or otherwise - conversations that just don’t inspire or ignite a fire in me whatsoever. I don’t have to talk to anyone at all when I’m in the forest. Just me and the wind, and the occasional sound of wildlife bounding across the forest floor. But other than that, silence. I never was a fan of talking.
With all of this time spent away from work and responsibilities, its making me think more about what I want in life, where I want to be, what makes me happy or unhappy, and most of all, it makes me think about all of the time I’ve wasted being unhappy and dwelling on the past.
I was sitting on a log yesterday at the edge of a lake, with no other humans in sight. I sat there for a long while just watching the water, zoning out. And something inside me just started to rise up - like all of these little realizations about myself. Like, how I have been wasting the best years of my life fighting depression, anxiety and flashbacks from past trauma - always in the same damn cycle trying to bury it all with substances and unhealthy coping mechanisms rather than getting actual help.
Don’t get me wrong - I am far from being cured after this small realization, and I don’t know if I ever will be, but this realization seems to be a start to healing.
I realize that I have issues and… what is it that they always say? Realizing that I have a problem is the first step towards getting help? I don’t know the phrase - its something like that. But what I guess I’m trying to say is that I am starting to believe in myself - believing that I can make small changes to change this cycle I’ve found myself in. I believe in myself to make better choices, to be more open, to speak my mind, to deal with things that bubble up to the surface rather than silence them with alcohol. In the long run, I am only hurting myself.
I believe that I deserve better, and that my husband deserves better. He has been here for me through it all, helping me to heal and to get passed my past. It has been my rock, my comfort and a truly loving partner. And he deserves a spouse that is present with him 100% of the time - instead of what I am now, a shell of a person I once was who constantly disassociates, can’t seem to remember conversations we’ve had, and has emotional flashbacks in the absolute worst time. He deserves the girl that I used to be before all of that. And maybe that is what I am going to strive for - to awaken that girl I once was. Fun, loving, carefree, and happy. I always thought that she was long gone, but maybe not. Maybe she’s just buried down deep and I have to excavate like she’s a damn fossil lol.
Coming to terms with the fact that I can’t change what happened to me, and I can’t change the past is another small step towards my healing process. I never ever thought that I would feel strong enough to even realize this and then choose to make good decisions. If I would have thought about that sentence before (“I can’t change what happened to me and that I can’t change the past”) then I would have collapsed in on myself in a heap of despair - lamenting that I can’t change the past so I can’t change me, throwing blame on him for what he did to me, and angry that he went on to have a happy life with a wife and daughter and career; angry that he gets away with what he did and I am left with this, this shell of a girl who for years has just wanted to die. But today… Today, I am seeing that sentence in a new light. I guess I’m brave today. Who knows what I will be tomorrow, but for today at least, I am braver than I once was.
I just want to be happy in my life, and not have these shackles of a life that is no more continue to weigh me down.
I am working through this still and I have a feeling its going to be a long road… But I’m hopeful.