One of the “suggested topics” Lisa has for this month’s carnival against child abuse is “What inspires you to heal?”. I found that an interesting topic, not so much because I think there’s any great inspiring thing out there, but because really the answer for me was a simple one.
I hit rock bottom in terms of depression, making unhealthy choices, and needing to do something to change things at around the age of 28. And when I say rock-bottom, I mean rock-bottom as in homeless, being found passed out (ill, not drunk) in an alley way, spending nine days in a hospital and having to be released into my mother’s custody, because the psych ward wouldn’t let the hospital release me to my own care. After your mother has to travel 1000 miles to get you at that age, and a stranger has to bathe you because you haven’t the strength to do it yourself, there’s really not much lower you can go, dignity-wise.
So, after hitting that point, I really saw a choice. Not to get all Hollywood on you, but it was a “get busy living, or get busy dying” moment for me, and since I had already failed at trying to commit suicide, I figured living was probably the way to go. The thing was, I was 28! Chances are, I was going to live for a long time from that point on, and I realized for maybe the first time ever, just how long life can be.
What I mean is, while I absolutely condone the idea that life is short and you should enjoy it while you can, in this respect it is also very long. It’s one thing to have spent the first 28 years of my life being affected by my childhood and the depression, it’s quite another to spend your whole life like that. Simply put, I wanted to heal because 60, 70, or 80 years is a LONG time to live like this. I didn’t want the next 40 years of my life to be like the first 30. I wanted something better. I wasted those 30 years because of what other people did to me as a child, but I wasn’t a child any more, and whatever I was going to do from that point on was up to me. It wasn’t up to someone to “make it up to me”, or to rescue me from my childhood, it was up to me to heal, to build a life for myself, and to find enjoyment from whatever life that was to be.
It was time to “get busy living” and see what happened with the rest of my time. Fact is, once I decided on that path, my own natural curiosity to see how it turns out would keep me going, and using that to keep looking ahead has helped keep me continue healing. It’s hard to get suicidal when you’re always wondering what tomorrow will bring. 🙂