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Taking steps forward by first stepping back

A year ago today, I stopped trying to hold together and I let myself fall apart. I didn't know it then, but that was actually a really good thing. I'd known for quite a while that I wasn't quite steady. I could tell that, at some point, things would fall. I knew whatever way it played out, it wouldn't be pretty.

​​A year ago today was the day I had to enter Sunnybrook's Adolescent Psych ward. It wasn't my first inpatient admission, but it was the first time that I let myself drop control and detach. I've always become accustomed to forcing things to work through pure stubbornness. This year has been about learning that strict perseverance isn't always the smart choice. Things had been far from normal for quite a few years, and when I finally admitted that to myself last summer, everything started to seem irretrievably far from normal. I thought I'd tried absolutely everything. But last September, I decided to look again at what everyone says helps - talking.

I'd been to many, many counsellors, but I'd never been able to talk. I've been "fired"(my words) by about 7 therapists for "not cooperating"(their words) 😊. Finding words was something I had never learnt how to do. I didn't even know that sharing real feelings was something that was okay to do. I was able to start learning when I was lucky enough to finally find a beyond wonderful friend, and a place of trust. At first, I was so terrified by the prospect of owning up to my words, I had to contact my friend anonymously. But at least I'd done it. I'd started trying to communicate.

Being open is so hard. But I think it's worth it. For me, it was something that just needed to happen. I know there's no definition of "normal" to judge my supposed "unnormal' off of. But looking back, I think that whatever my dysfunctional version of normal was, it was in dire need of more people to fill it :)

Before I could start picking up the pieces, I had to actually let myself drop them. All of them. It was a really hard step, but a year ago today, I took it - by stepping back. I had to let myself pause from the relentless pace of my life, and accept that what I was doing just wasn't working.

It took me an entire year to allow myself to talk about my life. It's sometimes seemed an impossibly slow process, it certainly didn't all hinge on one single drop and release. In fact, things are still dropping. But I never could've hoped to start mending without first finding that place of trust. That changed everything.

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