YAYYYY I AM FINALLY BACK AT SCHOOL!! I tried to keep up as best I could with work, and I think I did an okay job. Bless my professors for being so incredible understanding about the whole thing, which I’m now calling the Visit. Because I ended up visiting several places I didn’t want to. I’m super creative, I know.
So I am still muddling through getting everything all tied up with a bow, but I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of you who are reading this, have liked our Facebook page, and all the super awesome and really sweet messages both my mom and I have gotten about it. It means so much to us. If you have anything you want to hear us answer or discuss, please message us, leave a comment, anything. We even have an email! Whenever we get any comment or like, we do a happy dance. Like you dog when you come home from work or school and WE’RE JUST SUPER HAPPY THAT YOU’RE HERE.
I believe that’s hugely due to the stigma. I hate this thing with a burning passion because humans are social creatures and we need the support of others around us. I can go on a whole rant about it for, seriously, like 10 minutes. But it’s a common feeling, so I try to contain myself. But I wanted to do more beyond talking about it. I wanted to show that I was more than some mysterious thing that no one ever wants to talk about. When I heard of the semicolon project, it felt perfect. But permanently inking my skin with something that happened three years ago just didn’t feel right. I felt more removed from my past, like it was just some bad, out of the blue, incident that will never happen again. I’d been fine for years (when you’re 18, 3 years ago feel like a whole separate lifetime), and I didn’t want to consider it any more than I had to. Yes, the stigma prevented me from getting a stigma-fighting tattoo. I know, the irony of that sentence.
But then I was back in the hospital, and the beautiful tattoos of my roommate convinced me to turn my own pain into something meaningful not just to me, but to every person I encounter.
I can remember the worst year of my life. During it, I did some pretty nasty things to my own body, and I will carry those marks for the rest of my life. I’ve always been self-conscious of them, afraid that all my nasty history is inscribed for all to see. I’ve been told that they’re hardly noticeable, but I can’t look down without seeing them. I felt marked as broken, unworthy, and unlovable. Those scars made me damaged goods that I felt no one would want.
When I first started working with my therapist here in Chicago, she confronted me with a great question: “what is the story you tell yourself about you?” To me, those scars were proof of every bad thing I ever thought about myself. They were telling me that my story was pain and suffering.
I can’t rewrite history, but I can change what I tell myself about me. And I can help others see that their stories they told themselves were not who they are. I decided to mark over the story I told myself then with the story I tell myself now, and I wear my new story proudly. It’s the story that I want to tell the world that every single person struggling with anything. We are warr;iors. Our story doesn’t end at the war, it’s simply the beginning of a new chapter.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!