On April 25th, 2015 I decided to turn my life around. I decided I didn’t want to be sad anymore, and if I was going to live, I was going to live happily. Two weeks later, on May 12th, 2015 I stopped self-harming and started on the road to recovery.
The road to recovery can be very long and it isn’t a road that is easily traveled; it isn’t paved and it's all uphill. You may need to stop and take a rest sometimes, and you might even slip backward, however, push forward because the feeling at the end is worth the struggle.
Everyone traveling on the road to recovery has a different path; Mine started with the purchase of a notebook. When I decided I was ready to stop cutting, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I wanted to stop but I wasn’t exactly ready to let go of my blade. My therapist at the time told me to do something else to release, so I bought a notebook and sliced the pages instead of my skin. Seeing the cuts of paper fall out of the book was surprisingly satisfying. I’m not saying it “cured” me, or magically stopped my cravings, but it definitely helped because since that day I have not self-harmed once.
On my journey, I’ve found other things that have helped in my recovery. Reading, writing, yoga, strength training, and especially meditation. Meditation has been the one thing that I can always go to when I need a mental break when I need a little push further up Recovery Road when I needed to be reminded of the beauty in the world.
Through meditation, I learned the story of the lotus. I learned that the lotus has to grow through thick mud and water before it is able to open to the sun and bloom. It was this story, as well as two quotes, that inspired me to get my latest tattoo. A lotus on my right leg, the leg I used to self-harm for the quote, “I am blooming from the wound where I once bled” by the poet, Rune Lazuli. The other being the quote featured above. It was Van Gogh who said, “Normality is a paved road; It’s comfortable to walk but no flowers grow on it”. Recovery Road is not necessarily a “normal” route to take in life, but it is one that will change you forever.
It will take you off the paved road, into the dirt, and let you bloom.
Now, I am three years free of self-harming! My lotus tattoo not only reminds me of all the mud I have traveled through, but it also reminds me to bloom every single day.