Most people don’t know this, but six months ago I was set on the idea of packing up the belongings I could, and moving across the country where two of my best friends reside.
Last year wasn’t an easy year for me. Early in the summer, I relapsed back into my patterns of self harm, hard. I was in a dark place, and I took it out on myself. I was hurting myself frequently, barely eating, and making myself sick daily. Topped with periods of binge drinking, I was starting to fall apart. It was only around Christmas when my best friends came home that I finally started to feel a little better. So when my best friend suggested me leaving home, out to her part of the country, I thought: yes! Maybe this will fix everything. And so I decided that leaving, essentially running away, was my perfect solution.
And then something changed.
When the boy and I went on our first coffee date, it was on a whim. He’d been suggesting it for over two years, and I hadn’t yet made myself available for it. We were friends, we talked constantly, and he was such a sweetheart but I was just too scared to jump. Finally, I decided one day to ask him, keen to see what it would be like. We set a date, and I jumped. I was still playing with the idea of moving away, but as we spent more and more time together–and I started to feel like a girl I hadn’t been in a long, long time–the feelings of wanting to run away started to fade away. As did my need for self destruction.
I don’t want to say that he “saved” me. I’ve always been a keen believer in the idea that no one can save you but yourself. Instead he showed me a part of myself that I had long forgotten existed. He knows about my troubling past, and he knows I’m still recovering–something he supports me in unconditionally. He knows I don’t want him to swoop in and try to protect me–and he knows he can’t. Instead he’s there to listen, to tell me he loves me, and keep me strong on the bad days. Six months on, and it feels good. I feel good. For the first time in a long, long time I feel like recovery is possible, that I can do it. I know it will never be easy. But in the end, the things most worth it never are.
I may do it on my own, but I’m never alone.