You’ll have set backs, no doubt.
You’ll want to give up, for sure.
But you’ve been on this journey before. You’ve built your life up again. And though it may seem that it’s never been worse, that you’ll never change, that you’ll always be falling apart by the seams, all of it is a part of the process. Remember what it’s like to begin again? It’s damn hard at the start.
As a boxer you’ve learned what it’s like to train those muscles of yours. Remember? Each time you worked out you felt that burn, you felt that pain. Those same muscles that cried out “No more! I’m not strong enough!” are the very ones being strengthened. They’re literally breaking down to build back up. Each time there’s that feeling like you can’t push on further, you are. Remember that.
“No one said it would be easy. But no one said it’d be this hard,” says the soulful Sheryl Crow song.
So you’ve got to be okay with the process. Be willing to keep going. Be a patient pineapple, as my nephew used to say. That’s what I’m doing. Even today, as I write to you I’m squirming in my seat, wringing my hands — an anxiety attack away from submitting to self destructive urges — but I fight. I won’t give in, I won’t let the demons win. I’ll choose not to go down that path today, not now, not at this very moment. No, this time around I choose to start over and over again.
Healing is a process. There’s no magic potion, no cure. You’ve got to radically accept that there’s no easy way out of this. So what is it? It’s hard work. It hurts. It’s uncomfortable. But you’re doing what’s necessary to keep the vulnerabilities at bay. You’re doing what will help you build a life worth living. You are building. Fortifying. Reinforcing. And only a month ago you you said it couldn’t be done. That you couldn’t change. But look where you are now.
You’re taking your meds regularly. You’re doing therapy and seeing your psychiatrist and going to DBT group. You’re forging stronger bonds, having coffee, having lunch, sending emails. You’re engaged. You’re writing. You’re seeing all the possibilities of you’re future, that you have a future. That you’re strong enough to do it over again.
Most of all, you’re not giving in to those urges, no matter how tempting those demons make it. You’re abstaining and keeping mindful and using skill after skill after skill.
Only a month ago you couldn’t do any of that. You gave up on yourself. But look where you are today. You’re alive. You’re here. You’re getting through this. You’re therapist would call that mastery. I call it the fight within all of us.
No matter how short or long your battle has been, you are and always have been a fighter. So keep on fighting. You’ve got this.