This blog is part of my recovery, and I would like it to remain a safe place for me to share parts of myself and my life that people close to me may or may not know. As a result, while I'm not going crazy with privacy settings, I do ask that if you find this on your own and suspect you may know me, please respect my privacy by checking with us before reading any further. This obviously doesn't apply if one of us has given you the link!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Choosing To Recognise Achievements

By chance, I ran into an old primary school friend this morning. We lost contact when I moved to my father's place and although we're facebook friends, we haven't actually talked in about 15 years. She hasn't changed much at all since I knew her, she is still the same down to earth person she was back then. She is extremely easy to talk to, and I found myself admitting to not having worked for a year and a half as well as to my various diagnosis' and so forth.

One of the most interesting things I found about our interaction was that she told me that I was far too hard on myself.

I am fascinated because I felt that I was actually, though honest, quite kind in the way I spoke of myself today. It really highlighted to me how far I have come, as well as how far I still have to go. For a start, it wasn't until I was reflecting on the interaction that I realised that, had I been speaking of someone else, I would never have said the sort of things I said about myself.

First example off the bat, she asked if I was going to go to my reunion this year and I told her that I wasn't sure yet. "What are your reasons for the hesitation?"
"I haven't achieved anything."

That is why I hesitate to commit fully, because that is what I believe about myself. I'm not sure I want to show up with nothing but a string of failures to show of my life since high school... but that's complete bullocks, really, isn't it? I have achieved something. I'm still alive!

Maybe I don't have a car, or a good job (or even a job, to be fair), or the husband-children-white picket fence... but I'm still alive. I have survived what I'm beginning to recognise as a fairly extensive amount of childhood abuse of all types. I have survived mental illness, discrimination, miscarriage, spousal abuse, divorce, the deaths of several people dear to me. I have survived an alcohol dependency. I have survived.

And I haven't just survived. I have achieved other things that may not be current, but are no less real for that. I have worked for five years at a job that I loved. I have studied and received a Certificate III at the end of my efforts. I have been to Sydney, Melbourne, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Vanuatu and Fiji (and by the time of the reunion, Canberra will also be on that list). I have won competitions for my writing, I have won money in a photography competition. I have had my photographs on display at the Royal Brisbane Exhibition.

Why is that not enough for myself? My friend was right when she said, "I'm sure you have achieved things", but I couldn't see it.

It's time to start recognising that simply surviving is an achievement, and it's time to start congratulating myself for that. I didn't have to survive - I chose to. And I'm going to keep choosing to survive, and I'm going to rebuild my life until I get to a place that is healthy. A place where I am healthy and where I can find happiness, peace and contentment.

Cheerleading and Challenge Statements:
How wonderful will it be to ring Kelly and say, "it's been two months since I self harmed"? Hold onto that.
Whatever I feel is okay. I don't need to judge myself for my emotions.
Maybe I'm not just not a bad person - maybe I really am an okay person!
I can't change the past but I can change the present, and I can work towards a better future.
Ruminating and worrying won't change the way things are. All I can do is accept events/feelings/thoughts and deal with them as best I can when life happens.

Take care of yourselves until next time, and may we all find our own small fences along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go on looking at your achievments! You are a survivor, no doubt about it. And I think you should go to the reunion. I've missed several of mine, but maybe I'll make the next one.