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Trigger warning: this article contains sensitive content involving self-harm.
I’ve been clean and sober for 1557 days. Sometimes I lose track, yet occasionally all I can do is count the seconds. The new year tends to produce thoughts of reflection, and like many, I freely give into those thoughts. This year it would seem that slowly, yet apparently all at once, I’ve somehow forgotten the girl I was when I first put the bottle down.
This may appear to be a good thing, the next logical mental development. One would suppose this moment signifies my growth and transformation, implying the girl is now insignificant. And yes, I have evolved and my life has bloomed into something beautiful. However, overlooking that broken girl, omitting her feelings and struggles; she doesn’t deserve that, she doesn’t deserve to be forgotten. After all, she is why I began this journey. She didn’t know it then, but she was worth fighting for, and I refuse to abandon her like others have.
So today, I think of you, girl
I think of you, lost and broken. Battling with yourself and losing every time.
I think of you, constantly demeaning yourself, your inner voice whispering, “Worthless. Ugly. Stupid.” Self-destructing at every opportunity, never believing you were meant for more.
I think of you, not knowing where you belong, longing for your family and desperately wanting them back.
I remember you allowing men to use you, to discard you like afternoon trash, talk to you like you were inadequate because, for whatever reason, you truly believed you were.
I think of you, tearing yourself apart for being unlovable. I remember each time that you cut yourself, burnt yourself, abused yourself because you knew no other way to express your self-loathing.
I remember the lies you were living, the way you violently shook every morning until you took another drink. I remember waking up in your bed soaked with piss and vomit.
Today I think of you; the shell of the person you had finally become, the zombie-like state you conceded to with every blackout.
I think of you, and I thank you.
I thank you for somehow keeping us alive; somehow allowing the woman I am today to take control, and fight to bring us back. Others may assume that I’m the strong one, fighting for us to obtain our freedom. Although I fought, you somehow survived. You somehow held on, even if just in our subconscious. You survived.
You are me and I am you. We couldn’t be complete without the other and I promise to never let you go. I won’t forget how you use to long for the things we have today and I promise not to take them for a granted. Never again will I doubt that we deserve to be respected, nor question if our thoughts and goals matter.
I promise to share with you with our boys because they deserve to know every part of us. And I swear that although we don’t believe it, we are exceptional. The good, the bad, the in-between, we are beautiful.
Lastly, I promise I won’t quit. I won’t stop making up for lost time while chasing our highest potential. You deserve to see just how magnificently you can bloom, you deserve to experience the absolute best version of yourself.