Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fearless: The Power of Words

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This is the first in a special little series of entries that I have planned for this month. And I thought it would be appropiate to start where I consider my healing journey to of truly begun.

My healing journey started with one word. One word that touched me as no other single word ever has. It reached inside me and grabbed a hold of my heart, and I broke down and cried.

I was sinking into a bit of a depression again, was spending all my time ignoring reality and trying to lose myself in the in the fantastical world of fiction. School work sat abandoned half-finished on the computer but I resolutely did not think about it; just another regular day for me.

My mom was on a website that caught my attention. She was on the Joyful Heart Foundation's website because of a necklace she was curious about that Mariska Hargitay, the lead actress from Law and Order: SVU (Special Victims Unit) always seemed to wear. Mariska was the founder of Joyful Heart, and my mom was looking at a picture of the necklace in question.

Then I read the word carved into the metal plaque: FEARLESSNESS. 

Immediately I felt something deep inside me respond to this word. As it sunk in deeper, as I read the word again, the swell of emotion that rose like a tidal wave in me could not be stopped. I broke down into tears. I finally had to acknowledge that yes; there was something wrong with me. I was not fine. 

I had been hiding. Hiding for a long time from emotions I had been burying for far too long. One of the predominant of those was fear. A huge, overwhelming fear that I didn’t – still don’t – fully understand. It was scary to even think about it let alone let myself feel it. Seeing that word, FEARLESSNESS, changed my life.

Before than I knew that words had power, I just didn’t know how powerful one word could be all on its own.

After that it was a matter of working up the courage to call a crisis line that could set me up for counselling. It took me a couple of weeks to get to the point where I picked up the phone and, shaking like a leaf, dialed the number. It was, I believe, my first big step forward.

Since then I have taken a few more steps forward on my healing journey. I saw a counsellor for a while until I felt I’d made enough progress to take a break from sessions. I’ve been making some progress on my own through contemplation, art, writing in my journal, and allowing myself to feel all the things I was avoiding before (or at least trying to). I joined an amazing forum called Pandora’s Aquarium that has helped me immensely. I want to support others who have had similar experiences and have the extra support as well. Joining was scary, but I knew I needed to do it. And I’m glad I did. I did have to take a break from the site for a while, however, for the sake of my healing journey. Now though, I’m back in full force.

Recently, I’ve started doing school work again, taking regular walks, and eating better. I even have a job now (my first ever)! I'm beggining to have a measure of confidence in myself again,

For everyone out there still struggling, keep going. You can do it! One small step (or giant leap, if that's more your style) at a time. It won't always be easy and there will be plenty of bumps in the road, but it's not impossible either. Remember, it's not how far you fall, but how high you bounce back that counts!

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” - Brene Brown