When you’ve suffered a cornucopia of mental, emotional and physical trauma over a sustained period of time, it can be tricky to know when you’re healed. You get so comfortable with your bandages, procedures, and therapies – both figurative and literal – that they become part of you in unintended ways. Life starts to become viewed as a series of trials to overcome, and after a while you begin looking for them in places they don’t exist. And when this happens, it becomes really hard to accept being in a fully-healed state as a real scenario.
That’s not to say I haven’t had plenty of high points in the last few years, as some of the highest peaks have accompanied my lowest valleys. It’s just to face the fact that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to feel complete, and not in a perpetual state of healing.
But I think I’m good now. Not perfect, but damn good.
I don’t think I’ll ever feel perfect. There’ll always be some area of myself I’d like to work on. Admitting that is part of being comfortable with who you are.
I still don’t feel like I’m in the physical shape I’d like to be in, that I used to be in. And that’s OK. It may still take time to burn off those inches of belly fat that I’ve picked up while recuperating. I might have to adjust my eating and living situation to accomodate a healthier and less-prone-to-disaster state than I’ve let myself fall into. And that’s OK, too.
I still feel awful shy in some situations, mostly the romantic or heavily social ones. But I know what I’m worth and capable of, and the ideals I hold for myself, even if I become timid about them sometimes. Admitting this and moving forward is the only way to address them. It’s just who I am. Deal with.
I wish I had made better financial decisions much earlier in my life, but I’m not in a bad place at all now. That’s something to be encouraged by, not ashamed of. And I’ve made much better choices in the last decade, even if it’s been a rocky ride at times.
But mostly, I look back and see a lot to be proud of. A ton of achievements that have built an awful strong foundation for a person to build upwards upon. I see my mistakes as well, but none of them have killed me (although a few have come too close for comfort). None of them have brought me enemies or horrid regrets. A few I hadn’t planned on (like a successful career in software), and a few I waited far too long to pursue (returning to a life of music), but none I should be ashamed of.
I don’t always look in the mirror and see scars anymore, or a broken person. Just a person who should be awful proud of making it through some seriously difficult trials and came through it stronger than ever. Even if I occasionally don’t feel that way.
And I’ve come to realize that the only thing I’m ashamed of is still wearing my bandages like a badge. Of holding onto a healing process that has taken it’s course. I’ll certainly pursue preventative measures to keep myself from trauma going forward – a good therapist to talk to regularly to check in on my state, a financial planner and attorney to keep my business and finances in order, and a great doctor to keep an eye on the physical frame I inhabit. That’s just wise living, not healing requirements.
So it’s time to rip off my bandages, get some sun on my scars, and just be me again. A little older, a little wiser, maybe a bit more lonely, shy, and hesitant at times but far more comfortable in the skin I’ve grown.
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m now more interested in seeing what life continues to shape me into than looking back at my traumas and holding fear and hesitation about incurring them again.
But I’m done being a walking healing project in process. No more metaphorical bandages. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of the life I’ve created, and stop worrying about losing them. I already did that. It’s not worth the effort. Instead, let’s have a drink and celebrate life sometime! Give me a shout, I’m always around. 🙂