I have to admit, I was absolutely terrified to share the part of my story that I did last Monday. I was scared of how people would react - what they would say, how they would feel, and more than anything, whether or not it would forever change the way the people in my life look at me.
Aside from the messages I have received, and the comments posted on Facebook, I really don't know what people are thinking about my experience, or even just the fact that I felt that sharing my story was something I chose to do. Days later, I still worry about it a little bit.. but one thing I have realized, is that it doesn't matter.
What does matter, is the fact that I made the decision to stop keeping my struggles a secret. Because the thing is, everyone has their own set of struggles and personal problems.. and I felt like by pretending everything in my life was fine, I was only encouraging my problems to eat me alive. It's like keeping everything a secret was only encouraging that secret to grow into something bigger, something much more toxic.
After opening up and sharing what I've been going through, nothing has changed. I'm still the same person, I'm still dealing with bipolar disorder, still trying to recovery from a decade-long battle with self-harm, and still fighting like hell to get better.
The one thing that has changed is the fact that I'm not hiding it anymore. And that, on its own, is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It's one less thing weighing me down. And to be honest, I feel as though that is making a very big difference in my journey to recovery.
Not only that, but after deciding to share my story, I have had a lot of people contact me... some with words of encouragement, some sharing parts of their own story, and some just to say that they care. To everyone who has taken the time to do this, I cannot thank you enough. Your words have given me, and continue to give me, motivation to stay strong. You are all a huge source of inspiration, and I love each and every one of you.
Over the past couple weeks, I feel like things have finally started to make a shift in a more positive direction. This is very much a daily battle, but I am so thankful that it is a battle that I still have the opportunity to fight. If things had gone differently a couple weeks ago, that may not have been the case. I am grateful for the fact that I'm still here, writing this, and working my ass off to get better. I'm still constantly reminding myself that recovery is possible, and it is worth it (and yes, I seriously just put a sticky note on my mirror that says that).
I have very strong faith that I can handle this. There are going to be good days, and there will be bad days, but I keep reminding myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and I will get through it.