It started when I was 7 years old. I was flung into a world disrupted, full of volatile relationships, bitterness, and abuse. Out of necessity, I grew up quickly. I left my childhood behind in order to survive and I learned to exist in a world full of problems that I wouldn’t understand until I was much older. In doing this I was left feeling out of control – angry and raw until I could hardly cope with the constant swelling of hateful feelings within myself. I withdrew into myself and lashing out became my only method of communication.
At 15 I was depressed, medicated, and without the emotional tools to cope. I took matters into my own hands and turned to self-harm.
Hurting myself became a relief – I could control it. It became a sensation that was painful and vivid against the feelings that were too overwhelming to understand. How do you heal when you can hardly remember where the pain started in the first place? Cutting myself, creating wounds that my body would heal, became a small victory. Scars were battles won, mountains conquered. It became an addiction, and in my mind, that was okay.
Despite counselling, group therapy, medication, no medication, and a lot of blow outs, it didn’t stop until I was 18 years old. My desperate grapple for control of myself ended, finally, when I realized that I would never have control of myself if the past still had control of my happiness, my future, and my soul.
I had to let go.
I had to let go of the incredible anger that had solidified around my heart. I had to let go of the resentment I held towards those that I loved who were above all else human and had made mistakes. I had to let go of the bitter acceptance that I was perhaps not meant to live a beautiful life.
So I did. Slowly, I let it go.
Over the years, my life changed. I was free. The girl in the mirror no longer scowled. My words were no longer fueled by anger and resentment. I stopped abusing my body as a way to cope with my demons and learned to love it instead.
I am now 23 years old. When I wake up in the morning, I’m grateful to see another day. I know now, in my heart of hearts, that I was born to live a beautiful life. I love the girl I see in the mirror – her eyes are bright, her smile is honest, and she wears her scars with pride because she is iron and was forged with fire.
I freed myself from the past, from the things I had no control of, and I became who I was always meant to be. I am bursting with happiness and fueled by grace. There isn’t a day in my past I would change, because it led me to who I am today. It made me so lovely, so free.