My life from age 17 to 23 is a blur. A movie damaged by time and my brains desire to forget the pain, to run from the dark years. I was not in a good place. During those 7 years I was inpatient 7 times because I didn’t know how to cope. I hated myself with such power I couldn’t move past it. I didn’t think I deserved love; so I ran whenever I was shown love in any form. Other people loving me challenged my self hatred, so it scared me.
I reached a point where applying for disability was the next logical step. And so, with the help of my family, that is exactly what I did. I was turned down.
I don’t know what happened next. I don’t know what clicked for me, what made me decide my life was worth fighting for. Maybe winter turning to spring was enough to bring me back from the ledge.
I got a job. I applied to school. I moved an hour away to go to start college for the second time and I found myself. I found myself in the seat of a sociology class talking about LGBT* people in a positive light for the first time in my life. I found myself being winked at by girls. . . and liking it.
I came out.
I found the strength within myself to start learning how to love myself. Especially the part I hated the most. Especially the fact that I am queer.
My last hospitalization was 6 months after I came out. Coming out is a hard and difficult process and I lost friends and family members because of it, but in the process I found myself. I saved my life.
It has now been 8 years since the last time I was inpatient.
We are all on our own journey. We all have to learn our own coping skills and what works for us, but trust me when I say those little baby steps you are taking add up.
Every time you decide to go outside instead of hiding in your room all day. Every time you get up and take a shower. Every tiny act of self care is a little revolution.
You can save your life. One baby step at a time.
If you would like to support and be part of our self-care mission, please visit our store at Outta.ca.