A Year of Loss, A Year of Change
Today, I turn a quarter century. In most standards, I am still very young, but in mine I am 7 years older than my expiration date, 2 older than my updated expiration date, and 7 away from the final date I had given myself all those years ago. Last year, I felt the greatest need to explain to the world how my suicidality works, and that even during what should be a great day, things were not great. This year is quite different. (To read last years article click here.)
More recently, I have learned that counting down the days to your death is not the only way. The reality is that wanting to die for 8 years is not the way it has to be. You have options; I have options. There is hope.
I have refrained from seeking treatment the last few years, hoping that my support system would be enough, and holding onto the fear that I would be re-traumatized by the professionals supporting me. After all, how could a therapist truly understand my intersectionality? Unfortunately, my personal support system was not stable enough due to my professional and personal lives mixing to the point where support turned into an obligation, casing my entire foundation to fall in upon itself.
That is one half of the story, the second is that I don't actually know how to maintain relationships, at all. I've never learned. Complex trauma impacts us in different ways, one main way is, it affect our interpersonal skills. Some of the largest relationship failures were due to my belief that toxic behavior didn't affect me. Rage built within me, and I found myself despising those around me because of this pent up rage. What I have learned is that toxic behavior must be addressed, whether or not you're being affected by it. It is still harmful to the person committing it, and everyone around them.
2016 was the year of loss for me, I have said this a few times, but what I have recently come to realize is that it was also the year of beginnings. 2017 was always going to be the year things finally come together, but the loss of 2016 demanded healing and it split my soul into a thousand pieces to do so. Some change happens with ease. Other change requires all the toxicity to be uprooted from your very being, taking with it everything you've ever known. It's truly amazing how unhealthy most of our standards of health are. I believed I was healthy for the past couple of years, but my mind and scars tell a very different tale. Today, I am working every day on, not only staying alive, but, being well and truly healthy. Wellness is a practice, and I am finally back on the field.
Things are not perfect, but my year of change is just getting started. Furthermore, this year is turning into the year of healing. If we change without healing, our shattered pieces will cut everyone around us. I can not stress this enough. Thank you all for all your support, and for coming on this journey with me, I can never thank you enough.
So Happy Birthday to me, Happy Change, and Happy Healing straight ahead.
Ahmad Abojaradeh is the Founder and Executive Director of Life in My Days. An Engineer, a world traveler, a Peer Support Specialist, and a Novelist. He hopes to spread awareness of living a life of wellness through his writing, workshops and speaker events. Follow Ahmad on twitter, instagram or facebook.