A CELEBRATION

   Let’s celebrate. Let’s celebrate each step you make in your recovery process, each hurdle you have faced and each year you go without injuring. You must reward yourself for fighting one of the worst battles of your life. It is you that stood up to your illness and said, “I will no longer hurt myself;” it’s you who took the steps towards the light and you who made the ultimate decision of your life. So be proud of yourself and commemorate each year you face life’s challenges without hurting yourself.

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   It may sound strange to some, but it was very special to me. My husband and I decided to marry on my fifth year of going without self-injuring. Marrying my husband on that day made my recovery even more special: I married my best friend on anniversary of the day, five years earlier, when I took my life back. This year Lou and I celebrated ten years of marriage and I celebrated fifteen years being self-injury free.

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   At one time I couldn’t imagine going one day without harming myself. I thought self-injury was the only way I could find relief from my inner pain. I couldn’t handle anything in my life without one cut. I couldn’t even handle every day challenges. Now I handle them with strength, support, and healthy coping techniques. When the pain gets overwhelming, I turn to my husband, I journal, I talk to my friends, and I say no to injuring myself.

   I’m very proud of my accomplishment. It took a lot of determination and courage to make it fifteen years without injuring. I had to take a vow to never allow myself to harm my body again. A friend challenged me to go one week without injuring and then two weeks. She made a deal with me: If I could go a month without injuring we would have a dinner with my friends. I made it to that month, and then I devoted myself to making it a year. Each year I rejoiced with friends and fifteen years later I rejoice with my best friend ever, my husband.

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   When I met Lou I was going through spells of depression. Lou helped bring me out of depression. He showed me how to love myself. He gives me all the attention and support I need. I couldn’t ask for a better person to share my celebration with. I couldn’t have picked a better day to marry, because not only do I honor my love for my husband, but I salute the day I decided not to let my illness control my impulses. The day I decided I was going to reach for recovery.

   I applauded my fifteen years and our anniversary with a day trip and a dinner out. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. My husband got me flowers and told me how proud of me he is.

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   If you have decided to stop harming yourself, then set a goal and cheer each time you reach that goal. Share your goal with friends and family. They can be a big help in reaching your goal. Their encouragement and support is very important. You don’t have to have a party or a fancy dinner. Celebrate by doing something that makes you happy, and something that you enjoy.

   I’m very proud of my accomplishment and each year I will continue to celebrate. This is what helps me bathe within the light.

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