Miriam now speaks of her healing journey. Today I write again…free style. I also list my accomplishments and write down ways that I could celebrate them. I have come a long way. The most difficult part of the healing journey is now though. A time when I need the love of those around me. I will survive. I heal.
The next step in my healing journey is to write freely without thinking of style or form for twenty minutes. Before it was for ten minutes. Now it is for twenty minutes and I write freely of anything that comes to my mind. I think of my mental illness and realize that I have made some major breakthroughs. Although I feel like a failure.
It was Mother’s Day yesterday and I was not well enough to travel to see my mother. I feel like a failure as a daughter. I did send flowers and I did call her but I didn’t see her. I am getting better. Hopefully next year I can see her on this special day. My own children were with me and were positive and supportive. They spoke of the future though and encouraged me to be better and to get better.
So the next step in my healing is to list my accomplishments. There are many. Even though I don’t remember my childhood, I finished public school, high school and even went to university. I hiked the White Mountains, alone. I got a good paying job and supported my children, alone. My children are well rounded and stable. It is only in my later years that I have become too sick to work. So up until now I have had many accomplishments. Accomplishments in my illness are that I have opened up and talked about my past, I have talked to therapists, and that I am actively taking steps towards healing. I am slowly dealing with my past. Slowly remembering but not forcing myself to remember.
The next step is to list how I can celebrate. I don’t have many ideas. I need help with this part. Maybe have some ice cream. Cook a special meal. Buy a book. Write some more. Have a glass of wine. Have a cup of tea. So I decided to have my ritual cup of tea after reading The Courage to Heal Workbook. I can’t have wine. I was almost an alcoholic but with therapy I was able to stop. Alcohol doesn’t mix well with my medication. So to celebrate my children, I will cook a special meal for them. I have to figure out what though! That’s a work in progress and something to look forward to. I am also writing. This is a way to celebrate and a way to help others.
Then I reflect. This is the first time that I have written for twenty minutes. Was it different from other times that I have written? Yes, it was more positive. Last week I couldn’t concentrate to read or write much. The week before I had a feeling of impending doom. Today I am more positive and was able to read and to write. The everyday problems are still there but my attitude is positive and I have hope. The anxiety of the month before and the first two weeks of May is gone. I have dealt with the stress and am ready to act on the everyday stress to resolve it. I have strength. I am strong. I have family that cares about me and has my back.
The writing for twenty minutes is a marker along my journey in healing. It shows where I am at and my strength. In the future, I will reread it and see how far I have progressed. I was surprised that I couldn’t really think of ways to celebrate my accomplishments. I didn’t realize that I had accomplished so much and alone at that! I have had a hard life and have come far. I have strength to go forward. And I am proud of my family.
The memories of my bad experience are still unsettling for me. It is a relief that I don’t have to relive them. But I haven’t been meditating. Maybe I fear that I will have flashbacks. I will have to work on that. It is unsettling. And I fear.
One idea was that I draw and express myself by drawing. I think that I will try this. My art has been soothing to me…maybe free drawing…drawing anything that comes to my mind as I sit calmly…maybe that will help me to move forward.
So I have two things to work on. One to celebrate my accomplishments. And two to try and free draw and see what insights into my illness that that brings me.
It helps to have a journal. You can look back and read entries and see how far you have come. You can see if you have healed or if you have regressed. Or if you are standing still. So far I have progressed. I will continue to read. I will continue to write. And I will continue to share my experience in the hopes that it can help someone else.
Until next time…I think I’ll have another cup of tea…