Today happens to be a day that means a lot to me, it marks 2 years since a, particularly challenging day. It wasn’t my worst day – I’ve had worse days before and after May 18th, 2015 – but it’s definitely a day that ended up altering how I live. I don’t believe this is the time or place to tell the whole story, but letting myself be open to sharing it has been the most important part of accepting it, instead of being scared of it. So, in an attempt to make today positive, instead of focusing on what happened, I thought I’d try to focus on, and share some progress that’s come from it.
Though May 18, 2015 held challenges that no one should ever face, the events of that day allowed me to begin learning skills that I’d always needed, but hadn’t yet identified were missing. Because of the strain and barriers that followed due to a desperate need for people, that day began a long process that’s shown me exactly how crucial it is to be able to connect and communicate.
It’s taught me to be flexible with words, and accept they will never be perfect, or arrive at the perfect time.
It’s taught me that I could let myself be different in ways I already was, in order to allow room for differences that have come since.
It’s taught me that no matter where you are in terms of strength or struggle, people are extremely important, and you don’t need a reason to ask for help, or company.
It’s taught me skills in resilience&confidence by showing me a life without either one, and it’s taught me the process required to build them up again from nothing.
The most wonderful part of working through struggle, without any tiny doubt, has been discovering what friendship truly looks like. I’d never known that it’s ok to show your vulnerable sides to others, so I’d never known that taking that risk brings vital rewards from others in the form of true family, friendship, and trust.
I am so far beyond thankful for the family I began to gather 2 years ago today. You’ve given me the chance to be free with words, emotion and vulnerability. Because of this, I am a better person who is so much stronger than I ever could have been before. Because of you, something positive emerged from something horrible. Thank you for showing me how to not be okay, in an okay way.
I have so many reasons to not think of May 18th as a bad day. In fact, May 18th 2016 became important as well- it was the opening of “[title of show]” (yes, that really is the title of that show?), and thanks to the most supportive cast fam I could ever have hoped for, it was the first time I opened up to a group of friends. It was a definite sign of progress, though, at this time last year, asking for help still seemed impossible, and that led to what was my 3rd inpatient stay in hospital, on May 23rd. Since that time, I’ve tried hard to become comfortable letting out words… and I think it’s actually been slowly working (??☺️ ).
The difficulties of May 18th, 2015 have challenged me in both the best & worst ways, they’ve also encouraged me to challenge myself (in what’ve also turned out to be both the best & worst ways) as I’ve wanted to show capability I felt I’d lost. In what is a fittingly challenging, and exciting coincidence, this year, May 18th just so happens to be the very day I move to New York for 3 months ? It’s such a refreshing privilege to be able to say I really am excited to see what this next year brings, thank YOU for being a part of it.
Feeling heard is scary but wonderful so thanks for taking time to read. If you ever need ears, heart, or hugs I’d very much love to provide ? and know that even though reaching out often seems impossible, and even though it’s far more ridiculous & messy a process than advertised, if you keep trying with those you trust, progress does seep in, in its own slow way. ❤️
Originally published, here on May 18th, 2017