Voices for Recovery
I knew from an early age that I was not like other kids. There was an emptiness deep inside of me that felt like a big black scary hole. One of my earliest memories of the hole was when I was laying on a snow bank looking at the stars and wishing I did not exist. I was a very sad little girl, but that was a secret and it was too scary to tell. Instead, I learned how to act very happy. I was the class clown, the fun girl to invite to sleepovers.
My secret remained for years, until everything fell apart. Wanting to die is no way to live, so I decided to live. After I felt completely safe, I slowly told my therapist that I had a secret. She taught me how to save my life, find a new way of living in this world, and become who I wanted to be.
After confiding in her, I worked hard at self-discovery and recovery. I learned that I loved to garden so much that I did it every day for a whole summer. I began working again, and my job led me to lots of people who understood my experiences. I built a circle of friends who believed in me, cared about me, and with whom I could share my secret. The big black scary hole became so small that I forgot it was there.
Some call it mental illness, others call it trauma. I think that I wasn’t loved for a long time, but now I give and receive love. I have a full and happy life. I have my friends, my new family, a home, a career, and my dogs. The hole is still there from time to time, but now I know what to do to make it small again.