Preface: Today in therapy, my therapist was commenting that I have grown so much and made me realize that is okay and necessary to praise myself every so often for my hard work. So I thought I would go ahead and write a little bit about the progress I have made in the past couple of years since the assault, and give myself credit for my work thus far in my recovery.
It’s been a few years since I first reached out for support since the assault. It’s been amazing to see how much I have grown since it first happened. I know that I never imagined that this would happen to me. I always thought that I was invincible, that nothing like that would happen to me. But the assault changed my perspective… it made me realize that anything can happen, especially when you least expect it. A lot has changed post-assault and it has not always been easy. I know it has been rough adjusting to life afterwards. Yet, despite all of the changes, a lot about me has stayed the same. Let’s take a minute to think about all the things that have not changed. I am still a deeply caring person, I still like to have fun, I still have that adventurous streak- I always want to go out and try new things, explore the world. I still think about what the future holds, thinking about going back to school and getting married someday. That shows that I am still a pretty positive person, continuing to wear those rose-colored glasses. I am still young and have a lot of life to look forward to. The assault might have taken away some of my trust in humanity, but it didn’t take away my free spirit and bubbly personality. I still have those kind, sincere qualities within myself. I care about the world, I care about others and it shows so much every single day. But I also make sure that I am caring about myself as well. I make sure I make time for yourself, continue to have spa days for myself and treat myself once in a while. I deserve it.
I see the way I continue to persevere. On the tough days, I continue to get out of bed and put on clothes, even though it is clear that I want to stay in bed all day. On other days, I make plans and then despite changing my mind about going, I still go ahead and meet friends or co-workers. It takes strength to continue to do all these things, even though it can be frightening, or even though I might not totally feel like it. I think I need to just remember that some days it is okay, to take a break. Some days if I need to stay in bed and give myself some more rest, that is okay too. I am courageous for resuming my daily activities and for pushing forward even though the anxiety can sometimes feel like it is taking over. I know it is not always easy, but I see that I am really trying hard. I know that I am not alone in feeling this way, like I am trapped in a cell with my anxiety and constant intrusive thoughts about the assault. It can feel irritating to always feel anxious and to always feel like I am on the edge of my seat, waiting for something to happen. It is absolutely exhausting! Many days I say that I feel mentally drained. I see that the anxiety can take a toll on my mental well-being. However, I am doing things to try to combat this anxiety, such as journaling, running, and puzzles.
I am such a hard worker, working on my mental health every day and continuing to go to therapy and working on my self-care. That is a lot of work and I am proud of myself, every single day. With every small step, I am making progress.