For the longest time, I was unfaithful. To boyfriends/friends/partners/lovers – but mainly, to myself. I used and abused my own body. And not even for pleasure, but for power. I measured my worth in my appearance, and valued myself through other people’s eyes.
I would feel the seductive power of the male gaze, and immediately feel the need to harness it in some way – to take control and know that I held the power in this dynamic. Pleasure didn’t really play a part – and neither did I have any real sense of self-worth – I was simply addicted to being in control, and I would do anything to have it.
I was not subtle in my addiction. The thrill of the chase outweighed any fear of repercussions. But in the aftermath, the weight of regrets and shameful recriminations would come crashing down – sending me into further spirals of terrified self-preservation followed by repeated cycles of self-destruction.
They say that addicts need to reach rock bottom before they truly make changes in their lives. I reached mine while standing on the platform watching a train approaching, tears streaming down my face as I had ‘ruined my life’ yet again, and debated whether I should step forward to simply end this pain and suffering now.
Over all of the years of anxiety and depression I had suffered, I had never come close to wishing to end my life before. Having lived through the pain of my father’s suicide when I was 7, I had always firmly rejected the notion of suicide ever being a solution to suffering – I knew it simply exaggerated it exponentially.
For me to even entertain the thought of ending my life – however fleeting – I knew that this meant I needed to change how I was managing the situation. I needed help.
It has taken over 6 years of therapy, with the help of 3 different therapists, 2 years of regular meditation practice, and over 4 years of love, care and support from the man I intend to spend the rest of my life with, for me to have some compassion for my younger, “broken” self.
I am not yet in a complete position of gratitude – not yet ready to accept that everything that I did, and that has happened to me, has made me who I am today. But I do know that my recovery is an ongoing process, and I’m determined to keep sharing my true self as I try to heal, and hope to help others along the way.