I am twenty-one and learning about permanence.
There are things happening in my body that will last forever.
Due to an injury affecting my hip, I have some bone on bone friction. Over time it will create degeneration of the joint, I will get arthritis early. It will be years before I feel the full effect of my current injury. But I will be younger than most people when it happens. When the joint degenerates I will need a hip replacement. It is inevitable.
At 21 it is hard to get used to the idea that my body won’t bounce back from every injury, some things will create problems for the future. It is hard to grow old while still young.
I have seen the effects of old injuries in the adults around me for a long time. My mother broke her shoulder ten years ago and it still bothers her. My father has had cartilage degeneration in his knees my entire life. A result of working as a roofer in his twenties. And yet it never sunk in that eventually it would be my turn to acquire permanent ailments.
The news sends me into a tailspin. I have spent my entire childhood taking healing for granted. I have cracked ribs and shattered wrists. I have abused this body. All the while never considering consequence. My bones will ache.
There are things in my mind that will stay for a lifetime.
Perhaps, I wasn’t fully present in the moments when the verdict fell. There is a chance, I was over medicated and under lock and key. Maybe I was trapped inside thoughts, never coming to terms with the fact that erasers do not affect my medical record.
Depression, Anxiety, Self-mutilation, Suicide Attempt, PTSD, BPD, Dissociative, labels tacked carelessly to my skin. I added my own, painted over the others in bold letters, RECOVERED. But what does that even mean? There is no definite, no end point, no destination in recovery.
It has been two years, two years since I gave up cutting myself. Two years of skill use and proud moments filled with overwhelming emotion. But when the feeling creeps over my right shoulder and whispers darkness in my ear, my mind goes to the
box of blades unopened in my night stand.
It has been four years since the last time I was held captive in his presence. I only just started feeling strong enough to spit his name. Yet when I know he is in my neighborhood
my hands shake. I am young and silent, thrown back into absolute terror. I am minimized.
There will forever be moments that remind me I am sick, I have a diagnosis. I can go stretches without symptoms before life throws me back to the ground, a reminder written in bright bruises. Do not get used to normal, it is a
There was a point in my illness where this lingering lifetime drove me to consider suicide. If I could never have a truly normal, truly happy life what was the point? If there will always be a tint, if I will never experience joy freely like my peers, why bother feeling it on any level? There would always be a monster over my shoulder and I had no interest in living with that burden.
Now I recognize the ebb and flow. The permanence is not a death sentence but a reality. There is no way to return to before. The person I was before I went through the depth of my illness does not exist. There has been an incredible growth to me through these years. My only choice is to keep moving forward, to keep finding myself.
And there are people in my life that are not going anywhere.
I’m not sure what I have been thinking for the last few years. Where I thought he would go. If perhaps I imagined he would one day evaporate in a rain storm. A figment of my overactive imagination, created to cope.
Contrary to my greatest fears…I won’t be alone. It has been six and a half years. And he has loved me through it all.
There are roots under my feet that would not survive separation from his system. Everywhere I look are reminders of our relationship, our life together. It would take a surgical precision, I do not have, to separate us. I would have to get rid of every hoodie I own. He would have to discard every scrap of art on his walls.