To write, you must have energy above and beyond that necessary just to get through the day. I haven’t written for a while quite simply because I have lacked the energy. All the energy I possess has been channeled into surviving. Things are shifting and it’s painful, even if it’s good. Sometimes the pain is absolutely overwhelming – physical, mental, spiritual. I keep my head down and weather the storm. There are no quick fixes in recovery and boy, do I hate that! I do all the right things, but that doesn’t always mean I feel better – at least, not immediately. Opening up about my past seems to mean feeling worse in the short term.
When things have been really black I think, I can’t do this anymore. Too much, it’s too much. I feel raw and broken and scared and hurt and damaged, damaged beyond repair. And I’m exhausted from not sleeping, and my body hurts with PTSD and my mind’s full of technicolour images of the abuse, the scents, the sounds, the feelings. Enveloped with pain, frozen and mute with trauma, it chases through my mind: I simply can’t do this anymore.
But you know, what are the options? I contemplate suicide but I don’t want to die, I just don’t want to feel like this, to hurt like this. The survival instinct which brought me through the abuse and into recovery burns deep at the core of my being. So I put one foot in front of the other and do what I can to look after myself, to take care of myself, to pull through this, now as then.
Facing my past without drink and drugs to take the edge off, seeing my absolute powerlessness, experiencing fully the horror and pain and degradation that was my life is absolutely terrifying. I struggle to talk about what’s in my head: the realization of the brutality and humiliation to which I was subjected make the words stick in my mouth, make my lips seal together, form a dry sob in my throat. I’ve never felt more alone. But I do have help these days in the form of my therapist and my sponsor. I am doing the right things, trying to talk, trying to trust, trying to heal.
An old Chinese proverb says ‘it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness’. In taking care of myself as best I know, in keeping going, in riding it out, in being proactive in challenging the lies of the sex industry by telling my story, whether people choose to listen or not, that’s what I’m doing. I’m taking action, even if that action is painful and scary and feels woefully inadequate at times. Keep putting in the right actions, and no matter how slowly, things begin to change for the better. There's a long way to go, both in my personal recovery and in the larger scheme of things. But I'm in it for the long haul. It's the only way to be.