It’s been 11 years, and I’m still here

It’s December 13! I made it another year. It’s become a tradition to write about why this day is important to me, saying something I’ve learned or observed, but… I almost didn’t write anything today. This year has been really hard for me, and I just have no idea what to say.

It’s been 11 years since I was stopped from ending my life. I wish I could say that I never hit that point again. I wish I could still say, “It was an uphill battle, but I’m all better now!” But officially, as of this year and thanks to my PTSD, I can’t. It’s truly a miracle I’m still here.

I remember the days when I’d run for miles outside, training for a half marathon. It was so hard. I wanted to quit so bad sometimes. I’d look at something a few feet ahead of me: “I just need to make it to that tree right there.” I’d trudge along, dying, holding back tears. I’d get to the tree and look for something else: “I just need to make it to that sewer grate.” I’d get to the sewer grate: “I just need to make it to that fence post.”

Getting through times like these is like that. You’ve got to make those little, achievable goals, no matter how small—even if it’s just getting out of bed or taking a shower—and celebrate them when they’re accomplished. I suggest adding small goals with things that cheer you up: sewing, singing, writing, running. Do it even when you don’t feel like it. Pushing myself with happy-inducing goals has been helping me lately.

You’ve got to make those little goals and celebrate them. Why?

I’ll tell you why: Good food. That’s right. And ridiculous things that make you laugh. More than that, look at that tree—Paul and I finally got it decorated today. It reminds me of every beautiful memory I hold in my heart: the ones in the past, and the ones I have to look forward to. And there are beautiful ones to look forward to. These days… they can’t last forever, no matter how they might feel right now. Feelings aren’t facts. And when I look back over the last 11 years, I see that, as long as I’m alive, future beautiful memories are a fact.

And I know that there’s more there on the horizon for you, right on the other side of all of your storms. Perfect memories worth living for.

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