Last weekend, my husband and I set out to do something I had been avoiding for a long time. And I mean quite a while. Ever since I moved out of home about two years, I have procrastinated this task with cunning stealth. It makes me feel ashamed.
It has just occurred to me that many of these little pieces of my life that I share on this blog are about me avoiding something. Maybe this realisation is the universe giving me a little hint – “stop running.”
And so last weekend, I tried to stop running away from things that have to be dealt with. Running away from things that are painful. Perhaps the very fleeing, and the avoidance, are more painful that just facing it all head on.
But I don’t know. All I know is that it hurt, but at least it’s done. It’s not hanging over me in the same way anymore.
My parents, very kindly, were storing some boxes of things from my adolescence in their garage, while we sorted our housing out. They are incredible people. I have felt so guiltly for taking up some of their space, with useless things that I was avoiding going through.
I also do need to put it out there, that my procrastination of this task is not solely because of what it all meant. It’s also because the mere idea of sorting through things is something that I just generally, can’t stand. You know how everyone has that one household task they just cannot deal with? I’m happy to do dishes, vacuuming and laundry, but give me a box to sort through, and suddenly there are a billion other mundane tasks I will be doing instead.
So, we tackled the handful of boxes, and all that was inside. Most of the things we got rid of or donated, and all of those were easy to go through. We could laugh and reminisce over what was inside.
Then we got to the stuff that was heavy. It was all tied to the illnesses that grew out of the past. I threw away my old, hidden set of scales. We got to the beautiful notes and art my friends made me during my dark time at school. We eventually reached around ten of my journals, documenting a period of about six years.
Writing upon these hundreds of pages, at the time, was nothing special. I realise now that I tended to write very matter of factly about what I was experiencing. Each page was littered with self-harm, weights, calories, exercise, suicidal thoughts, anxiety. Darkness seeped from journal to journal. At the time, it felt like it was no big deal, because this was my everyday. Life was used to being this way.
I couldn’t read most of them. I flipped through a couple, quickly, before realising that my parent’s garage on a beautiful summer’s day, probably wasn’t the right place or time. My husband suggested we put them in the recycle box. That seemed healthy; forgiving. But I couldn’t.
So now, they rest in a much smaller box, at the top of our wardrobe, along with a few other things we are bringing into adulthood with us. I don’t know why I am keeping them. They will not help me in my recovery. They only serve as triggering reminds, taunting me to read them and rejoin.
Recently, I have gotten rid of all my clothes that only fit a sick body. Photos that do not serve me are now out of reach. These small reminders are no longer part of my life. But my journals? I don’t know why, but I can’t bring myself to throw them away. I have to find a way to keep on going onwards and upwards, despite what they hold.