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  • Writer's pictureA.S. Morris

Three Years.

Twenty thousand times a day, our bodies breathe in and out; one of our body's basic life processes, respiration, occurs without thought. The body performs thousands of actions without thinking twice; many of these actions we take for granted. The nervous system makes staying alive relatively easy.

What I have learned these past three years is how hard it can be to keep living. Even with hundreds of hours of therapy under my belt, some pharmaceuticals, and the grace, love, and support of my closest people, some days are rough. Honestly, it can be more like weeks.

There isn't one lesson I have learned that sticks out as the proverbial "a-ha" moment. Maybe it's my cynical nature, but I am not entirely sure there is supposed to be one. I continue to navigate a great deal of anger within myself for not being smart enough or brave enough to speak out before my world sank. I also get mad that I am still not healed, thinking I can compare my trauma to a broken leg. There is a possibility I may never be as I once was. You forget how to feel when you are trying to heal from trauma. I also know healing isn't linear; perhaps that is my"a-ha" moment, working toward being okay with non-linear healing. My spiraling should be upward instead of downward.

As much work and effort I put into healing, I know I can't control how fast it will happen. I know I can't control the chaos that has yet to greet my doorstep. I know my experience of bad days and weeks is far from over. It's a perspective that can be very isolating unless you've been through this kind of trauma. It is hard to understand how a person gets here; I know I didn't before three years ago. You can empathize and support, but you can't imagine. I can assure you this isn't worth imagining.

My therapist told me I needed to celebrate three years; I'm not sure this is a cupcake and Hallmark card kind of occasion. The "traditional" gift for a third anniversary is leather. This logic is centered around the experiences faced in those first few years; you become durable and flexible. While I don't believe a leather good is in my future, I'd like to think I've become more durable, flexible, and resilient.

 "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

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