How I Know I Am Stronger Now

by Carl Van Vechten [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

by Carl Van Vechten [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I tried to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learned how to swim, and now I am overwhelmed by this decent and good feeling.
— Frida Kahlo —
  1. I did not die at 8 or 11 or 15 or all of those years between then and today.
    I am here, and I remain here. I take up space willingly and consciously.
  2. Just when I think I've got life cased, it humbles me. I have learned to recognize the humbling, accept it more often than not, and grow from it.
  3. I have been sober for over five years, and, although it still feels like a fine china teacup, the kind you can see the light through and could shatter if the air's too cold, this sobriety is mine. I am awake and waking up, and I own my time.
  4. The men who once took my body without me, who worked themselves over it as though it were an object made for the taking, as though my consciousness were an off-label side effect, did not take nearly as much as I once thought they had. I alone own me now, every last busted and amended piece.
  5. Although my body suffered from years of abuse and misuse, it is healing now; I am both healing it and healing with it. We are finally on speaking terms.
  6. I doubt myself daily, but I keep doing. Failure is imminent, but I keep doing. I trip myself up with negative thoughts, but I keep doing.
  7. For the most part, I can accept my past sins without using them against my current self. They can no longer diminish my worthiness enough to pull me away from good things.
  8. I let the stories of my hard times quietly grow their own feet so I know they can handle the wild. Unfledged, scattershot confessions of my sins and failings to every available ear confuse my ability to hold myself separate from the world.
  9. I am not merely a tally of worst sins. I am who I once was and who I have always been: we are all more worthy of forgiveness, kindness, and love than once believed.

I'm writing a post a day in November for BlogHer's NaBloPoMo.