Well, SBIWYB, if you were my baby, as against the best therapist I've ever had, you'd be at school right now and I'd probably be doing what I have been doing all morning- binge watching Dance Moms and trying to make my last few fags last through the day- like the good mother I would have been. Happy fifth birthday, my darling. You've seen me through acute and psychiatric intensive care admissions; being on sick for months; uni and more admissions; more admissions; being thrown, unceremoniously, out of uni; more admissions; and, well, the last 3 years of constant hospitalisation. Numerous suicide attempts. Cutting, burning, nearly losing my right arm to self harm, starvation, bingeing, purging, too many NG tubes. Love, hate, losing friends and family to the illnesses and the over-arching support shown by those who have stuck by me.
You saw me nearly die, come so close to death that I could smell it from my collapsed positions, more times than I can bear to think about. You saw me rise again and fight harder than ever.
Birthdays, though, are for celebration, for the second (and third and fourth and hundredth) chances and the development that we all face. I'm not the person I was five years ago, and although I have a lot of empathy for the girl I was when this blog started, I'm beginning to be proud to be the woman I am now, with everything that goes with it. This blog, the opportunities and experiences and the readership and just everything that has come from it, has given me a voice and it's ultimately led me to where I am- close to discharge, public speaking, nominated for a national award for my public speaking (fingers crossed- the awards are next week).
It's also taught me that through development we all take, forgiveness is central. I know how saccharine that sounds, but forgiving other people- not as much now, but because of being so ill I was a very, very hard person to love and probably still at least a little hard to keep up with- and forgiving myself is huge to me right now. I'm not there, but God- I will be. It's in our earliest years that we change most, and that's even the same for SBIWYB. The relatively new days of my recovery now are going to be glorious- watch this space.
Thank you. The family, the friends, the friends who became family. Mum- I'm sorry I nearly destroyed your little girl, but I promise it's not something on the cards again. Willis and Alex- I didn't even know you two when this started and now I live quite comfortably with how I don't deserve either of you two, but that somehow you stuck through it all. Everybody else- you fought this shit with me. A lot of love.