Thursday, November 13, 2008

Unmarked Anniversaries

A few years back, I forgot my dad's birthday. My dad, you might recall, has been dead for a little over nine years. It's not as though I left him waiting for a phone call that I forgot to make - depending on your beliefs of the afterlife, he may or may not even know I forgot. And as it is, I remembered that it was coming up in the days leading up to it, and I realized that I'd forgotten the very day after it. It just happened that I didn't think of it on the day itself. Yet none of that made me feel less guilty or upset when I realized that the day had passed without my giving it a second thought.

That's how I felt last night when I remembered my two major November anniversaries: my last cut, and my trip to the psych unit. Such important days to me, and yet, I didn't even notice them. J. pointed out that this is probably a good thing, showing that I've grown and moved on to other, more positive things in my life. Deep down, I know he's right, but I still feel like I've betrayed myself somehow, like not pausing to note the progress somehow negates it. Of course, we all know that's ridiculous, and I remind myself that I'm making progress every day, whether I explicitly note it or not. I suppose ideally that's how healing works: eventually, the scars fade, both mentally and physically.

So there you go - I've successfully stayed on the "No Cutting" bandwagon for two years and six days. Today may not be the actual anniversary, but I'm just as proud of myself today as I would have been on Friday.

Yay me!


Steph said...

Lara, you really have made progress, so yes, *own* your pride in yourself and in your strength.

I think J's interpretation is a good one. I'm in my late 30s now, and have had various painful bumps over the past 20 years. I'd say the important thing is to continue to honor yourself whenever you reflect back on how far you've come, regardless of whether it's the exact anniversary or not. And as those feelings of guilt and "betrayal" come up (and they will), just let them go by...

You have courage, and you are a survivor in the best sense of the word.

Ashley // Our Little Apartment said...

First - I'm sure your Dad wouldn't mind if you forgot his birthday. In my opinion, it's an earthly sensation that we expect people to remember and celebrate our birthdays. Everyday is a thousand times more joyful than our happiest birthday where he is, I think. :) Maybe that silly or simplistic, but I like that idea.

Second- CONGRATS!! That's amazing. Yesterday I wrote "Love" on my arms in support of anyone who's been depressed or hurt themselves. So - know that people love you and support you, okay? :)

Issa said...

Seriously Lara, congrats to you.

I have...had a friend who took his own life almost ten years ago. We used to remember the day and do something and cry. And all of that was good. But at some point you start realizing the day has nothing to do with it. As long as you remember, the day passing is just another day. Which I think means, you have moved past the grief of it in some way.

Your dad; I'm sure he's watching you and so proud of what he sees.

Still Jill B said...

Awesome. The two years have flow, and you've grown (and I rhyme).

Love you, girl.

Anonymous said...

Yay you indeed! The specific day that marks the anniversary is less important than the total number of days since ... and they just keep on growing =)

BetteJo said...

It's very clear to anyone who reads your blog - how you feel about your dad. I believe he knows that, and would take the everyday devotion as opposed to the one day remembrance any day of the week.

Not cutting? Never having been there I can only imagine, but it must be HUGE. Truly happy for you!

tpiglette said...

Brian said that too - that it's probably a good sign, in some ways, that the days passed by without you noticing.

I'm glad you're just as proud of yourself, and many of us are as well. :)

Hooray for 2+ years!