Ever taken an inventory? It’s something they always pushed in AA, but I hated their moralistic standpoint on it. The exercise was basically about identifying everything you’ve ever done wrong and atoning for it. A friend recently posted an inventory of her losses (a suggestion from the ‘Courage to heal’ book) which I found thought-provoking.
I thought I’d write two posts on this. Covering losses and achievements. It’s Christmas morning and I feel pretty down, so I’m going to start with losses. I’d love it if you shared some of your experiences too. What have you had to overcome this year? Have you gone through some similar struggles?
2015 was a horrible time for me. I had a breakdown in January, a psychiatric inpatient stay March-June and a slow, not very steady attempt at picking up my life again since. I’ve self-harmed so badly I’ve got scars all over my body. I tried to kill myself a bunch of times.
I can’t face going right back to childhood, but here’s what I’ve lost in the last 12 months.
The happiness of my family
When I disowned my brother (see below) I exploded my family. Everyone is miserable now, they are all in therapy. We are hardly speaking to each other.
I chose this loss. He sexually abused me in childhood and remained in my life (even in our family home for a few years) ever since. This year I cut him off. I wrote to him and told him the impact he’s had on me. He never bothered to write back. He is dead to me now.
My wife’s trust
After doing some very serious self-harming and making several attempts to end my life, my wife now babysits me. She doesn’t trust me alone in the house. She keeps all medications in a safe. It’s totally understandable, but she didn’t have cause not to trust me in the past.
Trust in myself
Like I said above, I’m not safe with myself. I still think about cutting and suicide most days.
Money – lots of it
We sold our home when I went into hospital. I didn’t work for so long and have had so much therapy we’ve burned a massive hole in our savings. That means we may never be able to afford to buy a house again.
We had a nice house, in a nice town. We were settled. We had got on the property ladder, setting in place financial security for our future. That’s all gone.
I failed this year. I massively failed. I fell apart and everyone who knows me knows that. It is humiliating. I always worked so hard to be seen as a strong person, someone people could rely on and who could handle anything. I’ve very publicly destroyed that image for myself.
This probably sounds unimportant, but it feels like more failure to me. I was triathlon training just over a year ago. I’d run half marathons. I was fit, healthy, strong. I’m not anymore. I’ve put on weight and I hate how I look. But I can’t be bothered to do anything about it.
That’s the worst one. I just don’t have hope. I don’t look forward to things. I can’t grasp anything in the future that is worth fighting for. I’m tired and I can’t stand myself. I get bored and so frustrated because I can’t get myself to do anything. The small part of me that feels able to make it through this keeps getting smaller.
I have lost hope.
But at the same time, I have found this place where I can exist uncensored. Here I can list my losses out so frankly and know that someone out there will be reading, listening. And I can say truthfully how writing this post has left me feeling. Lost. Bleak. Empty.
Anyway, I hope that Christmas feels better for you than it does for me right now.