Every Step Counts

BY BRANDON MINIA

The journey to recovery after a long battle doesn’t always have to be epic or ceremonious. It doesn’t have to be pretty.

Sometimes it just involves sitting in your room, wondering how things went wrong, and walls.pngbeing absolutely afraid to step outside your door. And maybe those quiet moments when you spend time away from the rest of the world are important.

It’s in these moments of solitude that you learn the ugly truths of life. Perhaps you finally learn that it isn’t always possible to find the good in everyone. Maybe you learn that some people, at their very core, are rotten and despicable.

And when these realizations finally start to sink in, your walls come back up, and you try your best to prevent anything bad from happening to you again. You feel betrayed, embarrassed, disgusted, and humiliated. Maybe you just can’t bring yourself to believe that you’ll ever love or trust another person the same way again.

And so you spiral out of control by yourself, with your thoughts only, crying your eyes out and wishing the universe would just let you vanish.

There’s nothing glamorous about any of this, and that’s okay. As I said before, it doesn’t have to be pretty.

It may seem that the journey to recovery is a long walk, but it’s much more complicated than that. You’ll go forward a few steps one day, and for the next two weeks you’ll find yourself retreating. You’ll climb a hill, but stumble, and fall down violently into a valley. Monsters and scoundrels will try to hurt you as you keep trekking.

But then again, no one remembers adventure stories where the protagonist is just walking.

We all have our journeys that stem from crisis. Maybe we’re trying to escape from an abusive relationship. Maybe we’ve got massive debt. Maybe we’re coping with the loss of a loved one.

And sometimes it feels inescapable. Sometimes it feels like no matter what, you’ll always be stuck with the pain. And even if you’ve somehow escaped, the thoughts that come haunting you every single night refuse to leave.

Stories don’t end just because the antagonist disappears. Sometimes, defeating the enemy is just the first half. The second half is the rebuild. Maybe the rebuild will be even more difficult than the actual fight.

I can tell you that there will be nights of frustration when you can’t forget why the pain is still there. You wonder why the ones who hurt you are seemingly unscathed from what they did to you while you’re left to deal with the aftermath.

hqdefaultAnd you’re going to hate yourself. You’re going to feel absolutely disgusted that you can’t get out of it, that it’s somehow your fault for the pain that you feel. It’s unfair. It feels like evil has gotten away with it and you’re left to pick up the pieces.

But the journey doesn’t have to consist of only pain. Maybe you’ll meet a few companions along the way – some good souls who will share some happy memories with you, and maybe a few will join you on your journey. And maybe you’ll learn that you’re not alone.

I can promise you that if you keep on pushing, one day at a time, there will be a handful of memories that you can always cling onto, even when times get bad.

And if you find yourself missing how safe and secure things were before you were forced to go on your journey, that’s okay. If you feel yourself wanting to go back to the moments before you were hurt, it’s very much valid and okay for you to do so.

Sentiment is not something we can always control. But we can fight it. No matter how sentimental someone makes you feel, if they hurt you deeply, they are toxic for your health no matter what.

But I can’t force you to let go. The power to do so is in your hands only.

The journey to recovery towards a better future is a long epic that you’re the author of. You have the power to keep moving forward, even if the forces holding you back seem to make things impossible. But even when the journey to recovery gets painful, never lose sight of your end goal. Don’t stop walking, and don’t give up. Even if you spend a day taking a rest because you’re too exhausted to keep going, you are not failing. Just because you’re not going anywhere, doesn’t mean that all hopes are dashed. All protagonists have their setbacks. Sometimes you’ll have to retreat to lying back and looking at the stars.

And for the moments when you get anxious about your journey to recovery, never forget that every day forward is a step further away from the moment you thought your world was crumbling. You’ve overcome that and you’ve proved to yourself that there is a life even after everything falls apart.

You’ve survived, and you’re still surviving. That is always a victory in itself.

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Brandon Minia

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24OurMusic – http://www.24ourmusic.net/author/brandon/

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