I have what you call an self destructive personality. I’m also a risk taker, which coupled with having an addictive personality doesn’t always end up being the best thing.
Over the course of my 25 years, I have dabbled in a lot of stuff. Things that when I do tell, people are often shocked because, “I don’t look like that type of girl”.
Well, guess what? I am that girl and yes, we don’t all look like rebels from the dark side, we come in all shades and colors.
I remember in high school wearing that badge proudly the “Oh, I did this last night or, I don’t remember what I did but it was good and of course, the where am I?” I’ve said those lines one too many times and it's quite sad now that look back on it.
If it wasn’t stealing money from my mother’s money drawer to buy diet pills when I was 9, it was dealing with bulimia during high school or starting to smoke when I was in the 7th grade on the first day I played hooky. Yes, I remember all these things and the list still goes on.
The list I felt for sometime far outshined the good I used to do in my day to day life and in order to cope, the “bad things” that I used to do became my crutch. It was what I ran to when I was in conflict or crisis because I knew the outcome and I was controlling it.
I have lived my life like this for years. As soon as something was going great, I would “freak out” and rush back to something destructive or familiar because even if it caused me severe pain, at least I knew what the end result would be. There would be no hope, no longing just destructive pain.
No person could cause me the amount of damage that I have given myself, so why should I fear anything?
Truth be known, I was afraid of everything. I was scared of being the failure, the black daughter in a line of strong (sometimes, too strong); resilient women and I would never measure up. Or that I wouldn’t be as smart as my mother or as funny as my brother or, skinny or, or, or…
The thoughts ate out my insides day in and day out and the only thing would quiet them would be my vice for that time period. Whether it was abusing my body, being abused by someone, endangering my health by smoking, drugs or anything I could get my hands on. I was afraid to feel and I was afraid to think for myself and I wasted precious time that I will never get back doing it.
Some might find it strange and I am not trying to sound repetitive but part of me died when my mother passed away. The part that held onto a huge chunk of my self destructive ways, somehow it stopped wanting to tick, maybe because it was only then that I realized how life can quickly be so taken away. How precious life really is, how powerless we truly are in some aspects and how much MORE it harms us by not confronting the issue that is holding us back.
Losing my mother was painful but I’m thankful I didn’t fall so hard into my old ways. Sure, I stumbled but I remembered how proud my mother was of me and how she smiled down at me from her hospital bed and it felt like a part of me healed or at least, it didn't hurt nowhere near as bad as before.
So I did the unthinkable, I stopped letting self destruction rule my life. I began making conscious choices, and I owned them all, completely. Both the good and the bad, I was taking action with no type of vice and I was opening myself to all that entailed.
Whatever that was or whatever that may be. I'm living, breathing proof that it can be both scary and hard but worth it in the long run. That it won't happen overnight and you will stumble but you will be quick to brush yourself off and move on. It can and will be done, you just have to want to stop it. You just have to love your life more than your vice!
Lesson: Things may be hard and difficult and some days it’s quicker to hide from it all but if you can advance forward, even if it’s just a smidge. You would have done a heck of a lot more than that cigarette would do for you, or that feeling of binging or those new shoes. They may cure all momentarily but making conscious, proactive decisions not only protect your present but secure your future as well in this life!