I remember it like it was yesterday. It wasn’t a special occasion to warrant a gift, yet my mother quietly came to my door and handed me a small token. A silent plea, perhaps.
Never, never, never give up,
the small, decorative plaque read.
Though I felt I had already given up entirely, I hung it on my wall. Right next to the closet I had been secretly defacing. Carving out my suicidal thoughts with razors deep into the walls.
I thought for sure I was going to die and that everything would disappear the moment I did. I figured if the eating disorder didn’t take my life, I would do it myself.
I felt I had given up.
I felt all hope was lost.
It’s been seven years since the last time I pressed a blade into my skin,
yet rarely do I ever go a day without thinking about the scars that remain.
I used to get discouraged because I’d often have the same old thoughts try to return and haunt me. Telling me I hadn’t actually changed and that my testimony wasn’t real. Telling me I was worthless because of the damage I had done to my body.
It took years for me to get rid of the shame attached to the constant reminder of my past, and today I realized I no longer see it the same way.
Instead of shame, I choose to see hope.
In this moment, as I write out this simple post, I can’t shake the feeling that there is someone else (more than one) who needs to have these words handed to them, as my mom did that day. I know I cannot convince you of anything, but I do have a small gift of hope to offer.
Hope that there is always a way through whatever darkness you are facing.
Hope that freedom is real and available to you.
Hope that your past, and even your present, doesn’t have to define your future.
Hope that you don’t have to give up.
Dear one . . .