2 years ago today, I was released from New Ulm Medical Center. A week after nearly killing myself, I was let out of the most depressing hospital in the world. That title is dubbed by my family and I. Imagine the stereotypical abandoned psych ward. They let me out and I was wearing rust colored scrubs, and weird hospital “shoes”. I hadn’t been outside since they took me out of the ambulance a week earlier. I remember everything very vividly about that place. From waking up in the middle of the night to my neighbor, Joe, screaming, being restrained by nurses yelling “Joe calm down, your dad isn’t here, he can’t hurt you anymore”, to the 750 piece puzzle of a mountain I did.
I thought I would’ve come further then I have these last two years. I got out of the hospital still very depressed, but hopeful. Hopeful that I could get better, be fixed… That I would never harm myself, starve myself, or think about killing myself again. I was wrong. But, I’ve also made a lot of progress. My most recent (and absolutely last) self harm scars are finally as healed as they will ever be. I haven’t thought about killing myself lately, and I have a very healthy relationship with food.
Unfortunately, I don’t think I can say I actually really started getting better until about two months ago. But in those two months, such great strides have been taken. There’s one thing in particular that I’ve realized has been the most important thing to me in this long journey of recovery. This past week I was in Madison with my friends. We were in the bar on St. Patrick’s day, eating $1 corndogs. A new friend, Izzy, and I were talking about love. I asked Izzy, how do you remain so positive, how do you radiate positivity so much? Has it always been this easy for you? She said “Absolutely not… But I always try to think, life is so twisted, and insane, and depressing, and messed up… Why wouldn’t I put as much love into life as I can?” That resonated with me so deeply. Izzy is right. Life is going to fuck you up, no doubt. You are going to go through terrible things. But that by no means stops you from putting love into the world. That cannot take away from the love you show yourself and others. You can’t hold yourself back from loving because you’ve gone through shit.
So, two years later, a whole lot has changed, but I think I just learned the most important thing yet two days ago. I need to give as much love to this world as I can. To the people who surround me, to the people who have hurt me, to my God, to the animals, to plants, to our Earth, to my peers, to the things I have yet to encounter. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it. Izzy made me realize what I’ve been missing for much longer than two years.
If we all made a conscious decision to radiate love, through whatever we are going through, it all changes.