Celebrating Two and a Half Years of Healing and Self-Discovery

Celebrating Two and a Half Years of Healing and Self-Discovery

Two and a half years. It dances on my lips. Like a mythic fairy tale I tell people now, to instill hope. That with sheer commitment, anything is possible.

But I can still close my eyes and go back.

To lying in a bed at a detox centre, forcing sleep with medication. Feeling like a wounded animal that needed other humans to ensure my basic needs.

To being trapped in hospital rooms, where psychiatrists peered at me and plastered labels to justify my behaviour.

To secrecy and justifications. Hiding my habit with the vigilance of a soldier.

But I was just a spoiled brat, and I wanted to avoid pain.

I knew nothing of love.

I bring this to my work every day, when I see human beings rotating through our system.

Describing their tales of sorrow and wounds.

I listen intently with love and empathy.

But I am their accountability.

I know I have changed. But I forget.

I remembered this evening walking home from work.

I dealt with a beautiful but lost man pleading for my number in the subway with humility.

I chuckle silently when my supervisor tells me in exasperation that I ask too many questions.

I listen to my family with understanding and compassion.

I appreciate the warm breeze on a sticky day.

I lavish the home I have, and appreciate the car I drive.

I used to be described as frightening, intense, and mean.

I wore those terms like a badge of honor.

Now I’m asked how I am the way I am. What did I do?

I don’t have an equation to provide as a solution.

I did rip the Band-Aids off however. I started looking into my eyes in the mirror. I spoke less, and listened more. I shared who I was. I became a vessel of this universe in many ways.

Now, anxiety still plagues me sometimes. And my mood can damper still. But I finally recognized my power as a human being. I became the source of life; the good and bad. And what a life it opened up. It is a mountain I conquered. I screamed and sobbed the whole way up.

But oh the view.

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Elsa Al-Attar

Elsa Al-Attar is passionate about advocacy and change within our society. She currently lives in Toronto, and volunteers with Eating Disorders of York Region and Moods Magazine. Elsa is a writer and photographer. She has completed a Bachelor in Psychology from Ryerson University.

2 Responses

  1. Gerda says:

    Wow, how I can relate to this, thank you for sharing <3

  2. This is so beautiful… and so real. Thank you for being here <3

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