We constructed a plan and ways to navigate  this; which is SO unlike me to do. Planning means commitment; and I am so use to commitments falling through that I try not to plan. Especially, planning how recovery may be. “Let’s start by breathing,” she said.

Breathing… I don’t know why, but I don’t like it. Actually, I do know. The act of breathing is releasing. For me, breathing is symbolic. Releasing pain. Releasing hurt. Releasing brokenness. Letting go. Breathe.

Do I deserve to be set free? Am I ready to face my dark past? She asked me to breathe, “just try it.”

Fidgeting with my hands, I shook my head “no.” I began to hide behind my wall and guard myself. “Can we pray?”

We held hands. I began to ask God for guidance as I embark on this journey of recovery. I asked God for healing over my brokenness and to be able to see this through. When I finished, I started to pull away. “Just do one deep breath,” she said.

I could feel myself getting frustrated and irritated. I took one breath and quickly sat back on the couch.

In order for me to recover, I need to go back to the starting line. Back to the beginning and open up wounds; even if it hurts, even if I cry, even if I feel like giving up. So, that is were we started.

I pulled out the very first journal I wrote in. I wasn’t sure if I could read out loud, but I did. I started on the first page with the date, 12/24/06. 

As we began to wrap up, she said, “read one more.” I read through the entry. The last part hit me hard.

“I am proud of myself,” it said.

I can’t remember the last time I said that. Let alone, out loud. Who knew, 11 years later how important that journal entry would mean to me. Who knew my 10 year old self, would be teaching my 21 year old self something.

When session was over, I got up and started walking out to my car. I sat there. Just breathe. I told myself.


Because I deserve to breathe. 

So I took a deep breath.

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