Escaping Numbness
 My life has been in chaos. Sometimes I wonder if and how I can juggle everything at once, but then I think back. I think of how I’ve survived worse. I think about how I’d find myself staring into a mirror with music pounding loudly on the other side of the door, people laughing, and looking into my dilated pupils. Doing anything to numb myself, or escape, I’m not really sure there’s a difference. I think back, way back, to the traumas that I suffered. No matter how hard I work on myself and how much I process, they will always have an affect on me, I know that now. 

But I look into my young sons face and feel the warmth from my partners hand and I know that I would not have changed a thing. I wouldn’t have said that when I was in the depths of it; when I felt like I was at the bottom of a hole and my hands were bleeding as I fought tooth and nail to find my way back. But I say it now, because if there is the slightest chance that changing any part of my past would change where I am today and who I am with, I wouldn’t change a thing. I would go through it all again. 

I have learned that gratitude is the key to survival for me. I have learned that when there’s nothing else I can do, I think of a sentence that begins with “at least”, as many times as I can. 

“At least my apple is cold how I like it”

“At least there’s no holes in my shoes”

“At least I got my favourite seat on the bus”

“At least my back isn’t bothering me today”

“At least I saw a pretty butterfly on my walk”

As many things as you can, no matter how small. If you do this all the time, the world starts to look different. I didn’t have to change my setting, I had to change my mentality, in order to survive. It was my only choice. Whenever I struggle now or have a hard day, I fall back on 

“At least”

-J. Harland