Healing feels like whatever is passing through you is taking chunks of you with it. Holes in the skin, holes in the heart, and you’re sure everyone else can see them. But they can’t and they will still ask you to go to work and do your laundry and buy groceries as if your world hasn’t split in two.
Healing feels like you’re an alien in your own skin. Everything feels wrong to you. Why did I do this? Why do people do that? What makes me like this? You become a walking, talking book of questions that explodes on everyone who gets too close. A word-vomit waterfall of Are you wondering this, too? No? Have a nice day!
Healing feels like realizing you’ll never be the same and maybe this is a good thing. This doesn’t mean it hurts any less when you pack up your bags, metaphorically and physically. It hurts to see photos of people who you loved dearly, who you grew apart from, who cared for you. It’s harder to look at people who hurt you and remember all the good. This will suck. Prepare for this. Just get a nice soft spot on your floor ready and ugly—cry it out. You’ll feel clean afterwards.
Healing feels like you’re aimless, driving at 100 miles per hour into the same wall every day. Some days you’ll be so energetic that you could do everything, absolutely everything, and the next day you’re wondering how you’ll ever feel alive again. I’m a firm believer that this is all of your emotions coming back after years of repressing them. There have been days that I feel every emotion under the sun in a ten minute span. This will scare people. Try not to do it in public, if you can. But if you do, watch who isn’t afraid of you. Love them.
Healing feels like insanity. Healing is telling loved ones your plans and being met with disbelief. They don’t understand where you came from. you were so nice, so quiet, so—depressed but that doesn’t matter—you’re now off the rocker and they don’t want to listen to you. Again—pay attention to who these people are. Create a small river between you and them. Forgive them, but stay on your side. Find people just as crazy as you. They’re looking for you, too. I promise you.
I can tell you one thing—healing feels like hell. But feeling like you’re in the middle of a hurricane is better than dragging yourself through the overcast every day for years on end. Maybe your days will look like hurricanes, then sunshine, then hurricanes, then sunshine again, but you’re feeling. You’re feeling it all—every heartbreak and mistake and regret and twist of the gut that you have drank away, eaten away, Tindered away. This is what honesty can feel like. And that’s okay.
If it helps, healing also feels like freedom. Now and then, just when you’re losing faith in the process, there is a day. A day where everything flows and your skin feels like it’s sparkling and every word is magic. Hold onto this day for dear life. Don’t let it go, don’t let your mind convince you it wasn’t real. It was so real. It’s coming for you. Every cliché about the rainbow after the storm is true but the storm can take a long time. You don’t have to wait it out, though. You can stay in the overcast forever. You can watch others run into the sunshine while you kick the dirt and complain. Or you can suck it up, feel the suck, embrace the suck, and run into the light with them. Because this is what healing feels like.