“I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. and only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really was” – Sade Andria Zabala
The thing I like most about reading philosophical quotes is that you can take it and relate it to your own experiences. One of the most important, and beneficial, things I had done for myself during my recovery was reading quotes from my role models about the struggles they had been facing (or had faced) and how they still managed to come around the other side. For me in particular, Demi Lovato was going through her recovery from mental illness (amongst other things as well), and the one quote that had stuck with through my entire journey was, and still is, “Recovery is something that you have to work on every single day and it’s something that it doesn’t get a day off.” I 100% agree with this quote. I am slowly approaching my 2 year recovery birthday/anniversary, but it wouldnt be possible if I hadn’t worked on myself this entire time.
There are moments that happen that make you realise just who you truly are. Whether it’s an argument with a friend or finally practicing hands-on in the field of your choice of career. For me, my moment was when I had saved someone’s life. Now, I’m not going to get into specifics of the event, but rather the aftermath of it all.
I had felt pretty well every emotion you could think of; confused, sad, upset, angry, frustarted, vulnerable, weak, and numb. After realising that this feeling was something I needed to talk to someone about, I had called one of my very good friends and I then called and made an appointment to debrief with a counsellor.
I remember sitting and discussing the event with counsellor, and as I was talking, I had noticed myself saying “Why did this have to happen to me?” “Why was I the one that I had help this person?” And my counsellor looked at me and said “Why do you think it was you?” After much thought and consideration, this was my answer: because almost two years ago, I was in the exact same position the person I was helping was in. I had experienced many of the different emotions they were, and I understood what it was like to be in a place that dark. Now, after I had told my counsellor this, she had agreed. She then replied with “next time you wonder why was it me, ask yourself why not me?”
To this day, I think to myself, almost two years ago I was in the same position, now, I’m able to help people who are in similar situations to me. Not only am I mentally strong, but I’ve also learnt alot about who I am. It seems crazy to think that two years ago I was in such a dark place where I wasn’t confident in my own skin and I was so vulnerable. Today, I know exactly who I am, what I want, and I’m stronger (physically and mentally) than ever before. There were times where I wouldn’t show my arms or I would cover up more and never wear dresses because I never liked my arms and thought my legs were big. Now, I love dressing up – but I do it in a way that shows off my body and my curves (which, yes, I love. COS I’VE GOT THAT BASS).
I’ve been challenging myself to try new things to come out of my comfort zone a bit more. It’s fun way to experiment and explore new things – who knows, maybe you’ll even love it like I’ve found my new found love of cooking and yoga. I’ve found this is a good way to figure out more about yourself.
Alex Newton is a nursing student and mental health advocate. She grew up in a small town and plans on moving to London, England one day and open up her own health practice. She has a cat named Maya who she adopted whilst going through some difficulties. She’s a daughter, sister, and warrior who enjoys a nice cuppa tea.