I am an adult child of an alcoholic, I am a psychiatric survivor, I am in recovery fro mental health challenges, and substance use challenges, I am a suicide attempt survivor, a suicide loss survivor, I am currently surviving a chronic illness, I have survived the loss of my father, my best friend, jobs, homes, etc. All things that I was not sure if I would survive or how I would survive.
It was not a pretty clean and organized survivorship. Lets face it, sometimes we do not face up to these big things in our lives with a lot of grace. Shit happens. But I became resourceful, I became self aware, I learned to identify my needs and articulate them to others, I learned how to stand up for myself and advocate. I learned to listen to my own heart and mind.
So I learned a lot from each experience. Im not going to tell you it was easy. It was not. I am not here to write platitudes to the tragedies and trauma I have experienced in my life. But I am here to tell you that these experiences helped me to become stronger.
And it made me realize how we are all surviving in big ways, in small ways, in any way that we can.
It helped me so much to celebrate my own survival, and to remind myself that no matter what I may face, I absolutely can get through it. It will probably be messy and ugly in parts, but transformation and rebirth are messy.
Part of what I see and understand to be my work in the world is to hold space for others who want to celebrate their own suvivorship, who want to stand in their power, to decide to radically love themselves.
This project is an extension of that work for me.