Monday, February 17, 2014

Journal Prompt: Crossroads

In an effort to get my brain moving, I'll likely be participating in Sometimes Sweet's weekly journal prompts.

This week's prompt:

Everyone has a time in their life they view as a crossroad. Sometimes you can see it as it's happening, and you're able to choose one way or another. Other times you may not realize you're there until you look back, and see what a turning point it really was. This week, write about a time you view as a marker in your life; a distinct place where things changed, for better or worse. 

  • The obvious response is my suicide attempt. At that time, I was determined to turn my life around. I thought I would never self-harm again. I still struggled with self-harm, depression, and anxiety after that event, but it definitely marks a turning point in how I understood my problems. Had I not had the attempt, I don't think I would have gotten the opportunity to reassess my life and my friendships for a long time. I don't think I would have started getting the help I needed, even though it was still many years until I really felt like I was "getting better". It was a start.
  • Meeting Hulky again is probably the biggest crossroads in my life so far. How often do you run into people who get a chance to meet again? We knew each other in high school, but not well. We were just friends of a mutual friend, who sometimes hung out in the vicinity of each other, but barely spoke. I know he made an impact on me, seeing as I had him at my 18th birthday party and went out for IHOP with him and others before he left for Basic. Our paths crossed at an odd time, with both of us in odd places with other relationships in our lives. We were both scared of the risk of rebound. It's been over four years so I'm pretty sure we don't have to be afraid of that anymore. Being with Hulky has enabled me to really fight for myself, both in a social and physical sense. I am fighting hard to understand my health problems, to manage my depression and anxiety, and to stand up for myself in ways that I have never felt anyone else would bother. Without him, I do not think I would be as strong as I am today, though I have a long ways to go still.
  • Getting married is another part of my journey and definitely a crossroads. Marriage is not for everyone, but that doesn't mean they people in relationships don't commit to each other even if they don't go through with the ceremonial/legal parts. For us, marriage was what we wanted to cement our commitment to the future. Taking a literal plunge (into a pool) at the end of our wedding ceremony was a fun symbolic way for me to cross over into a new life with my new family. I didn't think I'd feel that different after the wedding and in many ways I don't. When co-workers ask me "how's married life", I tend to say it's good, it's fine, it's not really any different, but it is. There is a deeper sense of security, knowing that my partner has committed himself to our relationship in front of friends and loved ones. We wear rings to carry a visual reminder of that every day. Had we not gotten married last year... I don't know. Maybe our relationship would still be fine. We'd be planning a wedding and stressing out about it, realizing around now that we would not be able to afford all that we wanted, even if we waited another year. I'm glad we made the decision to go with the surprise wedding.

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