It starts with a habit. At first, it just seems like life is getting in the way, that you're too busy to do the little things. The dishes pile up, your clothes are spread across the floor and you're not sure what's clean and what's not. You haven't made your bed in weeks. You eventually stop doing everything that you once found joy in. They say that after twenty-one days, these habits can become a part of you. That's what makes it so hard to get out.
Some days are good, some are even great. But at the end of the day, I always fall back to my safe place of self-hatred. In this place, I convince myself that nobody wants me around. They make time for me or say nice things to me because I'm there. I find myself seeking assurance that I'm not only the person that people say hello to in passing. Even when I am with people that tell me that they love me, I feel like the black sheep who is trying to fit into an image that I will never be. But if we're being truthful, there is nothing safe about this place. The walls that make up this safe space become a bit snugger every time I make a sudden movement, every time I try to leave. It all starts with a habit.
At the time when things seem to be going in a positive direction, I can't even remember what it is like to feel so hopeless. I can't think of a time when I would sit outside, drowning myself with sad songs that give the impression that they were written for me. I can smile without feeling it's a facade. I can make plans and show up to them rather than canceling last minute. I break out of my shell, even for just that moment, and can smell the roses that everyone keeps preaching about. Finally, after so long, it doesn't seem like I'm just tolerated. But eventually, it all comes running back. So I apologize for the times that I distance myself and make excuses. I apologize for wanting to retreat to my safe space and drown myself with poisons to make the safe space appear to open. I apologize for thinking anyone would notice. It all begins with a habit.
Everything that starts must end. The cycle of self-abuse and doubt can't last forever. But I realize now that I can't just close this chapter of my life. I would not appreciate the joy, enthusiasm, and radiance if I didn't let the sorrow play its course. To gain control, you need to give it up first. They say that it takes twenty-one days to develop a habit. I'm just waiting for day one.