Mental Health

By: Jemicah Marasigan

Lately I’ve been reminded of the Japanese art of Kintsugi: putting broken pieces back together with gold. It’s a metaphor that reminds us to embrace the flaws and imperfections – that in those cracks you can find something new.

But lately, as I think about it, it’s reassuring to think our hearts can do that, too.

It’s only a few months into the new year, and I’ve already had to implement so many resolutions and face so many uncomfortable truths about myself, my traumas I’ve never dealt with, and healing the scars I’ve never let fade.

But it’s reassuring to know that despite all the jagged edges and broken pieces, just like Kintsugi, I’m not worthless or damaged. I just need to take the cracks and emptiness and fill it with gold.

They say healing is a journey. They never said it’d be an easy one.

Healing is crying and screaming and self-deprecating moments of defeat. It’s waking up one day feeling great and then maybe not so great the next. It’s accepting that sometimes life sucks… but also that it won’t always. Some weeks it’s feeling off and not yourself and internally yelling because “Why can’t I do this?”

But I also think a huge part of healing isn’t just about facing or dealing with the bad, but in filling your life with the good (even in small doses and even when you don’t feel like doing that at all.) For me, healing has taken the form of drawing on Procreate, of trying to feel healthy and strong and safe in my body and my own skin, of talking it out (sometimes yelling it out), of setting up that therapy session I’ve been avoiding, and mostly, as always, just writing what I feel.

Lately, healing has slowly taken the form of finding the little gems and holding onto them, especially the ones within myself.

Because what I’ve learned about healing, above all else, is that the biggest part of it is choosing to lead with love, even when it hurts, even when it’s hard, and even if you can’t love yourself.

You see, if you can’t start with self-love at least start with self-like.

Start with one positive thought a day you repeat over and over. Start with being grateful for what you have. Start with believing in that little light in yourself, even when it feels so dim.

And most importantly, start to believe you’re not alone.

Full disclaimer: I am not perfect. And I will never again strive for “perfection.” It doesn’t exist.

But what I can strive for is to constantly choose myself and find myself. What I can do is put the pieces back together and admit that I haven’t been okay for a long time.

And don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t some overnight epiphany. This was constant late nights and 3 am pillow talks and fights that made me finally realize while I was terrified of hurting others, I was always only ever really hurting myself.

The last few weeks have been a serious wake-up call.

You ever think about how winter just buries things with the snow, leaving them to thaw when spring finally comes?

That has been me, burying things so deep, covering them up with bandages and distractions. But the thing with winter is spring always comes, these things resurface, and then I’m left to face the fact what I want isn’t exactly what I might need.

I have only just started this process of finding myself and putting pieces back together.

And truthfully, I don’t really know why I’m writing this (this level of vulnerability is absolutely terrifying) and to be honest I have no idea if any of this made sense… but maybe this is all to say that once upon a time I felt truly alone, completely broken, and maybe even a touch worthless.

Maybe I’m writing this because if you were in that place or are in that place, or like me go in and out of this place, I really want you to know and wholeheartedly believe you aren’t alone.

I’m right there with you.

There is a season for everything and in time this one will go too.
Because, your traumas and scars and hurts do not mean you’re broken.

We just might need a little bit of gold.

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