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One Day in Rehab
Plagued by depression and suicide attempts, alone in my head and hiding from my feelings and emotions, I truly was a lost soul.
At the beginning of a 90-day program, substances flushing out of my body, surrounded by strangers who were also suffering emotional pain, I had no choice but to face my emotions head-on. I had to re-learn myself, find myself; this was a very frightening thing to do. One unique yet impactful exercise given to me was to write down all the negative things I told myself throughout the day. The list was long and what I wrote was terrible. I wrote, “Why bother?” “I hate myself,” “I hate my life,” “I am a loser,” and the list goes on. So many negative thoughts. Once I was finished I handed them to my counsellor. Over the course of about six weeks of group therapy and one-on-one council I had completely forgotten about doing this.
Then one sunny day, while resting in a hammock, another client approached me. He was using a negative tone right off the bat, saying things like “Why the fuck are you here anyway,” “You’re just a loser,” “You’re just wasting time,” and other unsavory things. After a few minutes, I began to get angry and frustrated with him. I was getting ready to pounce.
My counsellor jumped in front of me, stuck a piece of paper in my face and said, “if he can’t say these things to you, why on earth is it OK for you to say them to yourself?” I was floored. From that point forward I was cautious about how I thought and what I thought. I needed to practice some mindfulness techniques: self-awareness, self-compassion, self-love. A powerful experience; one I wish everyone could have.