I love stories. A big part of what I do in my work as a Recovery Support Specialist and a big part of what I do here on the Dark Tales Projects is tell stories about dancing with the demons in my head and the darkness that is sometimes left in the wake of those demons. Yet stories are complex. I love re-examining stories from different angles, especially my own stories, because I find that the story is always a little different. And there are chances to learn so much from those differences.
The stories of my darkest moments, for example, are stories that at first glance are me numbing myself with alcohol while barely having the energy to get out of bed. Not pretty. Yet the story wasn’t over. Looking back on the story in the context of the healing that was meant to happen teaches me about my triggers, my recovery, what works, and what doesn’t. Looking back at the story from the supporting characters in my life, I learn that I was never as alone in that darkness as I thought I was. And that is a much more uplifting story.
Yet the most important lesson I’ve learned from re-examining stories, is that our stories aren’t over. If you are reading this, that means you have survived 100 percent of the bad days that you’ve had. Or that you’re a ghost. But more likely it is the survival thing. And you know what? I have survived my dark days too. And that is just as important for me to recognize.
Our stories aren’t over. Nor are we alone in our stories, even if it feels that way. These sentiments aren’t merely cliches. That aren’t throwaway lines from after school specials, they are real, and internalizing them can light our darkest moments, ensuring that our story continues to go on.
So next time you are struggling with your story, re-examine it from a different angle. And if nothing else, recognize that it isn’t over yet. Because that is always a positive note to end on.