Fixing Broken

Is it possible to fix what’s broken?

Such are thoughts that go through my head when I walk.Along the river.

People consider the question, shrug, and say, “Sure.” For one, there’s always glue. When I was little that meant milky Elmer’s Glue. Now I use contact cement. Great stuff.

Too, there’s always duct tape. I especially like that it comes in colors these days, unlike when I was a kid.

Sometimes the hardware comes out. Nails. Screws. Nuts. Bolts. All that kind of stuff.

But what if we were talking about people?

How I’d have answered for most of my life compared to how I’d answer now is its own answer to the question.

For most of my life I was broken, someone huddled against a nuclear winter that included abuse, nonexistent self-esteem, unrelenting inner demons, and it all wrapped in depressive duct tape and a mocking ribbon.

I’ve talked about that struggle before, but the little known fact is that my pre-school self tended towards happy, or so I’m told. Despite nearly dying at birth and having life come apart before I was three, I clung to my smile.

Even so, by the time I was eight years-old I was breaking. At fifteen I broke. Though my heart had, unbeknownst to me, hidden away a last reserve of hope, I was convinced for the following 30 years that I couldn’t be fixed.

These days I take to the walking path for daily maintenance.On the path.

My young self embraced negativity.

If you do this, beware, for I trapped myself there. Consider whether you see yourself in the place I so long dwelt:

  • I spent as much time alone as possible in increasingly confining places. At first it wasn’t my choice, but eventually I sought it.
  • I embraced the darkness, literally and figuratively. Depressing stories and dim lights dominated my life. These days, when I venture to that place for my novel I revisit a world I knew all too well. It’s difficult to do.
  • My self-talk began as poor and then deteriorated. Frustration became chiding became disdain became self-hatred. Such unrelenting abuse is a daily torture that wears you down.

Don’t go there. Don’t.

And if you already have? Is it possible to fix what’s broken?

My answer now is unequivocally, “Yes!”

For my child self who lived long before computers and internet there were few paths leading to help. These days, though it takes effort, there are multiple paths to the sunlight. A partial list includes:

  • Online groups.
  • Medical professionals.
  • Counselors.
  • Public and private organizations.
  • Phone hotlines.
  • Exercise.
  • Support groups.
  • Mindfulness.

Please keep in mind that I’m not a medical professional, nor an expert on this topic. What I possess is firsthand experience and the desire that others not suffer.

The appropriate path depends on the person, circumstances, and severity. There’s no right or wrong and a combination is likely required. Some worked for me and some didn’t.On the path again. As a severe case, my transition took many years, and I must remain forever alert, but fortunately I was also taught to perform maintenance.

And so I practice mindfulness, meditation, and often head out the door for walks that inject happiness into my soul.

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About Ontyre Passages

Alive and well in the Rocky Mountains. I'm a fantasy writer who also dabbles in poetry, short stories, and map making. My Ontyre tales are an alternative fantasy experience, the stories rich in mystery, adventure, and romance. Alternative fantasy? Not quite steampunk. Not quite gothic. In truth, the real magic is in those who discover what's within.
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4 Responses to Fixing Broken

  1. Jess Witkins says:

    Hi Christine! I love your photos and your talking about mindfulness. I can’t wait till it warms up just a bit more because nature is a solace for me. I know seeing green again and going for walks would help bring me some more peace. I’m glad it’s helping you. So sorry that you had to overcome so many obstacles in your younger life. It doesn’t make it ok or better, but perhaps sharing your story will help others overcome dark times too. So thanks for your bravery. That should always be acknowledged.

    • Thank you, Jess. There’s nothing like nature for seeking peace and I’m lucky right now, for the weather is borderline. Just a little colder and I have to limit my time outside because of my lungs. Still, as you say, we’re heading for spring and beautiful days. I dearly hope that you’re soon able to venture forth in your frosty state and enjoy the green. 🙂

  2. Christina you are so right it is different for everybody but the one thing they all have in common is that feeling of being the only one who is feeling this way, even when they know others do too. Its just a feeling of sheer detachment or that is what my brother use to try and describe. You should be so proud of who you are and I celebrate your wellness my friend and wish others find their path and begin the healing like you.

    • Thanks, Kath. Your brother was right. So often people say, “Well, if they were feeling down why didn’t they just go to the doctor and get a pill or something.” It doesn’t work like that. Depression is different from having a blue day. Depression is a disease that holds your hand while it sticks a knife in your back. It’s the comforting smile that leads you to the cliff’s edge, and there’s no seeking help because Depression acts as a friend even while you feel terrible and it closes you off from others. That’s why, rather then preach to people, I share lengthy examples from my own life. People need to read that and say, “Hey, I see myself there and that’s what’s happening to me.”

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