The Long Journey of a Million Little Steps

I had no idea that six and a half years later I would still be trying to recover from a car wreck. That after half of that time in therapy and a lot of books and resources and yoga and trying and failing and trying again and making progress, I would still find myself in a place that still feels like not the life I wanted to have.

I am really grateful. I work full time, I have help from my family, I have a slowly improving (somewhat) romantic relationship with someone who is also working through the healing process and who is becoming more supportive as he heals, I’m learning to set boundaries and walk away from toxic situations and keep my calm and be accepting. I’m slowly paying down the debt and addressing the delayed personal maintenance that I accumulated while I was trying to get back on my feet (the veneers on my front teeth need to be redone and I am about two months away from being able to do that).

My home is still not the sanctuary I want, but it meets my needs sufficiently. My debt is a bit challenging, but I am making great progress on it. I am still carrying the trauma weight, but I am learning why and how to change that. I cannot get excited about travel or trips that could be fun and exciting, but are not. I’m not as organized as I want to be. I spend a lot of time recovering from my job and my day. I’m not as active as I want to be. I’m not creating like I want to be. I’m not eating like I want to be. I’m fighting a caffeine addiction from just one day of coffee last week (I normally steer clear of caffeine due to anxiety but it sounded good at the time, and now I need another fix!).

It’s all going to take a million tiny little steps. Little decisions. Small yes, small no, small I can today, small I can’t today. So many small, mindful, pause to check in with how I feel first decisions that help set the path.

It has been really hard to come to terms with knowing that there is no end state, that my achievements will come as a series of accomplishments that will need to be followed by more, and more, and more. I so desperately want to get to a point that uncertainty is gone, that I finally hit my target and can rest knowing that I am done. But that day will not come, rather the days will ebb and flow with progress and recovery, achievement and failure, and, I hope, a growing acceptance that this is the process, and that what I am learning and practicing is creating a person I can be deeply satisfied with and proud of.

For the first time in maybe my life time, I’m able to accept that I am achieving success at work, and can accept the recognition for it. I’ve worked hard for it, and I took a huge risk in adjusting my career path so that I could have more stability and a chance to start repairing the damage of the last 4 or so years. I’ve celebrated big career and personal accomplishments with my boyfriend, intentionally. I can’t remember the last time I purposely treated myself for achieving something, or at least did so without a lot of guilt over spending money (and not a lot of money!).

Play is still out of my reach, I don’t play. Ever. I’m not surprised, but it’s become a sad reality, and one I want to change.

I didn’t begin the journey of a million little steps today, I began it a long time ago, but pausing to recognize the journey and what is required to take those steps in the direction I want to go…taking a day to rest sufficiently so that I have mental clarity on this and other things…refusing to put pressure on myself to perform and rather giving myself permission to think and take the time that’s needed, however long that is, is important today. Continuing to learn so that I know how is important. Combating scarcity is critical.

photo of person walking on deserted island
Photo by Tom Swinnen on

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