I was born in a city of fire and rebirth.

It seems fitting to me, now, although I’ll tell anyone who will listen that I hate the heat. I know in theory we’re all walking contradictions, collections of pieces and parts that don’t seem to make sense but still come together somehow to make us people. I still feel like more of a contradiction than others: a girl born in fire, named after a river, living in a desert and longing for a forest home I had never seen.

The greatest contradiction is a kind of civil war, the conflict between life and death. The irrevocable upheaval of trauma battles the greatest human instinct: the will to live. An unstoppable force. An immovable object.

(It helps, I think, to imagine recovery as an epic battle of good versus evil. Brushing your teeth and feeding your cat is a lot easier when you’re battling a metaphorical dragon instead of living with depression. Or anxiety. Or addiction. Or PTSD. Or eating disorders. Or… etc.)

I’ve been in recovery for six and a half years from a cornucopia of crazy. It’s a process. Some days I wish it was over and done with, push a button and I never wake up in the middle of the night in terror ever again. It doesn’t work like that in real life, so most of the time I tell myself this is worth it and I’m doing the best I can and I deserve to live my best life. Some days it works.

And other days I just shout into the void, and I hope I hear someone echo back.