Sophie's Story

I still have very difficult moments and I have them often. But that is okay.


A message to struggling fellow warriors.


Yesterday, I wore my Butterfly Foundation necklace proudly above my regalia as I walked up on stage to receive my arts degree.


For so long, I thought this wouldn’t happen. For years, I’d see the graduation photos of my friends on Facebook and be overcome by a sinking feeling and self hatred, feeling the old, familiar hopelessness and certainty that this would never happen for me.


I’d even stumble on inspirational messages of overcoming adversity and feel even worse. I thought there would never be a hope that I would be THAT person, now writing these words.


I’m here to tell you that you CAN be that person. I know of the devil that says you’re an exception to the rule. You are not.


Dreams, hopes and ambitions are there, even if you don’t see them or feel them, even if you need help to unearth them.


Believe for a moment they are there. Believe that it is possible.


Those little sparks of hope, of future, even if they are clouded by disbelief, sadness or hopelessness- these are the little sparks to cling to.


Chasing those little sparks with pugnacious persistence, choosing to fight and pick myself up over and over and over again led to this photo being taken. Me, my Harry Potter cape, hope and gratitude.


But it didn’t start with this.


It started with deciding that I wanted to live, which I consider one of my bravest accomplishments of all.


It started with fighting for that life in the smallest of ways and that continues to this day.


I chose to get out of bed, to shower, to eat. On a good day, I managed to do all three. I chose to reach out for support. To go to uni for a tute or a lecture.


Not to think of the rest of my degree or life, but this week, this day, this lesson, this hour, this moment.


These are the tiny acts of courage in giving myself permission to realize the truth that I am more and worth more.


This is not a story of “one of those people” who somehow “make it”.


I continue to fight every day.


Recovery is not all sunshine, rainbows and magical fluffy unicorns (although it has been reported they appear at random intervals).


I still have very difficult moments and I have them often. But that is okay.


I am human and doing the best I can, accepting the moment and choosing to move forward, loving myself regardless.


That is the act of recovery for me.


You are not an exception to the possibility, challenge and even joy of this journey.


The decision to begin, however small, starts with you. Every small triumph is a triumph not to be sneezed at but deeply commended. And you are never alone.


I call on the part of you untouched by this disease. I call on the graceful fighter. I call on you to nurture the light within, to listen to the little voice willing to try for the first or zillionth time. I call on you to join me in this journey of discovering, nurturing and growing the self, no matter how certain you feel this isn’t possible.


It is still a decision I make every single day and will be making for the rest of my life.


But I wouldn’t have it any other way.