As easy as…

…falling off a bike.

Or have I got my metaphors mixed up? *grin*

I have an impressive array of bruises this week, thanks to a minor incident on Tuesday involving me, my bicycle, a laughing (but properly concerned) Lovely Boyfriend and the side of the road. Let’s just say that 3 out of the 4 above-mentioned collided somewhat!

Given that it was only my 5th ever time sitting on a bicycle, I still feel that I’m doing OK with my biking adventures. The grazed knee and multiple bruises are just a minor side-effect of getting on with life.

Of course, those of us with mental health issues have permanent bruises and scars from trying to get on in life. Some are obvious to everyone (like the scars on my arms from when I self-harmed) but others are more like bruises to the soul. They twinge every time something presses against them to remind you they’re still there.

Most of my personal mental health bruises have faded to a rather mottled yellow and green. Still there, but they hurt less as time goes by. Some of them have been present since my first years at school, when I learnt the hard way that I was different. I still can’t use the phrase “I’ve got very sharp ears” without remembering an incident from when I was 9. Children in Need day reminds me of being pushed on the school stairs, gaining a twisted ankle and badly bruised knee in addition to the bruise on my soul.

Mind you, bruises only really hurt if you bang against them. The way to stop them hurting, therefore, is to not aggravate them. If I don’t think about the painful incident that caused the bruise, it doesn’t hurt. That might sound obvious and simple, but often obvious and simple work when living with BPD or other mental health conditions.

You shouldn’t completely avoid thinking about painful things though; that just leads to further problems (or it did in my case). It’s being able to look at those past “accidents” and not let them hurt you repeatedly. If someone hurt you in the past, don’t let them keep on hurting you for the rest of your life.

And don’t they always say that the best thing to do when you fall off your bike is to get straight back on? It’s hard, nigh on impossible at times, because you hurt so much…but you only stop hurting when you can let go and move forward.

Keep pedalling guys!

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