Lisa Chen (text)

Raquel Ochoa (graphics)

The process of recovery—whether it be from past traumas, heartbreak, loss, mental illness, or some breakdown, is different for everyone. The commonality uniting everyone in their healing is that it is never meant to be easy, and cannot be done without time.

The journey of life is long, twisted, and complex with its ups and downs. You will have moments of pure joy. And you will have moments where it will feel as if you could not sink any lower. Some events and feelings we can never truly get over, but we can definitely overcome, and mindfully move on. It is not enough to simply suppress, pretending the feelings don’t exist and that the past didn’t happen. That is not healing.

Healing is growth, and growth is change. Change is never linear, nor is it without difficulty. Plants only flower sometimes, under certain conditions, not all. Flowers don’t bloom all year, neither should you expect yourself to. You are not alone in your journeys. Everyone has their fair share of struggles, stagnancies, and growth. You are not your failures, struggles, or setbacks. You are your victories, how you overcome your challenges, how you smile through it all, your passions, your impact on others. Obstacles are normal (don't ever beat yourself up for facing hardship) you just have to find your way around and through them.

They say time is an antidote but what you do in that time is important too. Celebrate every victory, no matter how big or small. Spend time with the people that matter, and time on the things that matter. Focus your energy on the positive, and don’t waste time on what doesn’t support you grow, or heal. Remember what is in and out of your control, some things you cannot change. Trying to do the impossible will consume only your time and energy.

The function of hope cannot be overstressed. Hope is what keeps us going on this journey of growth, recovery and healing, despite all the setbacks. Hope looks different for everyone, but its effect is the same. To lose hope is to close all windows of opportunity, to turn out all the lights, indefinitely. Hold onto it, no matter how faint it seems. There is hope for all who wish to see it. Remember to let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. Your scars may not ever fully heal, but they will fade and in time, you will learn to accept them as part of who you are as you grow and heal.

Haru Sukegawa

a thing about Lisa