I had my first adult fling (unaided by Jell-O shots) six months after the divorce, hopefully long enough so that it wasn't in angry reaction to his infidelity and my need to have my self-esteem buttressed. Because that was the default rumination long into the dark hours of night after learning about the affair.
The act of openly sharing one's recovery status with the world around them allows for some of the most extraordinary of things. When those of us in recovery talk or write about our journey through and past the difficulties associated with mental health and substance use challenges, we are then able to serve as beacons of hope and visible guideposts for others who seek to do the same.
My secret made me sick. All that anger, guilt and confusion. I felt it in my stomach. And two weeks after I turned 18 years old, my stomach exploded due to a blood clot, which later was hypothesized to be caused from a stress ulcer. My molestation was a very stressful secret. Suddenly, my family could keep no secrets.
At the age of 19 I was busy developing my own personality: likes, dislikes and strengths. But then, a car accident and month-long coma seemed to obliterate everything I had been. Beyond the obvious -- needing to learn how to walk again, talk, tie my shoes and cut my food, etc., -- I lost the things I identified myself by.