On Monday evening, my mom, two of my sisters, and myself went out to dinner at an Outback near my home to celebrate my two years clean of self harm. When my mom and I were waiting for my sisters to arrive, I decided to order a pop (I recently gave it up) because I was celebrating. When the waitress asked what I’m celebrating, I paused for half a second before saying, “I’m celebrating my two years being free from self harm.”
As soon as the words were out of my mouth I felt heat flood my face for just a few seconds. I don’t know exactly what I was feeling. I’m usually very open about my self harm past with family and friends, but I had never really just told a stranger. I guess that fear of stigma was with me.
My server was so sweet. Her name is Emiley and she got emotional and was really supportive and said that that kind of thing is the best to celebrate. She even said she could probably get me a free dessert or something. She supported my celebration whole-heartedly.
The best part: When she brought our receipt back after we had paid she left a note in with it. It said:
You are a work of art. Not everyone understands you, but the ones who do will never forget you. ❤ Happy 2 years self-harm free!!
The note nearly brought tears from my eyes and it did bring tears to my sisters’ eyes.
We complimented the waitress to the manager a lot. I can’t say how much it meant, with how much stigma people with mental illness expect and experience, that our waitress went so above and beyond and validated my celebration.