Learning to manage my black and white thinking, emotional instability and fragility, and self-sabotaging behaviour, has been a long and painful journey. Self-harm, overdoses, hospital admissions were a regular occurrence. The turning point was when I began observing my mind. This was a gradual process but my increasing self-awareness was the beginning of control and freedom from suffering. Being able to recognise thoughts and painful feelings coming on gave me an opportunity to find a quiet place and make peace with myself. We are not our thoughts, we are the awareness behind them, that’s true consciousness. Although I believe that to be true and my behaviour has moved down the spectrum towards “normality”, I still have this innate sensitivity and fragility, especially when under stress or when connecting to someone intimately. My mood can go from euphoria to feeling suicidal in minutes. Dissatisfaction with what is, emptiness, and loneliness are feelings I still struggle with sometimes. However, I’m much better at controlling my reactions and not perpetuating any cycles. Staying clean and and sober for years, exercise, mindfulness, meditation, Buddhism, therapy, and writing have all changed my life. I developed an ability to pause before reacting impulsively, to recognise the ego in me and its desire to react in ways that would hurt me in the end. I finally understood the true meaning of Karma and the nature of cause and effect. I learnt to pause.