It took time, and patience from people who care, for me to FINALLY hear what they were saying to me.
So I’m sitting here in this vast, open lobby that reeks of hospital disinfectant and gift shop trinkets, and I think to myself — I’ve never felt more empty and lifeless than I do at this very moment.
Now before you go off thinking, “Wow. She’s dramatic and negative,” don’t leave just yet. Hear me out, I promise it gets good. Keep reading.
It takes a lot for someone to fall this far down — a lot of experiences, plenty of heartache, and too many people who leave. And the further down the hole you go, the more difficult it is to see the light that will bring you back. I know… I know it’s tiring to constantly get thrown all these things in your life like someone dumping trash in a garbage bin. I know that right about now it all seems so unfair, and downright degrading to have to be like this. And suffice it to say, I kind of want to give up. But I can’t. Because underneath all the layers of pain, I believe there is a light worth finding.
When I first started to experience feeling depressed, I was eleven years old. Of course, I had no idea what I was feeling at the time. All I knew is, I was really sad. As I continued to grow, I saw more things, heard more things, felt more things, experienced more things and it all built up. One day, I decided I’d had enough. Let’s just say, I tried and failed. I was in eighth grade. As life went on, it wouldn’t be the first time.
And so the story goes. Fast forward to 2017. Eleven years and many trips to hell later, here I am still. And I can’t ever help but wonder why. How after all my efforts to not be here so easily failed. As I sit here watching all these people walk by me, I think about what their lives could be like. How much better they have it or how much worse they have it. And I think about MY life.
Then I think to myself, “Everyone here has a story.” How crazy is it to think that billions of people are fighting battles in their heads? Deep down, I knew this truth already — that I wasn’t alone in how I was feeling. Everyone has things they’re going through. Everyone has days where they’re just completely, utterly, totally exhausted by the world. And as awful as that is, isn’t it weirdly comforting, too?
Alright, I know what you’re thinking. This isn’t the first time I’ve come to some sort of hopeful realization. But this time around, it feels different. It feels right. These things didn’t come to me on my own. It took time and patience from people who care to make me realize this. Maybe now was just the right time for me to finally listen. So keep reading.
We’re all going through things. Yes, some more than others. We’re all struggling. We’re all trying to keep our heads up and make sense of the world around us. We’re all running from the demons in our head, facing them, pushing against them, wrestling with them, breaking and healing and slowly finding our way.
And in these last couple of months, despite the way I may perceive myself to others, this is what I’ve come to acknowledge:
My problems may be big, some may be small, they may lie somewhere in-between, they may be long-lasting or fleeing, they may wreck my world or act as a minor speed bump in my path.
But my struggle is valid. My exhaustion is warranted. My cries are heard.
I want to completely, honestly, and wholeheartedly acknowledge the fact that it’s okay to show people I’m hurting, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to withdraw and take time for myself, and it’s okay to put on a face for the world and take off that mask when I’m alone. Now, I'm not saying that I 'm going to suppress all my feelings and ignore them and act like they're not there. That's not healthy either. But instead, I'm going to accept that I am the way I am. I will still have my moments of defeat, but I can't let them affect me the way they have my entire life.
I need to acknowledge my situation and condition and realize that these things won’t ever go away. They will always come back. But I need to learn to be accepting of these things about me. As much anxiety as it gives me to try to accept all these truths, I know it’s something I need to do. And in doing this, maybe I can finally find some peace. I can finally grow.
I don’t only owe it to the people who have been there for me and care for me, but I also owe it to myself. I owe it to eleven year old me. And fifteen year old me, and seventeen year old me, and nineteen year old me and twenty-two year old me, to really dig deeper to find the tiny light that’s buried way down inside. I need to find my purpose and realize that there’s a reason why I’m still here. I lived. I survived. I may not know why, but I did.
I am made up of small victories and big defeats. As someone told me, I am treading. Life will constantly throw curveballs. Most times, if not always, we are ill-prepared to deal with them. But we, or rather I, need to learn to be okay with it. Difficult as it may be, this is the path that has been given to me. I’ve reached this point — this day and this time — bruised, cut up, and beaten. But even so, I have gotten here. Gasping for air, yes, but still breathing. And that is enough for now.
Today? Today I acknowledge feeling empty. But I’m also standing up to the feeling and really trying to mend the brokenness. Everyone has a story. And I’m still writing mine. Every day is a process, a journey, a battle. But I can do it.