It starts out as a small wave but before I can hold my breath, it becomes a hurricane that engulfs me and pulls me under. My pain is like the sea, it never stays calm for too long. Eventually it becomes a raging monster that has me gripped by the throat. And as I struggle to come up for air, I beg it not to take my life, but a part of me secretly hopes that it will. Because you see, my entire being is a paradox, I am a person who cherishes life, yet I can’t seem to find the value in it. I am a person who believes in God, yet I’ve spent my entire life questioning His existence. I am a person who is terrified of the dark, yet I take comfort in it. I am a person who hates the way it hurts, yet I become so attached to the pain. And it’s always the same game of being tossed into the hands of purpose and then kicked to the feet of disappointment. And for the longest time I could never understand why someone would cry themselves to sleep, drink their tears from a bottle or let their sadness bleed out in the bathtub until I experienced just how lonely one can feel. Because loneliness is pain, it’s the small bruise or cut that goes unnoticed until you can feel the sting that trembles throughout your body. And now I understand why pain is so often associated with intimacy, because once it learns your fear of abandonment, it volunteers itself and says, “I’ll stay.”
I needed you to stay up with me. Because I have been feeling sad and alone. I needed you here with me. But like everyone else, you chose to leave. I guess I can’t be mad or even disappointed because it’s always been about you, oh how selfish. When you were having a rough night and things were getting dark, I stayed up until 4am with you until the lights came back on. When the waters began to rise and your thoughts became a storm, I became your lifeline and my arms became your shelter. When you were broken and shattered on the bathroom floor, no matter how small, no matter how sharp, I picked up every last piece until you were whole again. And now it’s me, I feel like a victim of a shipwreck hanging onto the debris and bleeding from all the open wounds. And I so desperately needed you to come save me, but you weren’t there. I guess what I’m trying to say is that- you were my lighthouse, but you turned off the light.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that giving up is taking the easy way out. Because sometimes it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do. But please let me tell you that– It’s not your fault that you tried so hard to bandage and heal their wounds, only for them to cut you out of their life almost completely. And now you’re left with all the shattered pieces and torn up scars. Both theirs and yours. It’s not your fault that you tried so hard to make their world a part of yours, only for them to destroy it. And now the earth is just an empty place to escape thats filled with wandering ghosts. It’s not your fault that you tried so hard to encourage them to shine their brightest light, only for them to put yours out and leave you blinded. And now you’re scared to close your eyes because you’re afraid that once you do the darkness is all you’ll ever see again. It’s not your fault that you tried so hard to make their dreams a reality, only for them to turn yours into a living nightmare. And now each night you wake up with a few more tears stained into your pillow. Its not your fault that you tried so hard to reveal their greatest strengths, only for them to become your greatest weakness. Because my darling, your mistake wasn’t wanting to save them, it was believing that you could. But isn’t that what makes the story a tragedy? Because in the end, you could have done everything that the hero was supposed to do only to be left feeling like the villain.
It’s often best to feel nothing at all. I know allowing yourself to be numb is unhealthy and can be extremely dangerous too, but when you’re someone who is sensitive and feels everything so strongly it becomes a safe place by default. Because eventually you get tired, tired of battling between loving people who never seem to care, tired of fighting with the thoughts you can’t escape, tired of wrestling all your doubts about this damn life. You grow weary and the eagle’s wings are broken. So instead of soaring, you become desperate and you fall. You fall for fake and conditional love, finally accepting it as the only kind of love that can exist. You fall for the insecurities that fill your head, finally accepting them as genuine truth. You fall for the fears you have about the future, finally accepting that they’ll always be bigger than any potential dream. And you fall for the belief that sadness will always be your reality, finally accepting that you won’t ever be good enough. And sometimes it takes the pain of hitting rock bottom to finally understand that just because you gave someone the parachute off your back, doesn’t always mean they’re going to be there waiting to catch you.
It’s funny how people can say, “you’re never truly alone” but they aren’t there on those lonely nights you cry yourself to sleep. They don’t hear the echoes that bounce off the walls when you whisper those hopeless prayers asking for someone to come save you from the demons that haunt you. They can’t feel the deep pain that sting every part of your body, leaving you completely paralyzed. But they can only see how much you’re willing to show. Even when you think you’ve given just enough of a glimpse that cries for help, you’ve also hidden just enough to fool everyone into thinking you’re fine. And they all fall for it, every time. Or maybe some do know, but stay away because it’s too messy and they’d rather keep their hands clean or maybe some wish they could know, but you keep them blinded by the fake smiles and laughs because you never want them to see the darkness. So instead you lie in bed alone and allow the hurricane of insecurities to crash into every crack, corner and crevasse of your mind. Except this time, you’re not going to try to find shelter in a someone because you’ve learned people aren’t built to be a homes, but to need one. We can barely handle the storms of our own lives, let alone the wind and debris of others’. We all have our own waters to tread and although we always wish someone would jump in and teach us how to swim, it’s something that can’t happen when no one knows you’re the one drowning. But my darling, there’s hope. Because right when the ruthless waves have washed over you, the man who can walk on water has already reached in and has grabbed you by the hand. Now it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to hold on or let go.
Sometimes I am okay, genuinely okay. Like when I am sitting with my friends and we’re laughing so hard that we literally can’t breathe. And it’s in those moments, everything seem to be calm. No messy thoughts. No wells of tears. No empty chest. Nothing. It’s as if my heart and mind have finally laid down their weapons and are at peace with each other. I begin to think that I have completely moved on and have sincerely accepted, but just as the sun starts to radiate light, the dark clouds begin to roll in. I’m fortunate if they are accompanied with thunder and lightening that warns me of the storm’s vicious forecast. But more than likely, they quietly creep in dropping only a few tears at a time until a destructive monsoon has fully developed. As streams of salt water flow down both sides of my face, I find myself right back to my familiar spot. Sitting in a dark hole alone, the one shelter always available. It’s only in this place that I learn to be content, to stop rejecting the parts of me that I wish I could hide away. Because if I can just embrace that weakness will always be in my nature, maybe then I will be able to hike the trails without stumbling down every slope and climb up every mountain without collapsing. God may have clothed her in strength, but oh no my darling, not me. Instead He allured me out into the wilderness, where there I will face my giants. My body is far too fragile to carry the weight anymore so I must take off the chest plate and lay down the shield. Now I am susceptible to any kind of pain, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t win battles. Look at David and Goliath, who ended up dead? The one whose body was sheered in armor.
I can’t be mad at you because God gave you someone else. After all, this is exactly what I always wanted for you. For people to continuously pour into your life, to fill you. Someone who would hold you in their arms with their tightest embrace, while never suffocating you making it hard to breathe. Someone who would carry your burdens, while promising to never become one themselves. Someone who would clean and bandage the wounds that you just recently made, while never being the reason for them. And for someone to tenderly speak your demons away, while never releasing their own. I think thats where I went wrong, it wasn’t that my intentions were bad, but that my mindset was. I used to think I was invincible and personal fables were just fables. But it’s foolish to not think that both good and bad things can and can’t happen to us. So I must be careful from now on. I have learned to believe in happy endings, but must remember tragedies are stories too. I learned to believe not all things that explode are fireworks, but must remember so do bombs. I have learned to believe that wandering in the wilderness may be temporary, but must remember even Moses never entered the promise land. Acceptance is a small room, but one day I will make it my house. But just because I fell short, doesn’t mean others will. So don’t give up just because..I did.