Yes, you. The one hiding behind a façade of laughter and everything’s fine.
You, too exhausted to get out of bed.
You, crouched in anxious trepidation behind walls of independence and strength.
You, who are busy, busy, always moving, always going.
You’re not alone.
Look around. There are others near you, fighting the same fight, scared to let it show. Others who are lonely, and frightened, and lost. Who feel the air suffocating them and the darkness of the unknown looming. People you see, probably even people you talk to, who wonder if anybody cares. Just like you.
I’ve been there.
Been so worn down I fell asleep standing up.
So scared, I couldn’t see a way out.
So wrapped up in murky despair that I had to consciously name reasons to be here. Some of them seemed ridiculous (chocolate? really?), but when you’re down, anything can be a lifeline.
Others are oh, so worthwhile. Family, or friends, or the way you feel when you hear a beautiful piece of music. The sunlight, the raindrops, the stars, the shapes in the clouds. The first time you mastered – anything: Catching the ball, turning a screwdriver, beating that game. Being held, or the touch of a hand. Simply making someone smile.
Whatever your lifeline is, grab ahold and don’t let go. When it seems to get dim, hold the light it brings right in front of you. Make that decision to keep it in your sight, even if you have to consciously force it to be there. When the voice in your head speaks darkness and negativity, fight it with words of brightness and positivity and self-affirmation. You are unique. You glow. You deserve the good that you long for. You are worth it.
You are a beautiful soul.
You’re not alone.
Take my hand.
We’ll get through this together.
*If you or anyone you know is feeling alone, feeling that their light is fading, please reach out. Talk to a friend, talk to a counselor, talk to a pastor, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8755. Don’t give up. YOU ARE IMPORTANT AND THE WORLD NEEDS YOU.
*This first appeared here April 4, 2017.