This matters. You matter even when you don’t feel like it. 

To my daughters…to my students…to my friends…to my family…to anyone who reads this. 

This is your grief and I have no right to claim it as my own. The grief I feel is different. Yours is a silent deadly killer. It tells you you don’t matter and there are no better days. It promises relief from a difficult world where you feel so isolated and alone. You cry out in social media, in your actions and want more but more of what you aren’t sure. If you were you would likely ask for it. But in an ironic twist of fate and a game of the mind you aren’t alone but you can’t see it or hear it. Instead you are surrounded by four walls that shout you will never be enough and you are alone. 

“In 2013 CDC, stated that everyday in the United States 104 people die from suicide. In most of those cases there were clear cut signs or symptoms of depression.” 

And I grieve for you and your loss of an innocence that is fleeting fast the closer you move toward adulthood. I grieve that you can’t stay in that innocent place forever in a place where you are my daughter/mother/brother/student and we had those innocent moments of inside jokes and happy times. 

Twice in my life I have felt that lost and that alone. I looked out and saw faces and smiles and I even smiled back but inside I was anything but happy. I grabbed for people to save me in hopes they would convince me I mattered. Truthfully, that moment never came. 

There was no pill to fix this, there was no knight in shining armor, there was no pretending it didn’t exist. There was my voice crying to be heard and it needed to be heard in a safe place. 

One without a fear of judgment or maliciousness. Just someone on the other end that heard me and helped me to look in the mirror and find and see myself. It sounds so simple but the 2nd time it took almost 2 years.

The process seems so simple but it is anything but. The only way to the other side is through it. I wanted to avoid it all. I knew what was on the other side. But that meant not acknowledging my pain. And despite my best efforts that never worked. 

Depression is an emotion that demands to be felt in all it’s truly ugly glory. Each of those words an antithesis of the other because in such pain there is beauty because each of us in that moment are stripped down to our bare souls and we decide to do the hard stuff in feeling and that is survive. 

Surviving when it feels like the world tells you don’t. When your own mind tells you don’t. But you make a deal with yourself for another second, another minute, another hour or another day. 

It is trusting in yourself in absolute darkness that you will eventually see the light. It is faith where honestly it feels like there isn’t any. 

More than anything is the person on the other end of your text that waits, or the man/woman that rests their head beside yours every night. It is for all the would haves, could haves or should haves that keep you up at night. 

When it feels impossible read my words and push those walls down. Don’t just push them down. Burn them down…light fire to your hope and my hope that there is something better even though we can’t see it, feel it or will it. 

It’s existence is real it just has to be uncovered. It is honestly letting love win and moving out of our own way to let it because eventually what happens is the fire burns bright and we are stronger for the fight. 

Let love win. 

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