I’ve struggled to make this post for over two weeks. I’ve wept at the feet of every person who would listen. I’ve put on a strong face when I was anything but that. I’ve strapped my shoes on, and tussled my hair stating, “just keep rolling”. It always gets easier. But the hallow pit that I feel is still very much there, under all the laughter and all the false determination. I am tired of fighting, I feel confused, and I am beyond exhausted. Just keep rolling, no longer works for me. If my emotional journey was that of an explorer, you’d find me laid by the river I need to cross, so lost that I can’t find home again. Surrounded by hills of loneliness and a current to strong that if I dipped my toe in instead of ask for help crossing, I’d be washed away entirely. Battered and beaten by the miles I’ve walked in all the wrong directions.
The weight of the darkness I feel is heavy, it crushes me most of the time. I’ve carried it around for years and years saying, one day it will be like a pebble in my pocket. I’ll forget about it but on occasion, when I stick my hand in my pocket, I’ll be reminded it’s there. But my darkness didn’t become light like a pebble, it’s buried me like a boulder. Maybe if I had acknowledged my struggles before now, the tiny pebbles all the “bad stuff” was supposed to become, would be that. Instead, I kept rolling on by myself. Collecting heavier burdens as sped towards my current exhaustion.
I’ve always dealt with mental illness for as long as I can remember. Being very anxious at 6 years old with very confused and frustrated parents made me feel helpless, alone, and broken. My brain doesn’t see what normal people see. My head is a scary place to be, and with all my friends/family back home, I could easily check out when I needed to hide from the monsters. I’d go get drinks, invite someone over, or find a new project to pour myself into. But I’m here now, 2 hours away from most people I know, feeling isolated and helpless. There’s no distractions here, just a silent empty house filled with ghosts and memories. There’s nothing I can’t touch in this house that doesn’t turn monsters themselves.
I’m in the deepest of dark places, with no choice but to confront all the ugliest parts of myself for the first time. Which may be a blessing in disguise (even though it feels horrible right now). Mental health is 100% something every single person is struggling with. Mental illness can happen to anyone and probably affects some of the happiest people you know. The first step to beating the monsters is acknowledging them. It’s reaching out to those who will sit on the phone with you for 3 hours without expecting anything and saying what you honestly feel. It’s pushing for medical treatment even if you don’t have health insurance or a lot of extra money. It’s being honest with therapists who can teach you to fight smarter, not harder so you can make on your own. I guess the only real solution to any pain, any heartbreak, any monster’s found hiding in the dark is to call for help -- find someone with a flashlight and a plan, and just keep rolling on together until you're not lost.