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Numbers 1 though 9


Underneath tears, is fear. Because, when it rains, it pours. Physical proof of what is inside, rattles my mind. It was never fake, and help was never a word I was taught. Help turned into silence, and silence is the real killer. Life doesn’t shine out the eyes, when salt water barricades it in. Hollowness is what got me here, but loneliness is what made me stay. Luckily loneliness is a feeling not a place, and those pass.

Empty. I feel empty without it. What is “purpose”, and what is mine? Shouldn’t we be worthy of life, even without having a purpose to use as a crutch? I’ve learned my worth is dependent on my success. So how do you unlearn something so deeply rooted inside of you?

Pain is better than being empty. Empty: Containing nothing; not filled or occupied. Containing no love, filled with no purpose; and not occupied with joy. Something is better than nothing, right? Pain: Suffering or discomfort caused by Illness or Injury. Growth is found outside of your comfort zone. But, on the pain scale, what is the threshold between pain and growth? I always attributed a 10 rating to growth, anything below that being absolute nonsense. So is the range from 1 to 9 complete failure?

Almost 3 years ago exactly, I was swept off my feet. Not what you would imagine. I didn't fall in love, and live a fairy tale life. No, it was more like a rug being pulled out from underneath me, while I fell straight to the ground. Though there are no words for it, I do know all I wanted was out. Out of my mind, and away from my thoughts. The moment the light switch flipped, was the moment I forgot who I was. I layed there with my back against the carpet of an unfamiliar place I now called my bedroom. And for one moment, I forgot. I sat up almost robotically, and looked blankly into the space around me. The light from the sun shining through the window blinded me, the voices speaking outside my room became faint, and my reflection in the mirror seemed like a ghost. Days passed by, and I dreamed of my life prior, as I painfully watched the people around me live like I once did. Every morning when my eyes opened, I lied there in disbelief. Not again. I have to deal with this today, too? Although, I didn’t really know what I was dealing with. My energy was drained from the simplest of tasks, like the lifting of my eyelids in the early morning, making it hard to function the rest of the day. Anxious energy grew in my body as my brain produced more unwanted thoughts. I was going insane.

Days turned into nights. Not nights, nightmares. My brain is on a loop, even when I am asleep. Panic. My eyes popped open like a jack-in-the-box. My heart started beating out of my chest. Why am I like this, and what is wrong with me? Ripping off my covers, I begin to cool off from night sweats that caused me to drown in a pool of shame. I stand up and try to get my bearings, as I pace recklessly around my room. This happens at least four times before my alarm goes off at 8 am.

One month…2 months….3 months, is this almost over?….4 months….5 months…6 months…7 months, I will never find a way out…8 months…9 months…10 months…. 11 months… 12 months… I don’t understand what happened. 36 months, and now what?

I’ve noticed a lot of my writing is in the form of questions and storytelling. Because just like everyone else in life, I don’t have a clear and concise answer to the philosophical questions of life. I let myself ask, then answer in a form of thought processing rather than “figuring it out”. Because as much as I want an answer to so many things, there usually isn't one.

Now storytelling: My own form of self disclosure. Because vulnerability helps me, but it also helps you. When I first started writing blogs, I didn’t necessarily say it directly, but I was in between a rock and a hard place, and I wanted to be vulnerable without talking about things directly with people. In the back of my mind though, I also wanted to help other people relate. So now, a few months later, I have seen so much progress. This medium of art has become something far more impactful than I thought it would. People go out of their way to talk to me about their struggles, while also recognizing mine. Applauding my ability to be vulnerable in ways I have not before. But, I don’t need people to tell me that, because I already know. What I have learned this summer is that there are a lot of people who don’t know how to help, and will not help you. So instead of waiting for other people to tell you that you are strong, I chose to tell myself that. Not just tell myself that, but prove it to myself. No, I am not strong in a “10 on the pain scale” way, I am strong because I am able to make choices for myself. I am strong for being “weak” and giving up on something that didn’t support me. And as much as I resent dance, I am not resentful to anyone or anything else. Because I made a choice for me, and that is liberating.

So if pain is the name of the game, let's unlearn in order to relearn. Relearn how to live outside of your comfort zone, and be okay with numbers one through nine on the pain scale. Because sometimes, less is more.

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1 Comment

Ilse, I relate you what you're saying so much. I went through a season of depression and anxiety 3 years ago and writing it all down was one of the things that helped me through it. Thanks for your vulnerability.


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