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My Life - Tug of War
By Novni Community Member
I am not sad. Sadness, is a normal human emotion. We all feel sad, we all sometimes feel a little bit low. However, for some of us, it strays into much further depths into a dark abyss of the unknown, and we cannot find our way out.
No matter how hard we try, we are stuck, stuck in our own heads with our own dark thoughts constantly circling our minds, again, and again.
We appear quiet, normal, we may or may not fake smiles, but we appear to be just ‘fine’. But inside, inside we are screaming, we are screaming from the top of our lungs, begging for you to just hear us. For you to hear me. As I fear, if I am not heard, I will stray too far, to the point of no return, both physically and mentally.
Days turn to weeks, weeks to months, and so on until we lose track of our surroundings, life becomes a blur. Some people say to just ‘get over it’ or ‘stop being so down’.
If only it was that simple.
Dragging myself out of bed becomes a struggle, I begin to wonder if there’s a point, but I don’t want to stay there either. In fact, I don’t know what it is I want. My life has become boring and dull, I long for something different, something to make me feel again, feel a rush of excitement, or happiness, which I haven't felt in so long.
But it never arrives, it never comes, but each day I have a tiny bit of hope remaining, until one day, it just vanishes. I no longer have hope and suddenly it becomes too much and I break down.
I become numb to the world around me, people pass me by, they speak to me, but I can’t hear them. I can only feel the numbing pain of emptiness, yet I also feel nothing at all. This emptiness, it becomes too much. So I search for ways to replace this feeling. Pain.
I want to feel, I need to feel, and I begin to think I would rather feel pain than nothing. Which is what I do. I inflict pain on myself, on my body. We were taught that our bodies are temples so why, please somebody tell me why we want to harm them. Why do we want to leave ourselves covered in scars.
However, this does not make us weak. Scars do not make us weak. Medication does not make us weak. Panic attacks do not make us weak. Never allow anyone to tell you you are weak. Battling every day does not define you as weak.
Our bodies are temples, and they will heal. Our bodies should never be taken advantage of by others. Some scars on our bodies are not visible. Reminders of hands on them that were not given permission to be there, leaving us with mental scars because that is your body and you decide who deserves to place their hands on it.
However, sometimes we do not get this choice. It’s memories like these that we choose to block out. Yet we don’t really have much choice in this, it’s more so a natural response to trauma. If we forget it happened and block out the memory... we can’t hurt as much. After all, nobody wants to hurt. But when we’re lying alone late at night, these memories like to make an appearance, they send shivers up our spines and rack our bodies with sobs until the exhaustion takes over.
We suffer many sleepless nights, sleep too much, sleep too little. Where is the balance? Why can’t we have balance? Why can’t things go back to how they were when we were young and innocent to the cruelty this world can enfold.
People say ‘you’re young you don’t know what you’re talking about, stop being so negative’. I ask them who they think they are to comment on how my brain produces chemicals that make me feel this way. Science. Emotions. They are connected.
Small little pills can make us feel better because we are ill, we are unwell, just as much as the common cold or a broken leg needs medicine. We are entitled to this too and you should never dare tell somebody it is all in their heads, because most of the time, it just is not.
Mind on haywire, telling me to do this, do that. My hands don’t feel clean so I wash them 4 times. So many people have touched that door handle...I can’t touch it... it’s ‘dirty’. ‘Dirty’. A word my brain throws around too much. Make it stop I’m clean, I’m clean, I’m clean.
Why don’t you believe me when I say I’m clean. I’m screaming it at you. I’m screaming just hear me, I am clean. ‘But you’re not,’ the voice always whispers, causing a pit in my stomach until I give in. I always give in, and I feel weak. But I am not weak. We are not weak.
We whisper about mental illness, stigma surrounds it like a plague. We fear talking about it, we fear the judgement. We lose people to suicide, and yet still, people see it as nothing. All it takes is a few awfully dark moments where we cannot find the light no matter how desperately we search for it, it just is not there. And in those moments, we may slip so far into the darkness, that we won’t be present for when the light may make its return.
If only we had gotten to them sooner, if only we could have found the light for them. But sometimes, we are simply too late. We hope we will never fall that far. We hope we will always have a source of light. But we fear a day will come when we no longer do.
Sometimes that day does come, but we don’t want to leave, and we don’t want to stay. Sometimes, we wish we could just float away for a while, be alone but not alone, somewhere safe. Somewhere we cannot be harmed. Envious of those around us who have never experienced this feeling, yet never wishing it upon any being.
Striving to make people smile because we know what it feels like to not be able to smile. Nobody deserves this never ending abyss of darkness.
If only it were that simple.
In this life we come across people who cannot stick by us. They become overwhelmed, and we lose them. But we also come across people who will never leave, people who suffer just as much as us, and some who don’t.
People who would take all your pain upon themselves if it meant you didn’t have to feel it even for one day. Cherish them. They are precious and we are to hold them tight for as long as they remain in this world.
They are your light, and with them, you can never be submerged into complete darkness as they will come to the darkest of caves with a torch just to find you and keep you safe. And you would do the same for them.
However, we mess up sometimes. Things pile up and we take it out on the ones we love the most. We hurt them deep down when we feel nothing ourselves. We feel empty, until we become filled with guilt. How could we do that? How could we say those things? It eats away at us until we see ourselves as a monster. Yet, they forgive us.
These are the people we must always cherish. They are our soulmates in life. Be it lover, or friend, but we will always hold them close to our hearts.
We are strong and we will find our light. One day, you and I will be okay. I promise you that.