This is a piece of writing I did when I was struggling, torn back and forth between being overwhelmed by negative thoughts and striving to remember the good and hold onto hope. It’s about being in the borderlands between dark and light and finding a way out. I have shared it on here before but thought it was worth sharing again.
You think it will never end.
You cower in shadow, fear and doubt, huddled in the corners of your own mind.
Some days you are screaming inside “LET ME OUT” “MAKE IT STOP” “SOMEONE HELP”…
Some days you are numb. Empty. The void itself.
Alternately wracked with pain and removed from all feeling.
You know it’s there. The good. Some happiness. The light. But it is removed from you. Unreachable. Shuttered behind a transparent wall. Taunting you. The happy sounds muffled to your ears.
The creeping cold down your spine.
The boiling fear in your gut.
The loathing and anger and confusion and pain and…emptiness.
You sit, dry eyed, and wish you could cry.
You wish you could summon the will to rage.
You wish for the feelings to go away.
You wish for the feelings to return.
It all feels so out of control.
You wonder in the darkness “Will it ever end?”…
You give up.
You decide to try again.
A flicker of something in the abyss.
A waif of light.
So insubstantial, like a child’s bubble blown on the wind; you absently wonder if it’s real and how it got there.
Some warmth returns, just to the very tips of your fingers.
It casts enough light for you to see the good again.
“I remember this place.”
A soft smile.
A tug towards the light, and the shadows recede a little further.
Warmth spreading as feeling returns.
Raw, a little fearful, you step into the light and turn your face to it. Eyes closed, basking in the gentle caress of warmth. There’s still a chill in the background, still shadows behind you, but that’s ok. For now you face the sun.
Walk in it. Remember the flowers, the soft breeze, the ground underfoot, the sky overhead. Life flows back and the numbness, the rage, the pain shrinks further. A mere speck.
You fear it will return.
Be present in the warmth and light. Relish being able to see and hear and feel again.
The shadows may try to pull you back. Sometimes they may manage to wrap their ebony tendrils around you again. But that light will never be extinguished.
Look how it found you in the depths of the night.
So even though you’re afraid, even though it still hurts, even though there is still a numbness threatening the edges of your existence, look to the light of your own being and emerge from the shadows.
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health then please don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. You are not alone and help is available. By opening up and starting the conversation we can move forward together and look to a mentally healthy future. Below are links to a range of fantastic organisations that can provide information, advice and services.
The Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org
Mind – http://www.mind.org.uk
Young Minds – http://www.youngminds.org.uk
Papyrus (prevention of young suicide) – https://www.papyrus-uk.org
Time to Change – http://www.time-to-change.org.uk
Rethink Mental Illness – http://www.rethink.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – https://www.afsp.org
Please do not struggle alone.