October 16, 2021

To the Child in Pain.

~

I see you. I know you. I am you.

For 30 years, I’ve struggled, fought, cried, and begged for something different.

I know your world is breaking you. It feels unbearable and lonely and hopeless. I know you believe there’s nothing left in you. You can’t breathe one more day, one more hour, one more minute of your existence. It’s all just too much. I know.

I won’t say everything is going to be okay. I don’t know that. I won’t say just be yourself and do what you want. You’re miserable. To advise that you’re okay just as you are is not helpful. Being depressed and suicidal is not okay nor sustainable.

Everyone’s pain is different, but mine was paralyzing. I didn’t want to do anything. I couldn’t do anything. The narrative in my mind was that this was my life. I accepted my unworthiness and sadness as who I was. Because let’s be honest, taking responsibility for our self—mind, body, and spirit is…hard (in a word).

It’s especially hard when your desire is beyond low and the ache in your chest is the dominant, daily feeling. Your experience, your existence, becomes…not worth it. I’ve felt that way most of my life. And I’ve held on to that mindset. Some people are born with an ambitious, optimistic, and creative mind. I was born with a depressed, self-defeating, sad mind.

It’s not always terrible. I had some good days. Some really good days. But I always defaulted back to my comfort space in my soul and I’d be reminded of who I really was.

Sweet child, I’m not telling you to ignore your thoughts and feelings. I’m not telling you to accept them as your only truth, either. The only thing I can say is the truth. Whatever you are feeling is real. Whatever you are feeling is who you are, but it’s not the whole story. Who I was 20 to 30 years ago is who I was. I am not that person today.

I think one of the most important things I’ve learned over the years is the only constant in life is change. Nothing remains the same. Good, bad, indifferent—life, your life, will forever be evolving into something else. And while your environments change, you change with it. The Universe does not want you to remain the same. Humans are designed to grow and evolve and progress.

At your core, you are someone. You are not your depression or your anxiety or your hurt or your pain. Those are elements. And elements change. But your core—who the Universe is transforming you to be—is still growing. You’re not done. This isn’t it. And that makes all the difference in the world. You don’t have to be strong, hold on, power through it. You just have to know that this isn’t it.

The space that you currently occupy may be on fire. But those are the elements. Not your core.

For me, I felt my core was empty. But that’s not my core. That’s just elements of myself. I was hurting and humans aren’t meant to hurt. Our bodies reject it as protection. I was protecting myself from myself. That was just my pattern. My comfort space. I am only me when I’m depressed and suicidal. That’s a lie because that’s not my core. At my core, I am many things and I am still figuring it all out. And I won’t ever be complete because life will never stop changing; therefore, neither will my core.

It’s not fair. It’s not easy or great. It just is. And as much as I could talk myself into a pit of despair and helplessness, I can talk myself into…something else. The mind is the most powerful muscle. Thoughts are everything. They really determine how enjoyable or not enjoyable our existence is. Changing thoughts is not easy. Trying to change our thoughts doesn’t always work. But a changed thought always works.

Sometimes I have to take my life day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. One thought at a time. I’d say you can do more, but I also know that sometimes you can’t. That’s just how it is.

I know it’s dark right now. It seems it will never change, or at least not change for the better. But there is light. There’s light, even if you don’t actively seek it. There’s light, even if you can’t feel it. I’m not going to say go out and get some light. Nah. The light will get you. You may not know how or when or why but it will—because it’s there. It is there for you.

Hold steady, dear child. You can fall and that would be the end of you. But I promise you, all the feelings and the thoughts and the anguish mean something. It’s part of your unfinished story. It’s part of your core growing stronger, better.

No element (feelings, thoughts, circumstances) lasts forever. Everything changes.

And that’s where the light is.

~

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