I don’t know if I should write this. I am not one to usually post something like this. But I feel like it needs to be said.
Because there’s this girl that’s been bothering me for quite some time now. I try not to let her get to me, but she really knows how to push my buttons! So I had to make this post.
You see, she’s one of those people who likes to shut down what I think or say, like it’s never good enough.
And whenever she sees me happy and surrounded by friends, I don’t know how she does it but she’ll eventually start to make me feel alone. She says or does things that cause people to misunderstand me. And I hate it.
She makes me feel insecure about myself. She likes to point out all my imperfections and remind me of all the things I’ve ever done wrong.
Whenever she senses my excitement or motivation to get ahead in life, she likes to pull me back and remind me of all the reasons why I will never achieve it. And I don’t know why, but I always believe her.
She’s not always a good friend. She has ruined some of my closest friendships because of her selfishness. She has a tendency to think about herself all the time. Sometimes, she will bring up other people’s imperfections because it tends to make her feel better. I know she doesn’t mean to do it. But she does. And she feels guilty about it.
She doesn’t like to admit it, but she doesn’t really like me hanging out with other people sometimes. She prefers it when it’s just me and her. I know she hates noise and large crowds. She feels safer when it’s just us. I don’t know why.
She always has me checking my phone constantly, too. Like I’m always at her beck and call. And I hate it. I feel so distant from everyone else around me. But that’s how she likes it.
There are some days where I don’t even want to get out of bed. This is when she annoys me the most. I tell her I have things to do, but she doesn’t care.
She keeps me up all night, reminding me about all the things I forgot to do, and nit-picking about all the ways I failed that day. She doesn’t even let me explain that there were SOME good things I managed to do. Because to her, it’ll never be good enough.
Some days, when we plan to go out and do something, she likes to bring up all the things that could go wrong. So I cancel outings. Or I come home early. Or I yell at my family. All because I want to be in control. But she likes being in control. She likes to sit there and have this smirk on her face when I become flustered about the house being a complete disaster because she gets some type of satisfaction from knowing that I don’t have my life under control.
The more I sit around and listen to her, the more I withdraw myself from others.
The more I believe her, the more I hurt the people I love.
The more I hate her, the more unhappy I become.
Because as much as I can’t stand her company, she’s pretty much the only company I will always have.
Because whenever I look in the mirror, she is there.
Whenever I’m lying awake in the dark, it’s her voice that takes me to a place that’s even darker. Because this is where it’s just me and her. This is where she wants to keep me. Because when you distance yourself from others, and retreat to the darkest of places, rarely will you look over your shoulder to find that those you love will follow you there. And sometimes this is where it’s safer. No one’s absence can hurt you. No one’s words or actions can afflict you. And when you’re alone, you feel like you can’t hurt anyone but yourself. Your suffering is yours alone.
Or so it seems.
Because it turns out I do have people who are stronger than she is. People who will walk down that dark road to find me.
When I look over my shoulder I see people who try to reach out blindly for my hand; and once found, grasp it and refuse to let go.
It’s my closest friends; the ones who ring or message me to remind me they love me. Or stop over to see how I’m doing. When she sees them do this, one of her fingers start to lose grip.
It’s my children. When she sees the way they love me unconditionally, even in spite of all my failures and times I’ve disappointed them, another one of her fingers slips from mine.
It’s my husband. He has been down this dark path and back to save me more times than I can count. He knows all the tunnels off by heart. He knows the crevices, the dead-end roads and the beaten path more than anyone on this earth. He’s had many chances to turn around and look for higher ground but he doesn’t. Because he comes looking for me.
And he finds me. Curled up on a dark road refusing to be saved; he’s the one who pulls me to my feet.
And each time she sees the way he loves me, her hand slips from mine, frantically trying to grab a hold of me again, like a drowning child clinging to their mother for dear life.
She has lost the game of tug-and-war. For now.
Because she knows that I’ll be back down that road again one day. Because she knows that there are days when I am so hard to live with that my family and friends may give up on me. She knows that when I’m down, I’m down. And it takes a strong kind of love and belief in myself to bring me back.
If you’ve seen the Netflix series, Stranger Things, this dark world of depression and anxiety can somewhat be compared to the Upside Down; a dimension of another world that is dark, hopeless and without light or life. It’s right there, around you, but you can’t see it – unless you have ‘true sight’ to see both worlds. And this is how I see it sometimes.
No one else can see this dark path you’re walking, except you. Even if you’re living with them every day, or walking beside them all the time. They can’t see what your mind sees. They can’t see this interminable darkness that seems to envelope you.
We all have our dark sides, whether we like to admit it or not. Sides where we don’t want to expose to others, because they may view us as weak or unstable. I know I have a negative side, and it is my goal to not feed it any more power. I will show myself the love I deserve. I will speak kind words to myself and remind me that I am allowed to be happy. I will continue to remind myself why I am AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL. Because if I continue to feed myself with negative thoughts, or fail to acknowledge all the good things about me, I will eventually lose myself, and in turn – start to lose the people I love.
But it also comforts me to know that there is always, ALWAYS a way out of this dark place.
When I’m stumbling blindly along this dark path, scraping my knees and blistering my feet on the sharp stones along the way, a flashlight from overhead shines brightly, illuminating the path before me.
And I know who it is. The one person who has descended below all things in order to save us. He hears me calling, even when I don’t utter a word. He hears it in my silent prayer; the silent pleadings of my heart. He sees my tears and He hears me calling. For Him.
And He helps me. His light brightens the whole path for me. The dark place may still be there, around me, but His light shines so brightly that the shadows fall away behind me. And as long as I stay next to the flashlight He holds I will never have to walk that dark path alone
Although I am not currently suffering from depression or anxiety, this is a post I thought others may be able to relate to. Because I know this is how it felt for me during my toughest times.
If you think you may suffer from depression or anxiety please speak to a close friend or family member. Or consult your GP.
You can also check out the website http://www.beyondblue.org.au or call them on 1300 224 636 (for those who are in Australia).