This Is For You (You Know Who You Are)
Worrying ≠ Thinking
I am no expert. At anything, at all. I try to share what I know, because I have not learned it on my own. I have been boosted up and helped along every step of the way, a living tower of family, friends, and mental health care professionals beneath me, so that I may survey my own inner landscape with some distance. From this vantage point, I can look down and say that it is not all bad.
I can tell you that this, too, will pass. That this awful, binding darkness, is fleeting, not forever. The sun will peek its rays through clouds of self-loathing and dark fear, slowly expanding to shed light and warmth on your oh-so lovable (I promise) body and soul.
Of course, as you’ve pointed out, this sunny intermission will pass, as all things do, and the darkness will come again. Yes, it is true.
But I’ve found, or been gently guided to see, that if you hold to the fleeting nature of feelings, a deeper sense of self will emerge, grown-up strong, like roots from the hard ground. And those emotions will not be yours; they will be like a storm front, passing through.
Then the vicious cycle of ups and downs will seem to have some forward motion, the anger and nothingness no longer blotting out the all light and air, nor even competing. Just shady spots, just clouds, over smooth, still waters.
Your cup is so full, and I know that feeling. Negative, poisonous thoughts and looming to-do lists, frustrations and obligations and days where even happy memories hurt. A brain so tormented, and tormenting, that it’s like being locked in a room with a crazy person hurling the most horrible, personal insults your way, with no end in sight. Of course you’d do anything to get away from that person. I know, because I have been that person, have wanted to kill that part of myself.
I know, because my cup is like your cup, too. All I’m asking you to do, as an experiment, is to empty your cup.
If, like me, you are thinking that you can’t just ignore your problems, turn away from reality, then you’re right. But letting it go, long enough to calm down, is okay. Your problems will still be there, sure, but once you are OK–once you are healthy and calm and stable–then you can tackle the issues outside yourself, with love and patience.
If there is one thing I have learned, one lesson I’ve wrung from the rock (with dozens of hands firm and hearts warm at my back), it’s that worrying is not the same as thinking. Worrying doesn’t solve a god damned thing. So give it (and yourself) a rest, for now.
Of course you will forget. You will forget, as I forget (all the time!) that this is true. We are human, and fallible. We forget the deep trust and love buried in our hearts, a truth so basic and inherent to us that it fits like a second skin. Yet we shed our best selves, over and over again, to be reborn into the rawness of feeling, of hurt.
But it grows back, or we find it, and fit our new selves back inside. Each time, it feels more familiar, more comfortable, and tougher–thicker–than the time before. So maybe that is why we must lose it, and ourselves, in the first place. Over, and over again.
Perhaps this is what they mean, when they talk of thick and thin. And I will be here for you, through both, through it all. Please, be here, with me.