Coming from a life of adversity, I often am left wondering what other people must be suffering behind closed doors. Anxiety? Fear? Anger? Anguish? Sorrow? I do not discount the happy moments in life, mine or anyone else's. But for all of those moments, there are equal moments that are left unsaid, left unattended, ignored, or sluffed off as though they were nothing. And in truth, they eat away at us bit by bit over time, no matter how we choose to evade them or make excuses for them.
We can go from one day letting go a simple slight, where in you are overlooked or deemed unimportant, to it growing to the point where we look for this in others as a sort of validation of our existence, because we start to see ourselves through those other people's eyes and opinions. We see ourselves and set our worth by the words, behaviors, and actions of others.
It can leave one feeling ashamed and not worth while in this life. It can lead one into abusive relationships (for both men and women). It can lead to a self defeating attitude, where in everytime your about to succeed at something you stop....and fail. It can lead to depression and anxiety, and even suicide attempts.
I don't say these things in judgment. I say them because I've been there. I've let the sorrow, over small things and large alike, build up to the point it started overflowing. I was depressed, self defeating, and lost. I was in abusive relationships, which served to validate my own low opinion of myself. I let myself be abused to validate that feeling inside me. And then I tried to end my life, a number of times.
So you see, I'm not just throwing random things out there. I'm not just talking about your story, if you can relate to this. I'm talking about my own story, as well. This is part of who I am and why I write the way I do.
The darkness of that place is cold when you are alone or when you imagine you are alone and no one understands you. Its harsh when you feel unloved and invalidated. It pushes the walls in on you to the point you where you go from merely surviving to actually trying to escape the pain any way you can. And even, sometimes, where death seems like an end to the sorrow and the suffering.
And what I want you to know, above anything else on this website and no matter what your situation is, is that you are not alone. There are others out there that not only understand, but also share in your suffering. And there are people who care, who love, and who empathize ~ with you.
And that the most basic truth is that if you weren't here....whether you close yourself off away from the world or something worse...the world would have one less light in it, because you matter.
For a long time people tried to tell me that, but I was to lost in my own sadness to hear them. And then finally when most people had given up on me as a lost cause, when I was at my lowest someone took my hands and told me that again ~ that I mattered in this world. And that one voice was enough to pierce the darkness with a sliver of light. That one voice full of love, full of empathy, and full of compassion telling me I wasn't alone and that I mattered.
I don't know that this message will do that for you. I don't know that I'll be that voice. The important thing isn't from who the message comes, as long as it comes, in the end. So look and listen when people reach out to you. Its not pity. Its a validation of your existence and your worth.
And then sit down and think of all the things that are worthwhile within you. Write them down. And keep adding to the list. Put it in your purse or in your wallet as a reminder when you start to slip. Its not a cure-all, by any means. But its a first step to validating yourself and rediscovering the worth that already exists within you, whether you acknowledge it or not.
And always remember, even if no one is there at that moment to say it to you, you are not alone. Just look around you and you will see other people suffering right along with you, even if you can't see it on the surface. Everyone doubts. Everyone hurts. Everyone gets angry. Everyone gets anxious. All you have to do is look and recognize it, to see there is no shame or guilt in those feelings that needs to force you to push them down, hide them, or avoid them at all costs.
It's okay to cry, just as much as its okay to smile. Its okay to feel, because you matter. And its also okay to recognize that you aren't alone in this world, despite what you've suffered and seen in your life. You aren't alone.