It was in highschool when I first saw a glimpse of her. I didn’t know her name back then but she made me do weird things to myself. It was also that time when she watched me make my first cut. We were girls who didn’t have a clue on what we were doing but thought it would be fun. It was a gloomy afternoon and my friend brought her razor. We were scared to do it on our own so we made a pack, she’ll do mine and I’ll do hers. The cut was deep but I loved how the blood dripped down my wrist. I loved how my pain was translated into something physical. For a minute, I felt numb and only felt the pain on my wrist and forgot the unfamiliar pain inside me. She became my habit. Whenever I can’t explain what I was feeling or if it gets too painful, I run to her for help. The razor was my best friend. Cut. Cut. Cut. There was even a point when there wasn’t any space on my wrist so I had to double cut. People say we were doing it because we wanted attention. The answer is always NO. Someone once asked me, why do you it Henz? I can’t even answer back then because I was scared. I was scared that people will think I’m weird. I wasn’t one of the popular girls, I was just.. let’s say OKAY. I got bullied occasionally. I can’t even remember how many times I was bullied. It was in my senior year that I got bullied so bad that I didn’t want to go to school anymore and my mom had to go and talk to everyone who bullied me. Took her the whole day but I went back anyway. For her.
I don’t remember much of what happened in between but every time I had to go through something, I always had a razor and I always had scars on my wrist. Back in college, I had to go through one of the worst breakups that you can imagine. Right then, I already have a name for that thing I met back in high school. She was depression and she was bigger. I made her bigger by keeping all my emotions and faking smiles all those years. She let me cut my wrist thinking that it does make me better, but it doesn’t. I met her again and she looked me in the eye and told me, DO IT. She handed me pills but it didn’t work. I barely remember how I was able to wake up the next day, but I did. There is always something saving me. I locked myself in my room for a few months. I stopped going to school. My mom had to come home from abroad to be with me. I can still remember, we would watch Gilmore Girls all day. I kept seeing Depression as if she was my friend, as if she was my only friend.
It took me awhile to tell this story because this is a story about Depression and I can’t think of a perfect time than to introduce her to you. If you are going through something, I want you to know that I also met her, I lived with her and how I fought against her. I fought against her for so many years and as of this moment, I’m not really sure if I won because I still have moments when I see her but now I can say that I know how to manoeuvre around her and that’s by telling myself that I should #KeepGoing
And to #KeepGoing you should know that you are not alone. I can’t tell you the same phrases of, “don’t do that”, “your friends are there”, “you have so many people who are there for you” because sometimes that’s not what you need. I need to tell you to #KeepGoing , whatever it is just #KeepGoing
Because here’s the thing: healing doesn’t have to be heavy. It doesn’t have to feel like a tiresome concept that we lug around on our backs; one that holds within it the burden of our pain and suffering. It doesn’t have to be cloaked in drama. Healing can mean whatever the hell you want it to mean; happiness, softness, awareness, forgiveness, letting go, returning to totality…
I guess it’s true that to heal – you have to let go of things that cause you pain, you have to let go of people who are toxic to you; to heal means to accept that you don’t deserve certain things in your life; and that YOU actually deserve the good things. The beauty of healing is about being born again and choosing a new path in your life. Like what they say, you don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you’ve got. We should let ourselves heal, it won’t be easy but it will be worth it. I figured it out that whenever the Lord sends you thunderstorms, He doesn’t make you suffer but He makes you strong. And once we accept that fact, we just let things be. We don’t cling to what hurts; we place our trust in Him knowing that His plans are always better than the plans we have for ourselves.
Wherever you are in this world I want to tell you something…
You deserve to live a great life. A life filled with love, beauty, peace, and joy. A life with people who love you and celebrate exactly who you are. A life where you can be your best most sincere self and know you are safe, you are seen. You deserve to feel fulfilled and appreciated. You deserve to find love that makes you feel special. Makes you ache in all the right ways. Love that endures, forgives, accepts, and believes.
You deserve friends who are like your sisters and brothers. Your eclectic tribe of people whose stories help you write your own. People who teach you what it means to have a community you can lean on. A community that makes the darkness leave in the face of all the light they bring. You deserve to wake up and live as you are. To step outside and find joy in the fact that you are alive and you have the opportunity to do something with the time you’ve been given.
You deserve to see your dreams bloom into reality. To see the talents and gifts you possess harvest beautiful moments of success and triumph. You deserve to follow your heart. March to the beat inside your soul. You deserve to be happy and whole and awesome. You deserve so much more than you let yourself have.
You deserve a beautiful life. A life that in your last moments makes you smile in thanks, cry in joy, and die knowing you have come alive in the book of life you’ve been given.
You deserve this life, but you won’t have it if you do not believe and fight for it. You have to have faith and hope in yourself and in this life. And you have to go out into the world and make it happen.
Stop standing still. Choose your life.