There comes a moment in life when one must make a choice to either accept their pain and move forward or to let the pain consume them.
I have reached this point on many occasions and still each time I chose to take the wrong path. For a long time I let the pain of life consume me, I lived in the hurt and the pain constantly letting it cloud everything I did. Letting the pain make my decisions. However, there came a point when this was not enough–when the pain was too much to bear.
So instead I boxed it up behind walls of food and control and through shear force of will. I built myself a cage for my demons, a box for my pain, and a mask for my face. Telling myself one day it would just go away and I could be happy again. That way no one would know that even though on the inside I was slowly dying, to my friends and more importantly my family,
I looked better. I became what has now become the sugar and coffee girl; my entire being hinging on maintaining a constant balance to of the most abused but legal substances in the world, sugar and caffeine. If for even a moment I felt upset I would eat chocolate or some other sweet, and to treat the continual fatigue of maintaining my box I drank coffee, tea, and soda. Building up a tolerance and addiction to caffeine so strong I could take 6 shots of espresso and not feel a thing (yes I have done this).
A week ago, possibly my best friend in the world finally had enough of my walls. She being a person who at times could see a glimmer of the girl behind the mask decided it was time for the world to see the same person. With all the love she could muster, she pounded me with the truth of what I was doing refusing to stop until she was certain not only where my walls down but destroyed beyond repair.
Once again I was faced with a choice to either accept my pain and deal with it or let it consume me. And consume me it did. Once again I was back to being a weak teen who hated herself, hated life and could only think of one thing–dying. Alone and afraid but too weak to truly act on my feeling I cried myself to sleep then woke up, put on my broken mask and went to work. Texting my friend all the while about how she had broken me and officially done me in because there was no way I could handle how I felt. She refused to accept this.
That night after work over the phone I poured out my heart to her, all the pain and hurt and loneliness I was feeling. How I couldn’t actually kill myself not because I didn’t want to but because I didn’t have the strength to do it. So she got in her car and drove seven hours to make sure I got through the weekend alive. To my great surprise I did make it through the weekend and another week at work. I’m not saying it was easy, in fact it was kinda miserable, but I pushed through.
So, why tell you this, what’s the point?
I believe there are many people out there with boxes just like mine; people who cage their feelings because they fear the consequences of feeling them. You don’t have to; find a friend, a lover, a pastor, a teacher, a therapist someone you trust, someone who believes in you.
Go to them and tell them how you really feel; knock down the walls, unlock the cage. It is possible to accept the pain and move forward, it doesn’t have to consume you. Everyday I make it out of bed is a miracle, every time I breathe is a step in the right direction. I am not perfect, far from it. I am flawed, broken and weak, by the Grace of God somehow I am still alive. If I can do it, you can too.
The Broken Beautiful
(Photo credit: Anders Jilden, Unsplash.com)