I remember hearing and reading that bible quote when I was little, but never really thinking twice about it. Until now that is. Never has became frequently lately.
As a child I lived in my own world, mine and my brother’s that we invented and shared. I didn’t feel lonely, I didn’t feel depressed, I didn’t need to know that people realized I existed. I had my brother after all, and we kept each other company. Being a year apart we did most things together and entertained each other. It was a funny competition like thing we had where we had to prove that what the other was doing, we could to. We looked out for each other, and while we picked on each other, no one was allowed to mess with the other. I knew I wasn’t the only person alive, I had my brother. He accepted that I was weird and goofy usually, and a little off from others, not as outspoken.
Then life happened and we grew more apart, went our separate ways. He had his plethora of friends, I had my very few amount. He got married, has a kid, his own family. I was raped, became pregnant, lost a child, became introverted, tried suicide, hurt myself. We went different routes as life normally does. I lost that constant companion, that person that affirmed that I wasn’t alone, that things was ok, the one person I told my troubles to. I lost my connection to people, that little bit that tied me to life.
He provided words to me. Words that reaffirmed that I was alive and not alone. Words of encouragement. The silly teasing that goes on between brother and sister. Standing against our sister together, her verbal abuse.
Then slowly the shadows consumed me, the darkness of my mind being all that I saw, misery and despair all I heard, nothing being what I felt, I was nothing.
I had to learn to survive on my own, and it was a beautiful disaster.
I bottled everything inside of me. I stayed in my shadows. I shared nothing, and pretended I was invisible. It must have worked because no one talked to me. No one asked how I was doing. No one cared. I started to drink whenever I could. I was hurting myself in multiple ways. No one seemed to think twice about it. No one questioned it. There were no words. Silence, if anything, pushed me further away from life.
I lived in a world of silence, darkness, emptiness; a vacuum. My life was nothing.
Then something happened. A friend I didn’t think was there anymore spoke to me. He asked me to get help. Someone noticed, and then spoke. It stuck with me. I did not act upon it right away. I had no light, no way to escape, but I would find it, because of those words, that request asking me to get help.
Eventually I got that help, saw a psychiatrist, actually a legion of them, as apparently I was a bit more twisted, broke, and lost than originally thought to be. My first psychiatrist sent me to group therapy when she saw some of my wounds and scars. My group wasn’t just about being in a group with others that were disturbed and wanted to find ways to end things, it was groups of psychiatrists and therapists. Eventually I learned ways to manage, to deal, to not hide in the shadowy darkness all of the time, though as those that suffer from mental illnesses know, there are relapses, ups and downs, as this roller coaster never ends that our brains are on. I still have issues. I still battle, still feel alone, helpless, and at times, I want to end it all. Other times I’m in an okay place where I can manage.
In those helpless times, it seems that I have someone watching out for me. When I need it the most, I will get a text, an IM, a Snapchat, or an email, some form of communication just asking how I am, or saying hi. I have a lifeline, a tether to the world reaching out to me. Something to connect me back to people. I didn’t ask, I didn’t hope for it, it was just there when I needed it. A treasure.
I try to hide everything and hold it in. It’s who I am, so when that small word, or something comes across to show that someone is thinking about me, it brings a little more of me to the picture. I start to fill in. I’m not invisible. I don’t have my brother the way I did before, and it still is the hardest thing to want to bring these types of things up to him, but I’m learning that there are others out there that lend those words and thoughts, those lights and lifelines and tethers I desperately need at times.
II try to be this tether to others. I love sitting down at a computer and writing. I open up friends list and see who is on and send messages out saying hi. I go through my contacts in my phone and send a good morning, how are you to people. I’ve had people do that to me when I’m at my lowest, or needing a word spoken, I hope I can do the same to others. I hope to provide golden apples, albeit a bit tarnished. I apologize for that.