If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past ten years, it’s that finding long term stability when it comes to navigating the waters of mental illness can be incredibly difficult. It’s almost as if at any moment the proverbial switch can be flipped and you find yourself in the middle of the biggest fight for your sanity. Sometimes it comes with plenty of warning signs along the way while other times it comes without warning.
But sometimes it finds itself in the middle of both: you know the warning signs are there, but you ignore them because you think to yourself that things aren’t really as bad as your mind makes them seem and then instead of tackling them head on, you convince yourself that everything is okay until one day it isn’t.
And then you watch as everything goes up in smoke.
You hurt people.
You stop responding to the very people who love you more than anything in the world.
You push them away because you don’t want them to see you like this.
You apologize incessantly and wonder which time will be the last time they respond back.
And then you lie awake at night with a million different thoughts racing through your mind that you can’t shut off.
And then when the dust starts to settle and the smoke begins to clear, you see the full scope of the chaos you’ve created.
I think that’s when you realize how lonely this road can be.
Please don’t misunderstand and think that this is my way of waving the white flag of surrender. It most certainly isn’t.
I’ve fought this fight before and came out victorious and I’ll do it again this time. I will rise out of these ashes better than I was before.
To those that I’ve hurt, please know how very sorry I am. From the bottom of my heart, I am sorry.
To those that I’ve pushed away, please know that’s not what I want. Please be patient with me as I figure this out.
I can’t force you to stay and I won’t. I understand if you feel the need to walk away. I’m not mad at you. It’ll hurt, but I will survive.
I think that’s ultimately what this journey teaches you: that you’re a survivor.
I have survived.
I am surviving.
I will continue to survive.
To those of you that refuse to walk away, thank you. I love you.
To those of you that have chosen to walk away, thank you for walking what you could. I love you.
Here’s to the road ahead.
Here’s to the shadows.
And here’s to finding the light again.