A year ago, I was a disaster. I was holding it together when I had to, but I was spiraling. Two years ago, I was so codependent that I could barely stand to be alone. Three years ago, I asked to go to Parkview Behavioral Health.
Today, I have so many ways to manage my thoughts and emotions. So many people to reach out to so that I do not bury my darkness and let it consume me. People look to me for strength, and it doesn’t overwhelm me so much that I can’t breathe. I have healthy friendships with boundaries and respect. I no longer sit quietly by while terrible things happen, because I’m no longer scared to be alive. I’m not. I’m not scared to exist. Things still terrify me. I still find myself sitting in the car waiting to feel strong enough to go into the house. I still cry a lot. I still feel incapacitating loneliness. I’m still scared for my person and what can happen, but being alive does not scare me.
Hope is real. Hope is real. Hope pushes and pulls you out of bed. Hope warms you on the inside when your whole body feels like the dripping walls of a cave.
Love is real. Love is real. Love propels you forward. It pushes out darkness. It creeps into dark corners and shines.
Strength is real. Strength is real. Strength is more than just lifting cars and tossing cabers. Strength is shouting for truth even when your voice shakes. Strength is holding the hand of someone in need even when your own hand shakes in fear. Strength is breathing. Strength is loving. Strength is hoping. Strength is living.