Holding On

I’ve been reading back over old pieces of writing the last few days. My writing folder is a jumbled mess of titles like “weird thing”, “stuff”, “don’t ever read this it is terrible”, “meow” (it had nothing to do with cats), etc. In one of these, thoughtfully titled ‘thing”, I found this. It is a piece I wrote in July of 2017. I don’t remember who it was about. I don’t remember if it was about anyone specific at all.
All I know is I am now sitting in my room, so wracked with tears that I can hardly write this introduction. I needed to read this. I’ve needed to read this for a long time. Maybe you will, too.
I hope to God my younger self is right.

“Remember all the sadness and frustration, and let it go.”

– Linkin Park

You did let go, in the most final sense of the word. The shield you held up for so long to block out the bullets life sent at you tumbled to the ground one last time. You turned your back on the waves that you’d been holding back for who knows how long; you let them swamp you, and I wonder if within their depths you have found peace. I wonder if the happiness that evaded you now rests on your shoulders where once your burdens did. I wonder if your thoughts are full of love and joy, now, rather than the impenetrable fog that nobody pushed hard enough to explore. I wonder if you feel the warmth of the sun and not just the overbearing heat of a new day, and if you smile at the stars instead of wondering what another night will bring.
I hope the happiness you have found is worth the sadness you left behind. I hope the happiness you have found will one day fill the hole that your absence so abruptly tore into reality.
I hope you, wherever you may be, see the sorrow and pain of those who wonder why. I hope you see the confusion of those who wonder when it all became too heavy. I hope that you see this not out of a yearning for you to suffer, but because you didn’t see the willingness to care in the hearts of the people that walked beside you.
I hope that you see this and know that life is cruel, harsh, and unyielding, but those who lived beside you also love, and you were worth that love. You were worth what you may not have sought. You were worth the attention of a listening ear. You were worth the words and a gentle touch. You were worth someone holding your hands and sharing your burdens.
You were worth it.

You are worth it.
There are always those who will help. There are always those who will count the stars with you while you can’t sleep for fear of a nightmare. There are always those who will share your silence or fill it with the words you need to hear. There is someone who will listen not just to the stories you tell, but the words you speak, and there’s someone who will simply hold you when those words get caught in your throat.
Telling the story of your scars is daunting and terrifying. Your strength is resilient and beautiful, but admitting to having been hurt—admitting to having broken pieces that aren’t quite fitting back together is the only way that others will know that you are losing your way.
Life is cruel, harsh, and unyielding, but your reaching hands can find contact. Your tears can have somewhere to fall that isn’t your pillow.
Keep reaching.
Please, keep reaching, because there is always someone reaching back. You may not find them in the places you expect to, but you can find someone. You will find someone.

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