Then, I was covered in darkness. I had allowed my hopes and dreams to fall from my fingertips, onto the cold floor, and to shatter. After a while, I had forgotten about them completely. I could no longer recognize the light, and began to fade away.
My floors were lined with empty bottles of cheap wine, and my dresser full of unnamed pills. There were times of blood; when the razor brought me glimpses of serenity. There were times of falling asleep in full tubs, times of waking up in strange places, and times of bawling on floors, surrounded by people that did not care.
Oh, back then, I wanted to be somebody new, anybody new. I wanted to be put together, I wanted to be exciting, I wanted to be a laid-back addict with the vibe of an artist. Oh, back then, I would have killed to be somebody new. I would have paid for the flesh to be ripped off of me, for my heart to be ripped out of me, for my brain to be replaced. I tried with all of my might to do it myself. I adapted to each setting, memorized all of the lines. I walked into rooms, shaking in my boots, hoping that no one would see through my facade.
But they did. They always did. I could never fit in, anywhere, and it was the unspoken truth. People grew tired of my lies, of my efforts, and they would leave me with only the sight of their legs, walking away.
It is impossible to say how or when or why it all started. Why depression and self-hatred were the strongest of all of my parts, why vulnerability became my enemy. All I know is that it filled me for most all of my life. I was a mistake, I had to be a mistake. The days and the weeks and the months and the years proved that to me over and over again.
Back then, I was lost. I was cold, and alone, and misunderstood. Back then, I searched for all the ways to be less me, and kept failing.
I wish I had known, then, that when people talk of change, they were speaking truth. I wish I had known, then, that vulnerability was beautiful … and essential. I wish I had known, then, that I would always have to be me … and to fight it was pointless and degrading. I wish I had known, then, that I would one day meet the person who would call all of my flaws “perfections.”
I wish I had known, then, that I was and am worthy of love.
Last summer, out of nowhere, I met my husband. We married and now we have just received the news that the house we loved so much and made an offer on, has been accepted. In a couple of months, we will be sitting in our own home. Hearing the news, I could not help but cry.
In the early months of 2013, I was the girl in the dark. I had nothing but my broken record of morbid thoughts. I was empty. And I had finally accepted that life, for me, was unchangeable.
So yes, I cried. I cried because of the life I have now. I cried because I not only found a husband, not only found a best friend, but I found the person who has allowed me to unshackle myself. I cried because, while bad things still happen, it is all of the good things that are defining me now. I cried because I am no longer searching for a home. I have found one, in my husband.
What I wish I had known, then, was that life would always be a struggle. There will always be downs and darkness and nightmares come true. But, sometimes magic happens. Sometimes, miracles happen. And I suppose that what I “wish I had known then,” was something I already knew: that life is worth fighting for, and life is worth fighting through. Because learning to embrace the darkness within ourselves, allows us the courage to fight for the light. Perhaps, deep down, I knew all along that I was worthy of that light. And now that I am learning to know that, I will fight like never before.