Written by Megan Saunders, Blogger & Advocate
Entranced by the delicate threads that manipulate the light, I eagerly pull-up the blinds, hoping this act can dissipate the darkness. To my dismay, I find even in the presence of the unhindered light, the darkness is in me, in my head.
I open my mouth to speak. The words don’t come. They travel around and around the defective gum-ball machine that is my mind, lost in translation. I retreat. I don’t ask for help.
Wrapped in suffocating cords of worthlessness, I inhale. The cords dig-in deeper. I exhale, becoming a little smaller. Slowly the light within my spirit dims. I lose myself in my glass globe of perfection.
Broken. Shards of who I once was pierce my consciousness. I try to put myself back together, but I can’t. The pieces are lost.
Creeping, time torments me. How many more minutes are left in this day? How much longer must I fend-off the demons that onslaught what little semblance of myself I feel remains?
I feel like I’m crumbling under the immense weight of the blackness. I have a choice. Do I crumble? Do I attempt to stand?
I attempt to stand. I am weak. Trudging through the mire of self-hate, I reach an iron gate. The way is barred. With ease, a stranger opens the gate and invites me to pass through. Again, I have a choice. It’s my life. I can do what I will. Allowing myself to lean my weary body on the stranger, I walk through the threshold. It’s been a while since I permitted myself to feel supported and accept help
Once through the threshold, I lift my weary head and glimpse the healing path that lies before me. It seems never-ending, daunting, and uneven. I determine to take another laborious step…then another. I’m no longer leaning on the stranger, but rather, walking alongside. My bones ache from past struggle. I mutter, “It hurts.” The stranger’s eyes break a little with the response, “I know. I’ve walked this path before.”
It didn’t happen all at once. Gradually, the scales that skewed my perception for so long began to fall from my eyes. I began to perceive the light from afar as though I were looking through a pinhole. “There is something better. There is something more,” I thought. The stranger remained faithfully by my side, reminding me of the light when the way became difficult and I couldn’t lift my head from my feet again.
Emerging from the frigid winter that had plagued my soul for years, hope erupted. The old adage, “This too shall pass,” resonated with my spirit. Maybe, healing was possible for me. I cautiously began to own this new, fragile thing termed hope.
I felt strength, confidence, and courage surface in my being as I progressed forward with the stranger. In wake of the light’s radiance, I began to blossom anew. With growth, there is a degree of death that must occur; death to old habits, cognitive processes, and destructive patterns. The darkness in me was being eclipsed by the luminous light. I was alive. At times, it still hurt to speak, to breathe, and to walk, AND I knew it would pass and I could endure it.
In some moments, feelings of defectiveness would still attack. I grieved my broken places. In the light, I enshrined them. I let it illuminate every crevice. I never felt more alive than in this brilliance
Letting the light shine through my brokenness, it was time; time to spread my new wings and soar.
I’d like to say that I never relapsed or considered crumbling, but that wouldn’t be true. There are still days when I can’t walk alone, and that’s more than okay. I reach-out and ask for help. I trust my experience when I doubt I can continue; experience that reminds me I’m a survivor. I hold my past against the light and I remember. I remember, without dwelling, the struggle, and determine to keep moving forward.
My name is Megan and this is Where I Stand.
**All photos credited and taken by Megan Saunders.