We wouldn't shine.
“Stars can’t shine without darkness,” ~ D.H. Sidebottom, Fragile Truths.
If I asked you to think about when you have faced your worst day, the worst experience, or the worst memory, what would you end the tale with? Would you simply say: "Things are fine now though" or "I wish it never happened...?"
It is a deep, personal, and possibly still sore subject to prick your mind with, but it's not to bring you pain. No, my intentions are to pursue something much more than more suffering. My intentions are to help you see another side of things, maybe find a brighter side, and or, maybe even find a reason.
No matter how old you are, no matter what you've seen or what you've faced, you have felt your lowest point (For now? Cruel, but that's just the messed up reality of life... after one challenge, another will follow.). To other people, your weakest moment could seem small and pathetic, but to you, at the time or even now, it meant or still means the world. Because, unlike other people, you are you, and you care and think differently.
Age and experience sometimes mean nothing. We all have strengths, weaknesses, passions, limits, and breaking points. We cannot be strong forever, and when we snap, we either slip into an abyss, drag ourselves along, or get back up and take another hit after another hit. But sooner or later, you won't be capable to. You can only take so much at once.
The darkest of times is when we can't fight anymore, or believe it so, then it becomes true. When we fall and can't get back up, sometimes we dig ourselves deeper into self-pity and burrow our bruised and broken bodies into more negativity. The further you sink into the darkness of the abyss of depression.
Let's take a moment and focus on an example. There's this young girl, Beth. She already has enough going on, let alone the recent bad breakup and major changes she's facing all at once. For months, she was growing distant and silent. It all started a few years back when she let herself change and seclude, and hide her true self in a shell. Her real character was stubborn and proud, she didn't care what other people thought and were a wild child who expressed her strange self with an unyielding brilliance.
However, when you start growing up in many ways, you change, not always in ways that are meant to be. Sometimes you grow into a mask, sometimes you grow into a fake, sometimes you grow into a monster... But deep down inside, when you're alone, you look in the mirror and remove the mask. You are real when you're with yourself, maybe... and as for that monster you've become, you're just misunderstood by others, maybe even by yourself.
Beth was starting to let herself care too much, unlike before. She made herself not care, but now she has begun to give in to her emotional personality and she unleashed her own insecurities and they fed.
The side of you that you give attention to is the one that will take "the light" and be the you that the world around sees. Sometimes we don't even know how we are to people, but it's no excuse to be cruel, not just to others, but also to ourselves.
Now, the young girl stopped being her careless self, and started to filter herself, to "adjust", to what was "acceptable". She was quiet, but still did well in school and was still a good kid. She didn't drink, smoke, or anything of the sort. Beth was just a girl trying to find who she was...
Being a senior for some is exciting at times, but when the time comes, it is scarier for some than for others. Even more so if the college you might be attending is in an environment opposite of what you're used to.
Beth found herself surrounded by city lights and crowds that either ignored and pushed through her, or yelled and cheered her on when she was becoming one of them... until the rumors began to spread. After her new life seemed to be full of fun and no worries, it also was taking an abrupt turn for the worst.
She trusted too much now, sharing the wrong things, going to the wrong places... one night Beth found herself dazed... lost and... not alone. Even though she had started to feel lonely, she was only alone when she was going to class... when she did muster up the courage, motivation, and confidence to go... she already had felt stupid, failing tests and quizzes, missing points on papers she never had lacked before... college was a whole new world for her and at the end of that first stretch, it shifted from a dream, to nightmare.
Before the rumors and before the end, Beth had been sexually harassed on several occasions, sometimes without even knowing, but with others meekly watching. Her body was becoming an attraction and ticket for the club she was in. They had started to use her broken view of love to tempt other singles, only looking for something to play with.
Beth was starting to give up. She was already screwing everything up. Her anxieties would spring when she would see people from the parties her club took her to. She started to hate being seen. When she dared to show herself in public, she would paint her face and walk with a strut, pretending that nothing was phasing her. When deep down everything was a mess and shattering to pieces.
The night that would lead to her worst experience, was a night she trusted in someone too much. She wanted to believe that he was like her, she thought that maybe he was a good kid too once, that he had also come from a small town where everyone knew everyone and no one was a snake... He laid hands on her and took advantage of her... her trust, her impaired state of mind, and her last attempt at finding love...
Beth's ears were ringing and her head spinning when she heard the new rumors... Her few memories she could recollect from the night were beginning to connect... she had had enough.
Remember when I was said we all have a point when we just snap? Yes, you guessed it, now was her time.
She leaned against the bathroom floor. Alone, as she started to hurt herself. The depression had started out creating a sleepy, drained, malnourished beast... now it had reached it's full potential. Beth tried to kill herself that worst night of her life. All the voices in her head had tuned out her roommate outside begging her to stop and soon calling 911.
Depression is not something to take lightly. Once you start to see the signs, you can either reach out and get help, or fall further, like Beth... Unfortunately, some can't reach out. They have people that they can cry for, but "that'll only make things worse", "they'll think I'm worthless and pathetic", "they're too far away...", "they won't understand", "they won't listen". These negative thoughts only snowball and the emotions you feed your energy to, are the ones that take over.
That was a rough example, trust me, there are many more out there. Life sucks... until you break free. Until you stop giving in to the negativity, until you stop letting your fears drag you down until you decide to be happy, until you earn and work to put that smile on, you can and you will rise above and in the end, you too will shine like a star, despite the darkness you've been shrouded in.
Then I will lead into how I will tell my story of pain, and the darkness of facing depression, but in the end, seeing the light.
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