I first met her at the intersection of pain. I admired her courage, her graceful way of dealing with pain. I was very grateful and amazed at how you could ease your pain by simply being in the company of someone who’s going through the same. We talked and bared our very core. We laughed and cried. Then, it was time for her to move on, leaving me with soothing words and hope that helped me get to where I am today.
After seeing how beautiful pain was, I reckoned it was my turn to leave. I saw the narrow road ahead and decided to take that path with renewed confidence. But just before I was about to leave, I saw someone has arrived.
I turned back to find out it was her again. Her lips just barely smiled. She came closer to me. In her hands was a white sheet of paper inked in grey. Without words spoken, she handed it to me. It was an open letter.
“Read it for me…please,” she softly whispered. And so I did.
I won’t ask how you are doing because I know you’re far from OK. Instead, I want to say “Thank you.” Thank you for daring to live through the wounds and scars, and the new wounds that will inevitably come after. Thank you for being increasingly better at not giving a fuck about what people around will think and say. Thank you for keeping on living when all else has failed.
Today’s a hard day, but today’s also beautiful. People all over the world come together to start a conversation and encourage each other to fight what you’ve been struggling with since God knows when. Today, people who actually care dare to be vulnerable by sharing their painful stories in the hopes of reaching those who are hurting…including you. Thus, I write this letter to also encourage your sick and tired soul to not throw in the towel, no matter how much that makes sense to you right now.
I know. Pain sucks and you want it to end. Who in their right mind would want to feel it? But you see, pain is also beautiful. It’s beautiful because as you struggle with it each second of your life, it makes you see that it’s possible to live with it. It’s possible to be wounded and scarred, but feel hope and love. Your pain and the darkness you’re in don’t have to define you. You can still shine bright amidst them. It’s possible to walk through a seemingly endless and scary tunnel and still come through the other side.
Right. Easy to say but hard to do. But don’t get me wrong here. I know you’re having the hardest time functioning. That normal and sane are no longer parts of your vocabulary. But despite that, please keep on living. Please keep on pushing. Please keep on fighting…for you. I don’t know how long you’ll have to live through this and I can’t even promise everything will be okay in the end. But of all uncertainties I wrestle with in life, I know one thing’s for sure: Hope isn’t a myth.
Yes, it gets harder with each day but through the cracks of your hardly beaten soul, The Light will shine through.
The Light won’t leave you in the dark and no amount of darkness can ever trump it. The Light will stubbornly pursue you as the super massive black hole threatens to swallow your wandering heart whole. The Light will keep you afloat and lead you during the darkest and coldest of nights. More importantly, The Light will be your guide as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, sit by your side as you face the most painful relapse of your life, and be your North Star as you find your way to recovery.
You’re not alone in this fight, Maine. I know it doesn’t feel that way especially right now but when in doubt, look up. Up there, behind the clouds, is The Light shining down on you, embracing you with your dark, and loving you even if you never thought you’d be worth such an unconditional love. I know this thought is something you can’t wrap your head on and it’s okay.
You’re worth loving. You’re worth saving. You’re loved. Hang in there.
If you or someone you know is struggling, hope and help is available. Reach out. Text. Call. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Someone cares.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Trevor Project
International Association for Suicide Prevention
To Write Love On Her Arms
Anthem of Hope
About the Author
Maine Belonio is a twenty-something mom and writer who has a penchant for coffee, long-distance running, Tolkien, Switchfoot, and Jesus. She’s in the process of working on her first book entitled “Unashamed: A Devotional For the Rest of Us.” Get your copy by signing up at mainebelonio.com.
My Story is a collection of posts written by readers who believe in the power of a story to positively impact other people’s story. It offers a safe space to share your personal life stories, as well as, inspiring adventures and moving insights that interpret and re-imagine what it means to live, love, and share. Tell us your story, right here.