Last month, I thought about turning the lights out on this story of mine. Every book has an ending, right?
I didn’t know if I wanted to reach that end or if I could sit down and write it out of me and feel satisfied. I didn’t know if anyone would notice if the next week and the week after that and six months from now, my fingers weren’t poised over this laptop keyboard telling you something you already had humming inside your eardrums.
The truth is, I had forgotten myself. Forgotten that I kicked depression aside and sat in my childhood bedroom and tried to piece together a blog post about falling in love at eighteen and the pain that comes with that. The starvation and sunken stomachs and aching limbs and itchy eyes that comes with letting go.
I was sure goodbye was not the best word in the world, but wanted to remind myself that even though I hadn’t quite nailed it down, my sister’s best friend and her boyfriend could. So I wrote a post for them.
But last month, after a combination of conversations whirled into my Sunday morning and afternoon and evening, I wasn’t sure if I could hit the Publish button on Monday morning.
Mostly, I thought it’d be easier to not tell you I was mad lonely, to skirt around the fact that the place in my apartment I knew best was my bedroom floor, or that I had sat in my walk-in closet and tried to find one thing that still held the old me. A pair of shoes or a summer sundress.
I couldn’t. Even my wardrobe had changed.
And I didn’t want to tell you that, because I knew, deep down, about those of you who never typed an email or a Facebook message to me.
Yesterday, I got two emails from girls I’ve never met. About this blog and HUGstronger. About their hurts and pains and the hope my words have given them.
And I remembered why I was so glad to have pushed through this past month. Why we write our pain and people forgive us over and over. Because, if there is one lesson that will put empathy into your hands and never let you empty them, it is this: we all struggle with something. Admitting that something doesn’t just take a ton of bricks off your chest—it unloads the weight of someone else dabbling in the same heartache.
So tell me, please, what bricks are suffocating. Tell me, please, what weights you need lifted.
For most of my life, I have been a quiet listener. It is a job that rouses me out of sweet dreams at three a.m. A job that does not let you apologize. A job that is sweet and sad and altogether wonderful. Because I love connecting and reminding people that you’re not the only person whose thoughts are littered with pain.
You aren’t. Oh, I promise you. You are not.
Note: My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you ever, you know, need a friend to listen.