I hold my own light


I feel like my life has become all about my breakdown. At work my mental state is a topic in almost every conversation, my conversations with family and friends have become distant and with everything I keep doubting myself because of what I am going through. Sometimes I feel like I have become just my mental state, like there is no more to me than what happened to me a year ago.

Whenever I am around other people, I feel like I wear this big label that tells them to stay away, to keep distance and approach carefully. I notice how some friends have disappeared and how the few once that are left stopped having normal conversations with me. People stopped telling me about their own life, out of fear of upsetting me. But on the other hand, talking about my life is even more scary, because if my darkness will come out my words will be too hard to listen to.

It has been so long since I have had a conversation without fear, a conversation that is not overshadowed by a dark cloud that is my mental state, that I became afraid that I have become the dark cloud. I am afraid that I am nothing more than the problems I am facing, that I am no longer able to be someone without them. A feeling that really started to scare me more and more over the past months.

This is why I tried something different yesterday. I planned to meet up with a new colleague to go for a sunny lunch walk. I had never met this girl before, she didn’t know anything about me or my story, for her, I was just a person, an architect who wants meet her to have a glimpse of what office life used to be before Corona. And I decided to keep it that way, I decided that I would try to let her meet the real me.

What happened is that I finally had a conversation without any dark clouds. It turned out that I had many things to talk about that had nothing to do with my mental state. My colleague was also not able to make my dark clouds appear, she did not upset me, she did not make me feel awkward, she could just talk, it was just so normal. We walked, we talked and we laughed. I spend the nicest hour this year with this complete stranger because she allowed me to be myself, finally.

Right after I got back home, my boss called and immediately the dark clouds appeared. I turned into my breakdown again, and this made me wonder if it will ever disappear. I mean, this dark cloud that I apparently became, is not created by me, at least not all the time, not anymore. Off course I have bad times, but they are just short moments now, and most of the time I am actually pretty good.

It is not that I have become dark, instead, it are the people around me that can not stop putting me in the dark. They are the people that hold on to the worst while I try desperately to get better and even became good, until they pull me back, over and over. I guess that is just the unfortunate way in which we humans are wired.

You won’t tell your secrets to someone who has shared them with other people before, you won’t leave your wallet with someone who has a history of stealing and you don’t leave your children with someone who beats their own. We all remember the worst moments of each other and choose to hold on to them, even the smallest mistake will follow us forever.

I keep wondering how many bright moments I need to have before I am no longer the darkness I went through. When will I be seen as myself again?

I just hope that I will be strong enough to keep myself in the light while I’m still assumed to be dark. I have to believe in myself, because I am so much better than the fear these people see in me. I have to hold my own light, I deserve it.

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