For The Broken Ones, The Sad Ones, The Ones Who Are Falling Apart.
For the broken ones, for the sad ones, for the ones whose lives are falling apart and things feel like they will never be whole again…
… it’s going to be okay.
You are letting the light in, and becoming transparent. You are letting yourself feel, and letting yourself be seen. Be heard. Be acknowledged as real in a world that has demanded you be everything except yourself.
… it’s the hardest easy thing you’ll ever realize.
It’ll come after years of hiding, decades of shame. A lifetime spent wanting to be someone else, pretending to live another life, hiding the best and the worst and most real parts of you.
Because you are not like them.
And they can never know.
If they knew that you were different, that you brew your own special sauce of broken and insecure, and scared to trust and quick to love, and too goddamned genius to let yourself really shine, they’d never stick around.
This is why the first few months of dating someone are usually extra magical: they are displaying the side of themselves they’ve deemed normal, the side that has minimal warts and maximum likeability.
This is the side we see on social media, in surface level conversations with friends: rarely do we want to travel outside of people’s expectations and share that we are struggling, that things are less than ideal in the land of perpetually perfect selfies and flawless relationships.
At some point, subconsciously or consciously, your mind went, “Fuck this.”
You decided to finally, after all of this time, let the light move through you, clearing out the darkness. The darkness of shame, the gloom of despair. The hopelessness that has filled your days when you think that no one will ever, could ever, love you for you, just as you are.
The wise ones say that breakdowns are breakthroughs, but it’s not going to feel that way for a while. When people say that to you now, you may even think they don’t understand what you’re going through, that they’re making light of your pain.
You may tell them — in your mind or to their face — to fuck right off.
For me, neither of my breakdowns felt like breakthroughs. They felt like my world had ended, but it didn’t matter so much, because I didn’t matter so much, and so how could any of it mean anything, really?
It was like someone took a paint scraper to the mural that was my life so far, and stripped away everything that I had made and thought and created up to those points.
I was left with nothing. No colors. No shapes. Only the vaguest recollections of the concepts of these things.
I had a canvas and a brush, but I left them under my bed, where I spent most of my time.
And I could not care less. Who the fuck wanted to paint? None of it mattered.
After a time, both times, I found myself suddenly jarred by memories. Shaken out of my stupor by flashes of the colors. They were different both times, and completely unexpected. Somewhere in my darkness, in the not-here not-there of my breakdown, there was a soft knock.
It was my chance: open the door and fight my way back to life, painting and creating and coloring it in as I went, starting over from scratch, or stay where I was. Until… whenever. At both points, probably until death.
I opened the door. I picked up my paintbrush. And I cried. For the first time since I broke down, I felt something other than nothing.
I saw that instead of being empty, I was limitless. Instead of being worthless, I was irreplaceable. The second time (and I hope, the last), I realized that I could take my broken mural, put it on display, and use it to help people.
My weaknesses, my ugly sides, my not-so-proud moments: I share them just as happily as my glories and triumphs in the hope that someone else realizes that they, too, are a perfect special sauce of broken and beautiful, of wild and wonderful.
You. Wherever you are in this journey. It’s going to be okay.
I promise you. I wish I could show you in a way that feels visceral, tangible, something you could hold and hug in your darkest moments when your demons are coming for blood, that things are going to be okay.
They’re going to be so okay that you will look back on this time and weep, because you’ll see how perfectly broken you had to become, how fiercely the fire had to burn, so that you could shed the pieces that don’t serve you, that hold you back and down and keep you small, and be reborn: big and beautiful and light, cleansed of the darkness and master of your dragons.
One day, you are going to help others with the knowledge of what you’re going through, and you will know yourself: really, truly know yourself. In a way that many others never do.
You stripped the canvas. You saw what was there, and what was taken. You saw what could be created, and you decided to build it instead of following its breakdown to the end.
You are Someone. This breakdown/breakthrough/break-out is a process that is getting rid of all the beliefs that make you think you are not.
Hang on. Look to the light.
When you hear the knock, open the door. And pick up your brush.