I call them growing aches. You know, the pain children feel when their bodies grow? It’s the same with adults when their mind expand and they have to face brutal, real life. And I don’t mean, by any ways, bills or the negative response of a job interview, as I don’t talk about failed exams, as I don’t want to go into the subject of daily matters. I’m talking about the pain you feel when you look into the mirror and you don’t even see yourself. That’s loneliness. When you wake up as you usually do, get up and make coffee, brush your teeth and comb your hair, iron your shirt and go about your day. In complete, deep silence, hidden in some radio tunes you play just so you don’t feel the pain.
That’s a normal morning routine for the most of us, ain’t it? Just so you’re able to function like a, well, grown up, huh? But what does it mean to grow up? Get a job from 9 to 5? Dine with friends and get tipsy on friday nights over long weeks at work and boring weekends? Finish college, girl, or you’ll end up exactly like them. Don’t go out dressed like that, you’re 20, for fuck’s sake. Don’t tell them what hurts.
And so we grow in silence, crying at 1 am not even knowing what hurts, but being unable to stop, having nobody to call because the last best friend you called, cracked under the pressure of your tears and backed off. Eh, don’t worry, they all do, I know it hurts – but it’s part of growing up, isn’t it? Don’t be so hard on yourself. Relax. It’s all in your mind. Don’t forget about that deadline. Oh, and on Friday we’re going out, want to come? Yeah, I’ll meet you there after finishing my adult tasks. Because I’m a grown up now, don’t you get it? Grow up! Look in the mirror! Next month you’ll have a child of your own, don’t be a disaster of a parent, you don’t wanna end up like your folks. Here, drink this. And this. Take these pills, it will help you feel better. My shrink told me not to overuse, though, so be careful. You don’t want to make any mistakes. Ain’t that what they all say?
I’m writing this to raise awarness between people who struggle with mental illness. It’s okay. Take the day off. You’ll grow tomorrow and you don’t have to go to that party. It’s ok to look around and find nobody. You’ll always find yourself, you just gotta have the strength. Take the days as they are. And stop letting him influence you, or let her tell you how to dress, what to smoke or what to read. Stop letting people define you. You’re more than enough and all that you need from a soul that’s… not next to you. Stop coughing. Roll your eyes and waste weekends. It’s okay.
I slept for seventeen hours yesterday and if there wasn’t my morning alarm to wake me up, I would have made it to at least twenty. Sleeping this much is nothing special for me, nothing new, nothing that I am proud of, though. I used to survive with five, but then overthinking and frustration happens quite a lot. For those of you who experience it, you also know it can be very, very tiring, especially if you make it a cocktail with meds. Here, swallow this. Thought too much last night? Take some pills and sleep it off. You can’t think while you sleep, can you? So, you’d rather avoid it? Gonna run from your problems all your life? What eats you up? What keeps you up at night? Lately I haven’t been able to sleep because of all the pain that scrunches beneath my chest. Am I going crazy? Did that happen because it had to? What if I could’ve avoided it? But don’t say that, it hurts… But doesn’t everything? Here, take another pill, it will make you happier. I once attended a speech where I was told that people fall out of love for the same reasons they fell in love in the first place. So how am I supposed to sleep when I know that what made him smile months ago now pisses him off? That what made him tell me he loves me is now probably making him hate me? Or that maybe I don’t express love well, I don’t show it how I’m supposed to, but maybe I am not supposed to, maybe I should just lock it inside. But he said it’s ok, so why hide it? Two milligrams of this and you won’t feel a thing anymore. Kill it. Two shots? ‘Thinking about you keeps me awake and sad.’ That’s what an ex told me, and it’s a sentence that followed me for months, stood there on my desk while working or on my coffee maker while I was having breakfast or on a shelf in my wardrobe and that’s where I understood I am wrong. So I left, trying not to hurt him anymore, and under the ruins that I left, I found love. Even there. Therefore, I started to look for it in the places that I didn’t see it before. Or felt it.
I learned and made peace with the concept of love only by loving. Being loved back was never a way to go for me, because I never felt worthy enough. So, by loving, I learnt that if somebody doesn’t love you the way you want to, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you. I found out that love lies under the “Put your seatbelt on” or “I’ll pick you up in 30” or simply “Good morning”. Love lies between your bed and your cats that are overwhelming it with fur. It lies counting the flowers you recieved for your birthday, the hugs your mom gives you, the smiles your classmates share with you, the chewing gum he shares with you or the forehead kisses your dad gives you before he leaves to work. I even found love in huge fights under some tears. It’s everywhere, believe me. Even in your sleepless nights, you can find it under the stars if you look closely. Look. See it? It’s there, crush the stardust you’re made out of and you’ll find the love that ties you together to be one whole thing. It’s everywhere. So keep sleeping, but while you dream, let it find you. Let love find you and let yourself feel. Hurts? 2 more milligrams…
Whatever it is that your heart is beating for, i hope you find it. Whatever it is that burns inside you because it can’t find its place, I hope it finds its place in the downtown of your soul. Whatever energy floats in your universe, I hope you convert it into the most beautiful way and make the best out of it. Whatever plans you have, whatever dreams you draw on your bedroom walls, I hope you find the motivation to get up and fulfill your dreams. Find your way & walk on your path, heads up, whatever happens. Whatever they say, whatever bullets they throw without considering the exit wounds, I hope you shelter from them and keep going. Keep going because every bad thing ends, as so does every good thing, but that doesn’t mean that you should end too. You keep doing your thing. You keep getting up. You keep making coffee in the morning. Keep smoking, keep reading, keep doing whatever keeps you going.
Whatever it is that you saw in me when you kissed me for the first time, whatever butterflies you felt that day, I hope you feel them every day. Because I made a promise to you when you first wanted to date me. I promised not to go and so you said you won’t go either. And neither of us left, but maybe them butterflies left your tummy and crawled into mine, because you can be pretty sure that, even if you don’t read this, I still get a knot down my throat when your name pops up on my screen. Whatever battles you fight, I hope you win them, and I hope you know I’m there to hold your right hand while you fight with your left one. Whatever ruined you, I hope I can melt some gold and fix your pieces back together, tightening them with a hug when you feel down. I hope you know I’m standing up to my promises, and I hope you make it. I know you’ll make it. You’ll get there. Baby steps maybe, but you’ll see your dreams coming true. And I hope to be there and witness that because seeing you happy makes me the happiest, and seeing you succeed motivates me to be a better self. Whatever that self is, math or writing, red hair or not, kinder or just more empathetic, you make me be a better self and therefore, I thank you.