(An open letter) To the one who is afraid

I know how scared you are. I’ve been there too. So many people have, you just might not realize it. I know how you hate to ask for help, or even admit that you need it. You try so hard to keep your head above the water, but I see the waves coming from my vantage point. I see them building momentum and getting ready to crash over you and pull you under. You say no one can help you. Your feet have long ago lost the ability to feel the sandy bottom of this body of water- you’ve been treading for so, so long. There is a raft out there, and it will carry you back to shore. I’m on it. I know. Please, can’t you see?

I know how scary doctors are. We all know they are going to set you on a journey that is long and treacherous. But listen, if you follow the prompts and heed their advice, you will reach a better place. How can I make you see this though? I know in your heart of hearts you believe there is hope, but you don’t see how to get to the point where you can find the strength to fight this beast. You will Google different methods, even look up treatment centers, which set your heart to beating like a bass drum. But in your search history, you know there is still a hit for the nutritional information at that restaurant you went to last week, and you tell yourself you have it all under control, you can stop this silly game whenever you want to.

How many secrets do you hold? What horrors and darkness abides in that soul of yours? Will you ever let anyone in? I see you falling, falling. You go back. Back to the moment you decided to end it all. Back to the razors and fingernails. In your minds eye I know you are seeing the raging water and feeling fearful of the hungry river. I know. But please stop and listen. Hear the voices of those who love you. Stop lying and saying you are “doing better”. Know that within you lays a great strength, and that the will you have to die, is the will you will now use to live.

Hear the stories of hope and recovery, and don’t discount them. Don’t hate me when I say one day that could be you. One day, that could be you. You must believe and hold on to hope, in whatever form that takes. Seek out the help of those who really care. Put down stubbornness, fear, loathing, and self-hatred. Look in the mirror and see the little girl you used to be. Remember how easy it was to be her. You can’t go back, but you can heal. Heal for her, for you. And heal for those who love you. I know you are afraid, but take courage, dear heart. This is not a one-way road. You can begin the journey back to health, one step at a time.

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