Like a wild flower; she spent her days, allowing herself to grow, not many knew of her struggle, but eventually all; knew of her light.
- Nikki Rowe
The moment when you realize it will be catastrophic. Even though you've been dealing with it for so long, you never really noticed its impact on you; how it has made you different in a way that you can't really explain. A little harsher, a little less tender. You'll be up late with your thoughts & you will sleep right through your 7 alarms. You used to look at the world with a view that the biggest optimist would be jealous of, but now you aren't so sure.
When you realize that what you've been through has created a chip in your armour, you will think about who you were before; how you were once full of energy and positivity and how you are sad and stressed. All of a sudden you're apologizing all the time to anyone you come in contact with. You become an apology yourself—worried that your brokenness will deter people away. You will worry that this new chipped-armoured version of you will be the one they remember now. Whether you're apologizing to a new love after a toxic relationship with an old one that introduced you to bad habits, or apologizing to a friend because you have to change your plans because you can't imagine leaving your bed today. You will apologize for struggling in a world where it seems as if everyone else isn't.
Or you won't say anything at all—keeping it hush-hush, never once speaking a word to anyone. People will ask if you're okay, and you will say you're fine when you are far from it. You will compartmentalize the pain and the struggle as a way to get on with your day; pushing any thoughts of what is breaking you far from your mind—even if it's just for five minutes. There will be triggers, though—songs, photographs, Facebook comments that appear years later. Reminders that you have ghosts and they still linger. Maybe it was someone who didn't love you the way you wanted them to; maybe they didn't treat you right or messed with your mind. Maybe it lasted 6 days or 6 years. Maybe you hate them for breaking you down so badly, maybe you still love them despite that. Or maybe it was someone close to you—a family member or friend. Maybe the expectation to be the perfect daughter is too high or your friends are choosing other people over you. You will wonder why the people you love are making you breakdown this way when they are supposed to be building you up.
There will come a time when you will want to run away from all of your responsibilities; your job, your education, your family, your friends—but you won't, cause you weren't raised that way. A good girl who always does as she is told. A good girl who will be the pillar of strength for whoever when it is required. You will cancel plans, shift schedules, and be here/there/anywhere at the drop of a hat. They won't remember the lengths that you went to so you could be everything to everyone, but I promise it was appreciated. You will feel the weight of everyones emotions all the time. It will feel like someone is standing on your chest to stop your breathing, but you will keep going—you will keep breathing.
You will plead why me? to a God you don't really believe in. You won't find any answer that will settle your mind, so try to find peace with it—with the mess that is your life. Try to remember that the world is big and there are people that have gone through similar things as you. Not as a way to diminish what you're struggling with, but as a way to help you find comfort through the knowledge that you are not alone—you never were and you never are. When someone tells you that it's okay to not be okay—to not be that pillar of strength that you feel you must be for everyone—tears will most likely fall and the words won't be able to reach your lips. You are allowed to be broken. You are allowed to not be that pillar of strength for everyone all the time. You are allowed to be you—just as you are, chipped edges and all.
In the end, you must know that you've done your best with what has come your way. You must know that whether you feel broken from events with a family member or a toxic lover, nothing and no one has the ability to break you. You must know that you will find people that not only love you for who you are, but have gone to hell and back, too. You must know that you are strong even when you're weak, resilient even when you are fragile, and fearless even when you're afraid. You must know that there is nothing wrong with having a past or having rough edges. You must know that every single person has been broken at least once in their lifetime. You must know that the people you love and admire have chips in their armour, too.
If being broken has allowed you to become the person you are today—the one who carries herself and everyone else around her with her strength and stamina—then you must know that you are a lighthouse to every single person that you touch. You are the person guiding people back to shore. Even when your light is out at times, you are still standing tall and proud. Your past & your brokenness should never be something you are ashamed of—isn't that how that bright light inside of you gets there in the first place?
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