Your Heart is Stronger Than You’ll Ever Know

Growing up,
My mind was a prison of my own design
Heartbroken before I ever knew what having a heart meant
I spent too many nights wondering
Why I wasn’t deserving of love
Why adults always needed my help
Why friends gave their love so freely to everyone else
But me.
Why my family never cared unless I was bleeding
Found letters of me begging to die
Years before I ever came to the diagnosis of depression
All of them asking the same question
Why didn’t they love me?
Learned to listen to the feedback
Too loud
So, I bit back my words
Shrunk myself down till only shadows were cast over me
Too emotional
So, I let go of all attachments
Never claimed any pain
No, I was “fine” each and every day
Too opinionated
So, I let others choose my choices
No care in the details
I felt lucky to even be there
But the feedback never stopped,
Just piled on top of me.
I was the hamper for other’s dirty laundry
Too quiet
My silence unsettled them more than my words
Because how could they judge someone completely unheard
Too cold
I was the ice no one could crack
Because I had learned vulnerability to be lack
Too uptight
I grew more contained as they overflowed outside of themselves
Because how could I roam free when each piece of me was put on leash.
I was buried in the laundry by the age of 14
Thought the world would be better off
If I no longer breathed
Every moment awake
I imagined me dead
Absolutely no one knew
Except for the internet
Found community in the darkness
And solace in sound
It was music that guided me up for air
So I could be found
By myself
I realized I wanted to fight
Put myself in therapy
And loosened my lips
It was slow
The healing
And bumpy at best
Opened up to friends
Only to lose them in order to mend
But having a mirror,
To reflect my own truth
Made me realize the words thrown my way were only a reflection of others.
I had always seen clearly.
But it’s true what they say
Only time can truly heal the heart
Time away
Time you are safe
Time to let joy refill your veins
It took time to see myself fully.
Sometimes my outline still blurs
But I have learned to reflect me back out into my world
I am loving
And when I forget
I have people that come love me
I am creative
And when I lose sight of the talent inside
The world comes and inspires my drive
I am kind
And when I worry I am nothing but a critic
My past comes forward to show me
Hard truths gift more kindness than flattery
So how did I learn to love me?
It wasn’t easy.
Took speaking my pain
Saying no
Leaving behind those that caused more woe than seeds to sow
Finding escapes
Creating passions
Discovering new perspectives
Fighting all my defense mechanisms
But more than anything,
It took hope.
Hope I never believed I had
Until I was able to look back
In all the moments I had gathered the pills
Said goodbye
But couldn’t swallow my fill
In those moments I labeled as weak
My heart knew it still had words left to speak
My heart is what taught me to be free.

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