Here’s the thing with any form of mental illness – whether it be PTSD or anxiety or depression or whatever – just when we think we’re one step ahead, we find that something has allowed the darkness to gain the upper hand in our lives once more. And the more strength the darkness gains, the weaker we become, until suddenly we are no longer ahead of it or above it or stronger than it, and it has defeated us.
Because this is the thing, isn’t it? We are always fighting to be stronger than what tried to break us. And we fight hard. So goddamn hard. Invisible battles most people will never see. And most of the time, we slay our dragons and slaughter our demons and bury our ghosts, and we win.
But then there’s days we don’t.
Because, high on our victory that we think will last, we have forgotten.
We have forgotten the triggers.
And when they hit us, as they invariably do, we are unprepared, our shields down.
One minute we are fine.
The next we are not.
We feel alone, but we don’t reach out. We feel scared, but we don’t ask for help. We long to be held, to feel safe, but we have too many scars to trust what is supposed to protect us.
Instead we make friends with the darkness and watch clocks as our hearts ache inside our weary chests and silent tears speak the words we will never say.
We are tired of the fight, so tired of having to be strong, but we’re so accustomed to doing this on our own we know no other way. We are so independent and self-sufficient that rarely will we surrender to another.
Instead, we choose to surrender to the darkness. For at least we are familiar with it, we understand it, and it understands us.
For now, the pain is stronger than we are. The fear, the brokenness, the rejection, the loneliness, the heartache. For now, we are too tired to fight, and we lay down our weapons, surrender, let the darkness have its victory over us.
But tomorrow is our promise.
Be kind, people.
For you never know what hidden battles others are fighting.