Ever since I finally landed my first real job, I’ve met so many amazing people. Some are customers, some are coworkers, some are superiors. Some I really look up to. Today, one of my favorite people to work with, a girl who is very happy, upbeat and incredibly smart, reached in front of me at the milkshake machine. I glanced down and did an almost literal double-take. Her left arm, inches from my nose, was littered with long, straight scars. Scars from razors. Scars from self inflicted pain.
Scars from cutting.
I was stunned. As I started walking away, I really began to think. This girl is an amazing person. She’s independent, works two very well paying jobs, leads an all-around healthy lifestyle, and inspires me on a daily basis. Judging by how faded the scars were, she has long moved on from her days of self-harm. Even so, the whole situation struck me.
I suffer from depression. While I have never hurt myself or those around me in any physical way, that doesn’t mean my condition is any less serious than someone’s who has done these things. Seeing those long-faded cuts on such a young and vibrant girl really hit home. As someone that struggles almost daily to build up the will to get out of bed and carry on my day as a functioning member of society, I know what it is like to be trapped with your own, not-always-so-pleasant thoughts. I know depression, I know sadness, and I know pain. I know how hard it all can be.
This is a post. A post commemorating the struggle my friend overcame. A post confessing things about myself that I have never said out loud. A post to let you know that everything will turn out right. You will overcome. It may seem hopeless, pointless, scary, or just plain horrible, but it will get better. The clouds will clear, the sun will shine, and the birds will sing. You will smile again, you will laugh again. There are people out there that love and care about you. I know that these words may seem like just that: pointless words. But I promise you, they are much, much more. They come from experience, first and second-hand. These words are here to spur you forward, to help you help yourself. These words aren’t trying to downplay what you may be going through. The reason for these words is a simple one: to help.
So please. If you are thinking about hurting yourself or others, stop. Pick up the phone and call someone you love, someone you hate, someone you don’t even know. There is help out there, even in places you least expect to find it. There is love, waiting for you to let it into your life. Stop. Breathe. Think.
There is always hope.