To the Friends Who Don't Give Up on Me When I Want to Give Up on Myself

To the friends who don’t give up on me when all I want to do is give up on myself:

I’m 24. Some of you have known me since I was 5; others I met when I was 12. Some I have known since I was 18, and yet others I have just met this year. To be honest, the length of time I’ve known each of you doesn’t really matter. What does matter though, is that you’re still here. You’re still walking this rough and dark path with me. Some of you have walked the road from the beginning. Others have walked just a portion of the road with me. You have done everything from send me silly videos or encouraging words to sit with me in a dark chapel as I sob; some of you have even cried right along with me. What you’ve done really isn’t important; what is important is that you’ve been there and continue to be there in whatever way you can.

Those days (or usually nights) when I feel like I can no longer go on and reach out to one or more of you, you somehow help me find (or sometimes you just give me) the strength to go one more day. Sometimes you have to give me strength multiple days in a row, but eventually, I begin to see a glimpse of light again. It doesn’t always happen overnight, but it wouldn’t happen at all without you. It’s not easy walking this road, and I’m sure it’s not easy being my companion on this road. It is, however, a little bit easier to walk with you standing beside me carrying a lantern. It would be a much longer, darker and scarier path without you.

I really wish I had the right words to express my gratitude for each and every one of you. I can say “thank you” over and over again, but it never seems like enough. It seems so trivial to use the same phrase one uses when another person holds the door open for you to express that which has been life-saving in many instances. I just want you each to know how much you (and your actions/words) mean to me.

Thank you. Thank you for not giving up on me when all I want to do is give up on myself.

Love, a friend walking in darkness.

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