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How I've Decided to Fill the 'Pit of Emptiness' I Feel Inside of Me

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“I just want to say that I think you’re strong, and I don’t think you realize how strong you really are.”

I am caught in this place wondering if I can wait to pee so I don’t lose all of the thoughts I have on this above statement — clutching my new copy of “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle that has riveted my soul just two and a half pages into Part One (of course having read the Prelude as well because… yeah).

In the background, I’m listening to “Dena’s Favorite Tunes” from one of my favorite Instagrammers. I just finished pacing the floor of my studio apartment and jumped into a conversation from a recent forum post for school. I was proud of something beautiful written by an old-souled friend who stated exactly how she’d introduce me in novel-format to ranting about recovery, my childhood and all of the complex interconnection that has made me who I am today.

I am the girl with now has 11 documents open on her computer and can go on for days regarding topics I am passionate about and how intrinsically necessary they are for society’s growth as a whole. This dear, beautiful, lovely friend of mine just listened… she validated. She related where she could. And that was it — she let me rediscover myself and rediscover this passion I have to write and get words out there on paper, while consuming them from my heroes (re: Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle, etc.) all at once. There is so much I want to convey from this ineffable conversation with an ineffable human, but my number one takeaway that I hadn’t fully realized is this:

I have felt for my entire non-dissociated life this enormous, impossibly deep and all-consuming pit in my stomach. I have tried to rid myself of this pit through starvation. I have filled it with food, only to reject it — ridding that food from my body because it didn’t “fix the issue” either. I have scarred arms and thighs somewhere on the spectrum where, when people see them, they judge. Kids ask me what happened. All of this is to say that my eating disorders and self-harm history did not eradicate the pit.

Since day one of my earliest memories, I have been doing all I possibly can to escape the overwhelming discomfort this pit brings forth. I acted upon my obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with actions like cleaning and checking the locks over and over and over again every night — too anxious to fall asleep if one thing didn’t seem “right.” I would then clean for hours in an attempt to seek relief. Relief was never what was waiting on the other end of my behavior usage. Nothing has brought me relief from this pit, but when recounting my passions and the beauty I have witnessed to my friend, I realized the solution to the pit.

The solution is not to eradicate the pit — I can’t “fix” it or make it go away. What I can and need and must do is fill this pit with the world. I fill it with the joys and the sorrows and all of the beauty that this world contains and try to put all of that beauty into the perspective that it requires because, as has been pointed out to me from day one… I can’t fix the world. I can’t save it. But maybe that’s not what my goal needs to be. Maybe my goal is to soak in every last ounce I can, and transform it through all that I am learning and have come to learn through childhood and life experience as a whole. Maybe you cannot escape the world, but maybe you can be there to help touch the souls of the others who inhabit it as well? Help them fill their pit with “life”? It is beautiful and heartbreakingly painful — and to take all of that in and see where there can be change and use this voice God granted us all… Use the bodies and the lives we were given and be vessels for ineffability? That is what I strive for. That — that right there — is why I must keep living.

We all have our “pits.” We live these lives where none of us really have it all together and are constantly learning and growing and changing, and dammit if Glennon Doyle didn’t state it herself in just entry pages to a novel I plan to devour over and over again… The world wants us to be small. It tricks us into believing that, as we grow, we are no longer loved, because that is not what the world desires of us. I was denied a voice when I began to realize I had one and, eventually, I forgot I had one altogether after repeated violence and negation of any words that were uniquely my own. But I see now I am a person and a woman with a history who has described her life in the last week as a “casket of baggage” — pun 100% intended. I see now I am a woman who has so much experience and worth to the world and can bring forth all of this through my words. I have been told I can convey things well (downplaying that pretty hard here), and that is a gift I have to bring forward and use because it is becoming my life’s purpose. No, I don’t have it all figured out. None of us really do. But I am learning my life’s purpose has become using the experiences I’ve had and bringing the beauty I’ve seen in tragically afflicted souls — those afflicted by all of the hate and cruelty society can bring — to help those still encompassed by their pits. To help those learn to be enraptured by whatever their passions and help make this world some aspect of a better place.

I was reading “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence” by Adrienne Rich that led me to rediscover a portion of my voice that I hadn’t accessed in such a long time I can’t even remember… The thoughts are there, and sometimes the thoughts are overwhelming or I feel like I can’t do them justice and support them like they deserve to be. But this one reading was so impactful for me as an individual consuming it, that my forum post for the week on its contents was scattered but clear — my life is going to be led no longer in a state of false consciousness and violence, but instead led with open eyes and open, willing hands (DBT right there). It is terrifying when one is conditioned to feel as hopeless or powerless or any of the things where I have been and sometimes am thrown back to be, but I refuse to be denied existence, or deny myself of existence, from this day forward. I will live, and I will fill my pit and use my voice and be truly, authentically myself.

How lovely and ironic it is to end this stream of consciousness with “Hymn” by Kesha…

“This will be my life.”

Photo by @plqml | on Unsplash

Originally published: June 20, 2019
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