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To the One Questioning Your Worth: I See You

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Excuse me. Yes, you. Hi, there. Come sit with me for a minute. I want you to know something.

I see you.

I see you avoiding eye contact. I see you with your head turned down, staring at your feet, sure you have nothing to offer anyone. I see you with glazed eyes, red from tears and a seemingly perpetual frown on your face. I see you struggling to make the “easiest” decisions, avoiding people, repeating and washing nonstop.

I see you smiling a fake smile and telling those around you that you are all right because that’s what they actually want to hear. You don’t believe they truly care anyway. Even if they did, you don’t believe they can help.

I know your pain. Your sadness. Your emptiness. I know you feel like a burden, a loser and a failure. I know you are tired, so tired of feeling this way. I know you are exhausted from facing this darkness, this hole, this pain day in and day out.

I see you.

I know the prayers you pray, the logic you try to understand and the hope you are losing. I know you are frustrated from trying over and over again to “just get over it” and “move on with your life.” I know you are completely spent from trying to be everyone for everybody and inside feeling like you are no one at all. I know, right now, you can’t see past this very moment, or the 10,000 moments behind them. I know you are questioning whether or not this is worth it at all.

I know you are not being selfish. I know you are only thinking about doing this because you are desperate. You’re desperate for the pain to stop, not only for you but for those around you. I know you want only the best for them, and you feel like your illness is slowly killing them. You know it’s killing you.

I see you. Because I am you.

I have been you, and I may feel like you again. Life with illnesses like ours are hard. There is no way around it. I’m not going to sugarcoat. I’m not going to lie and say this is easy. It is anything but easy, but you are anything but weak.

I have faced demons for so many years, and there are times I have felt like giving up the fight. There are times I feel like the biggest disappointment, the biggest burden, the biggest difficulty in the lives of those I love. There are times I, for the very life of me, can not see a way out of the dark depths I face, and then there are other times.

Times when my illnesses have less of a hold on me. Times when my children snuggle me. Times when I feel remotely “normal” for an hour or two at a time. Times when I am absolutely the reason people smile or laugh. Times when I am reminded I am not so terrible at this thing called “life.”

I have been where you are. I will likely be there again. That is the sad nature of this beast. This monster of being locked in our heads no matter how hard we try to get out. I have been so lost in my illnesses that people were struggling, praying, spending, sobbing, screaming to do whatever they could to save my life. To save my life.

Apparently, though I didn’t believe it then and sometimes don’t believe it now: My life is worth saving.  Let me say that again. My life is worth saving.

It’s not just my life. Remember, I see you. Your life is worth saving, too. You are not alone in this mess. You are not a freak or a failure. You are not weak. Oh, my soul, you are one of the strongest people in the world. To face what we face day in and day out knowing that maybe this is as good as it gets and fighting another day, it doesn’t get stronger than that.

Your life is worth saving. There are people you can reach out to, and, I promise, they will reach back. People like me who know your struggle, who won’t minimize it, who are going through it with you and beside you, reach out to us.

Reach out to those who know how hard it can be to simply put one foot in front of the other.  Who understand the utter exhaustion of fighting a war with yourself every single day. Reach out to us because we want to help you. You deserve more. You deserve better. Though you may not see yourself the way we see you, let us help you to recognize you are amazing. I know you don’t believe it. But I do, and I see you.

I will never be able to promise that everything is always going to be OK. I can’t promise you will never feel such desperation again. I can promise you can get through it this time, and you can get through it again. I can tell you I know your pain, I know your struggle and I know your strength because, you and I, we are kindred.

I know you have been through some unspeakable things. You’ve experienced things you would never wish on another person. You would never want even your worst enemy to feel the way you do.

You have cried endless tears, so many that you have none left. You have been so angry that you lash out at everyone and everything. You have been so desperate to feel better that you would consider doing almost anything to make it so.

I see you. I’ve been there.

You can’t feel it now, and I know because sometimes I can’t either, but there is goodness in this world, goodness in your world. There are reasons to continue the fight. There are people who, though I know you can’t fathom why, would go to the ends of the earth to make you better, to take away your pain. They love you even when you feel unlovable. I promise.

So please, take one minute and reach out. We are here. I am here.

I see you.

There is goodness, happiness and love to experience. Your life is worth saving.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: October 21, 2016
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