to my friend who is running from themselves.

The only thing more frightening than being left to our own devices is the constant cat and mouse chase while running from yourself.  You play The Most Dangerous Game with your thoughts.  Your fears are constantly running away from your need to bring your realities to light.  I see you over there trying to fill your space with friends and pointless conversation so you can subsequently fill your mind with everything other than the very thing that you so desperately need to face.  You are at work every time the door is open.  Once you’re at home in seclusion, you take a drink or hit a joint to cloud your thought process for the remaining hours of consciousness until you pass out without dreams before starting your day again.  This seems to be working fairly well for you until it’s not.

You spent your childhood with a secret well-kept, but it is eating you alive every second that it is harbored inside of you.  It planted a seed in you that has grown spiraling roots that twist around your heart, restricting your ability to love and be loved.  You try to put yourself out there, but there’s a snag every time you get too close to someone, pulling you back into your hole, where it lies and tells you that you belong.  You’re right back where you started, and your cycle begins again.  Turn on the white noise.  Binge on the chemicals.  Push these reminders out of sight and out of mind.  Pretend like it never existed.  You feel a deeper void than you did before, but no one must know.  Your manic episodes may fool everyone else, but we see the pain that is visible even in your highs.

Your friends give you advice that you don’t want to take, because it’s frightening to know that this can’t go on forever.  The process of healing is harder than the normal that you’ve learned to live with.  We know this all too well, because we’ve been there before.  We learned the hard way and suffered our fair share.  We want you to learn from our mistakes, but you don’t take it seriously.  You’re given the space that you need to be with yourself and face these traumas and their effects head-on, but you see it as not being there for you.  You’re told to write it out, get these thoughts of your body before it floods your insides, but you’re afraid of your pen.  You’re finally in a place where you’re on your own and have the open night skies to give you space to listen and breathe, but you see it as isolation.  For every potential step in the right direction, your fear tells you that the step is off a cliff.  What you don’t know is that healing is your parachute.

All we want is for you to get better.  We want you to gain freedom from your burdens.  We want you to be able to put these things behind you for good and learn how to turn your struggle into your strength.  We would move the world for you, but this is something that you need to do yourself.  Watching you is like watching my former self struggling to find a reason for all the madness.  It is hard and frustrating, and I want to shake you by your shoulders until you listen.  Instead, we’ll be here every time you hit that low, and we’ll offer the same advice that we did before.  One day, your legs will get tired of all the running in circles that you do, and when you stop to take a breath, what you fear will catch up to you.  When it does, it will be catastrophic but only for a while.  You have the tools and the support to get through this, if only you’d just slow down.

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