From Time to Time

The feeling of inadequacy has been a reoccurring theme in my life.

It digs its nails into my skin until it draws blood. It haunts me at night, whispering mindless nonsense into my ears. It crawls into bed with me and makes itself comfortable within my bones. It buries its head in my bosom and asks for one more bedtime story. It wakes me in the middle of the night, shaking me awake, leaving me restless and worn out.

The constant feeling of never being enough taps on my window sills like rain in the middle of a storm. It becomes routine. I now live in a constant state of questioning whether I’m doing the right thing or not, a constant state of wondering if I’m a failure, if I’m even worth anyone’s time.

Every critique of my character becomes categorized in a library of passing comments I’ve created inside my mind.

Every mistake I’ve made neatly piles up in the corner of my room, filling up the walls and towering over me as I sleep. I am only awoken by the crumbling reminders that fell on top of me in the middle of the night.

I lay awake at night, staring at the ceiling, until my eyes adjust to the darkness and I see the shadows of my insecurities drifting about my room, dancing between the piles of my mistakes, swaying to the sound of the tapping on the windows, steadily moving to the beat of my weary heart.

It’s a heavy and draining life to live. It’s exhausting and after a while, I lose little bits of hope as it falls off of me like the deteriorating paint job on the walls of abandoned houses.

But from time to time, I will take up the paint brush and paint over the broken pieces. I’ll put on several coats until you can no longer see the concrete.

From time to time, I’ll wake up to the dancing of my mistakes and insecurities and I’ll learn to lead. I’ll take them all by the waist and create my own beat.

From time to time, I’ll clear my room, I’ll dust the corners and I’ll neatly categorize all of my faults into shelves of past tense.

From time to time, I refuse to tell them another bedtime story, I bandage my wounds, and I hold them close to my heart and soothe them to sleep.

From time to time, I become better than my own thoughts. I tell myself that I will not take anymore of this and I learn to smooth out the wrinkles of my own heart.

From time to time, I use these as reminders that I’m still worth living.

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My Reason for Living

“To live is an awfully big adventure.” – J.M. Barrie

An adventure that we should never deprive ourselves from.


Our conversation came to a soft lull and we carefully sipped our coffee.
In comfortable silence, we waited in the quiet pause.
It was like when we first met, slightly awkward but strangely comforting. We were complete in our silence but we were so desperate for words, grasping for more.
You smiled so softly, across the kitchen table and it made me smile too.
You gently traced the rim of the mug with your fingers and I watched them dance so gracefully. I became mesmerized as if you were casting a spell.
I remember the sun sheepishly peaking through the curtains to see if we were doing okay. I remember the air feeling so fresh and warm between us.
Conversation would pick back up so smoothly and our days went in that rhythmic wave. We were so content within each other’s presence and it was like I’ve known you for all my life and just that feeling was an honor that I did not quite know how to handle.
I sat there in admiration of you and everything we had become over time.
I remember rolling up my sleeves without thought and you stopped mid sentence and you fell uncomfortably quiet. I looked up at you and you were fixated on my arms, on my scars.
You slowly reached over and traced the scars with your gentle fingers.
“How?” you asked but you already knew the answer.
I didn’t answer, I pulled away but you grabbed my hands in such a fluid motion that I forgot to resist and I felt the tears rush up and I tugged my armor on as I got my sword at the ready. A war raged behind my eyes.
“I’m so happy you’re here right now.” You whispered into my hands as you drew them to your face.
Suddenly I heard the dropping of metal, the clanking of shields ceased, and my heart fell through the trap door of my soul.
I suddenly realized that my entire existence was waiting for this exact moment. In that second, my scars began to heal. I don’t know why but those words crashed into my skin and shattered under the pressure of the wave.
Then I felt your tears and the last support of the dam broke free and I was no longer myself. The realization of the heaviness of my own self-inflicted scars was too much for my physical being to bear.
If I had died, if I had succeeded that night, if the darkness swallowed me whole instead of spitting me back up, I would’ve never met you and there was a certain amount of shame that came with that. It broke my heart to imagine a world where I wouldn’t be sitting here with you in your kitchen in comfortable silence, in comfortable bliss. I think it broke yours too.

That was the day I told you I loved you for the first time.
That was the day I realized what it meant to love myself as well.
Even though time has passed and you are no longer mine, I still remember the touch of your hands as if you were pulling me out of the abyss that I fell into many years back. Loving myself did not come easily but the way you held my hands paved the way for me to realize how important it was to live. Your love made me realize how important it is to keep fighting. In hopes of meeting another you, in hopes of never missing out on the beautiful moments of life, I learned to love myself.

-j.l

The Future and You

Let’s all sit and share our feelings.
Okay, I’ll go first, since you all insist.

If you have, for some odd reason, chosen to keep up with this blog, then you probably know about my emotional problems and that I have an endless list of them. Yeah, I’m an emotional wreck at least 135% of the time. It’s a great attribute to have. I get job offers left and right. Anyways, I’ve been diagnosed with depression for a few years now, since high school. Here’s the thing about being depressed at a rather young age, you never really expect to live for very long. Yup, this is going to take a turn. I am now 21. If you asked 14 year old me, I would probably tell you that I never thought this would happen. I never imagined myself growing up, going to college, getting internships, joining a sorority, and eventually (and hopefully) graduating. I never thought I would even reach the age of 21. This is all very strange for me. I never had plans for the future. I never thought this would happen. That’s what being depressed at a young age feels like. Now that I am at this age, I feel so lost. I don’t know what to do. I didn’t prepare for this. I didn’t prepare to live this long. That must sound morbid and messed up but it’s true. Now I’m thinking about the future, what kind of jobs I want to apply for, what grad school I want to go to, what kind of life I want to live in the future. I feel like I’m 10 steps behind everyone because I never thought this would actually happen to me. Sometimes it hits me that I’m in my twenties and I get chills. It’s a strange thought. I don’t know. I’m just a bit taken aback.
But here’s why I find joy in this revelation.
I made it this far. I did it. I survived. Every day I’m alive, I am beating my own illness. Every day that I refuse to give in to my illness, I win. With every day that I get older, I become stronger. I am living a future that I never saw for myself. I am living a future when I didn’t ever believe that I had a future. I haven’t achieved a lot of the things I wish I would’ve by now. I am terrified of the future and I am unsure of so many things but I am damn proud of myself for getting this far. I have a future to be terrified about. I have a lot of catching up to do but I’m doing it. I’m alive. I survived and I will keep surviving. It’s a small victory and it’s a constant battle but it’s something. I am stronger than my mental illness. I am better than my depression. I am alive. Every day I get myself out of bed and do normal people things, I am beating the shit out of my depression and it feels hella good.
If I can find the strength to take one step, you can too. Life isn’t all fun and games. Life sucks and it’s not going to ease up but you’ve made it this far. You’ve survived. You are alive. Even if you haven’t had the same issues as me, even if you don’t have some kind of mental illness, you are here, you are strong, you are alive. Remember that. Don’t be sad with every hour that passes, be confident that you did not let that hour destroy you when it could’ve. Build the years, find your strength. Choose happiness. Choose to live. Choose yourself.
I am so grateful that I did make it this far. I am glad that I didn’t kill myself. I have miles to go but I’ll take it step by step and I’ll fight til the end.
Please don’t give up. You have a future. Your future is waiting for you. Don’t let it down. Every day is an accomplishment and don’t ever forget that. Stay strong. I believe in you. I hope that you wake up one day and realize how far you’ve made it, how strong you’ve become, and importantly, how great you are. I hope you surprised yourself. I hope you choose to live.

-jl