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When We Are Healing

When I read these words by Sarah Ann Roginsky, I feel like she is speaking the heart of so many. She says things here that I have felt myself, many times. Maybe you’ve felt this too:


It is not the romantic struggle we often find in movies. It is not often accompanied by rainfall, thunder, and a piano/violin duet.

It is found in quiet places, in noisy train stations, and in late night runs to the drugstore down the street.

Healing is a strange mystery to those who choose to undergo the process.

From the outside it looks so simple: just get better, become happier, and learn to move on from your wounds. But when we choose to heal, the line between pain and progress blurs.

What is hurting cannot be distinguished from what is helping. Friends who try to push us to become better could push us over the edge, and we don’t know where the cliff ends and the void begins. Some nights are harder than others. We don’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel.

But we can’t sit in darkness. Well, we could, but we’ve chosen not to. We’ve sat in the darkness for weeks, months, and years, before deciding to venture towards this light people keep talking about. We’re still blind to it sometimes.

Cynicism becomes a mask for our disappointment when we can’t see it. We trade masks when one feels too worn. Sometimes anger, self-pity, and self-harm trade shifts throughout the day.

But be patient, world. We’re making our way towards the light.

It’s a slow journey, and we’re frightened. But we’re making it. So from us that are healing, I have a few requests:

Let us be tired.

When we show up to work with bags under our eyes because we couldn’t fight back the flashbacks and nightmares, give us a little grace. Sometimes telling us that things will be ok helps, sometimes it makes us feel like a hundred pound weight has been added to our already-too-heavy burden. Everyone is different; use your common sense.

Be there for us.

Pull an all-nighter with us to help pull us through when we don’t have the strength. It’s fucking hard trying to stay alive night after night! Sometimes death is a much, much more appealing option than waking up to face this shit-filled world every day. Especially when we think we’re alone in it. Let us know that we aren’t alone; that your shoulder is there to cry on, lean on, and laugh on, whenever we need it.

Don’t judge our bad, “un-Christ-like” habits.

Some of us barely live through each night. Let us smoke a cigarette and fling a few unsavory words around. We can be easy to hate (trust us, we know), but please, help us learn to love by your example.

Keep us around.

Help us to realize that we matter to you people. Half of the reason we’re in this position is because we became isolated. We have a hard enough time seeking out people’s company as it is, and we’d never do it if we thought we weren’t welcome.

For the sake of all that is good and holy, let us be us, the crazy, wild, beautiful things that we are!

Let us get overly emotional – this is the first time some of us have felt any sort of emotion in years!

Let us be messy and confused.

Let us ask the hard questions. (I’ll give you a hint: most of us aren’t looking for people who know all the answers to all of life’s questions. We’re just looking for people who are willing to listen to us and to journey with us as we search for them.)

Rejoice with us, grieve with us, come with us as we make the trek back to our identities, wherever they may lie in this land bathed in light.

Be patient, world. We’re making our way towards the light. It’s a slow journey, and we’re frightened. 

But we’re making it.

I’ve started a list of the books that are helping me walk toward healing. Click here. 

[ image: lena_ni ]

published August 7, 2014

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