The beautiful rays of the sun warming God’s land and His people is usually so moving to me. Soaking in the vastness and possibilities of life is an overwhelming pleasure. On a good day, standing in awe of nature and the movement of life and the simple state of living is a treat for my whole being. My eyes struggle to fully absorb all that there is to see, in every detail, in a vain effort to quench my hunger for life. It is not unusual for my family to find me staring out the front windows of our home, smiling at what has become our happiness.
But today is different. Today I seek the shadows. The vastness and possibilities of life are too open and wide leaving me too exposed to others. My eyes eagerly search for the dark to shield me from all that beauty I once found so appealing. To keep me from the constant reminder that I am not like others.
The dark protects me, comforts me like an old friend. It reaches out to me, gently pulling me down into its protective walls of enclosure. It’s safe down here. Down here I am alone with no one to question my tears or ask the endless string of whys or how comes. I can be myself in this space of one. I don’t have to think or make up false excuses. I can just be. Not exactly a great state of being, I know. But down here there is no judgment or muffled whispers or assumptions to make me feel less than.
The darkness may not be all that desirable and, usually, on a good day, I can see why. But today I seek the solace of the dark. I am not fighting it or pushing it away because the quiet is comforting. Even the sound of my own voice cannot be tolerated or trusted. Sound gives the illusion of normalcy and today is everything but normal. Normal is not what I want. Or do I?
Why do I hide my suffering? Do others not cry? Do they not know suffering, too? Can not one of them relate to the thick cloud of darkness clinging to my skin, slowly suffocating the light of life within me? Maybe I hide it because others’ suffering means nothing in the world of normal. Utterly meaningless to those that stride through their lives oblivious to the ones fighting their demons and the will to see the happiness of life.
Right now, I’m hanging on to each minute – each second – stretching between this time and the time I must crawl out of the arms of darkness. The time in which I must swallow my battle to live and to stuff it way down deep inside to fight again another day. Dreading the time in which I must open the front door of my protective fortress of solitude and step out into the blinding light of the living. Stepping into the world of others to join the ranks of life and all the living that comes with it.
Today, if you see me on my way to pick up my kids from the school bus, do not say hello forcing me to return a greeting in return. You will not see it, but I’m fighting each step and trying my hardest to look normal. This effort leaves me exhausted and defeated. And, please, do not think you are seeing all of me. The rest of me is waiting down deep inside to show its alluring face of darkness pulling me back into that well of loneliness at the next available opportunity.
This was originally published in The Fibromyalgia Magazine, and can be found in its entirety at Fibromyalgia and Mental Anguish: The Darkness Inside.