To the friends who don’t know how many times I almost left, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry for thinking that you wouldn’t care if you woke up tomorrow and I was in a body bag. I’m sorry for thinking that your pain was just a minor negativity in my plan to escape. And I’m sorry that I’ve never been strong enough to share my struggle with you, raw and unaltered.
My heart beats in waves of joy and sadness. When the joy is here, I can barely remember the pain, or why I came so close to giving up completely.
There’ve been countless nights when I’ve hid away behind claims of sickness to cry, alone. There’ve been nights when I’ve clasped my hands to my chest, holding the razor blade like it was my scepter, begging God to take me once and for all.
And there’ve been far so many nights when I’ve sat and formulated a plan, with shaking fingertips, halfway hoping someone would bust through the door to find me and hold me and love me until those thoughts were all a blur… and halfway hoping that I could actually, finally go through with it.
I can feel the hurt waking up in the back of my head, begging for attention. I can only shut it down so many times. But you don’t care about that. You loved me through the worst nights, wiped away my tears, and squeezed my shoulders when you saw me the next morning to say I know how brave you’re being.
Thank you for loving me past the scars and broken hearts and snotty, inconsolable tears that come pouring out as I finally gasped out what was aching my heart, sitting in dark corners of a campus turned cold.
Thank you for loving me through my petty bitterness, indescribable irritability, and uncomfortable silences. But most of all, thank you for loving me at 2am on a Saturday night when I’m dancing away, and at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon when we’re baking brownies just for the hell of it.
You taught me to fight past the burning in my heart saying no, you can’t, you shouldn’t. You asked me to ignore the voice saying you’re not good enough. Even though my eyes still shined green with tears, you made sure they sparkled with laughter before the night was through.
Though I sometimes started off sheepish and shy, you would push another drink into my hand, tell me to let loose, and watch as my inhibitions were replaced with true, pure joy erupted from my being for the first in perhaps a long time.
Please know that it’s quite possible that the only reason why my heart is still beating right now… is because of you. Your selfless affections are what have gotten me past the point of no return. You’ve prayed for me when I’ve shut you out, and you’ve broken my heart with the love you constantly deliver that I never think I deserve.
You promised I’d never be alone. You promised you’d always love me, even when I can’t love myself.
So here is my promise to you:
I promise I’ll make it to tomorrow. I promise to live like tonight is my last night, but I promise it won’t be. I refuse to miss the drunken Friday nights, the sober Sundays, the petty fights and broken promises, the laughter until our bellies ache.
It’s all just another chord in the beautiful song we’re singing; together. My verse won’t be empty. My verse will not end early because the composer disappeared. It may wallow and waiver, or be messy and unreadable, but my verse will be beautiful in its own way because I had people to help me rewrite it, again and again.
I promise I will never again apologize for the way my heart beats. I can’t promise I will love myself…. but I will try to. And I can’t promise I will believe that others can love more or that I deserve the love you give me… but I will try to.
I promise I will love you through the hurt, the long nights, the tears that never stop flowing. I will show you how to find the light when you forget there is anything but darkness. And if comes to the point at which you almost leave… I promise, I will bring you home.