To The Versions Of Myself I Left Behind

Sweet girl, you’ve been through so much. It amazes me how much weight you’ve carried. How you smiled through struggle and soothed your own aching soul when all you craved was a break from it all. How you consistently faced obstacle after obstacle without hesitation or fear.

It saddens me how you lived in a world that made you feel unsafe and alone. How you gave so much of yourself away to those that didn’t appreciate your overflowing ability to love. How you trusted people that mistreated and undermined the radiant being you are.

It breaks my heart thinking of all the pain you’ve endured. How there were moments when your hands trembled uncontrollably and there was no one there to hold them still. How your cries went unheard and silence was your friend for months and months.

Sweet girl, you carried it all. You trudged through thick clouds and smoke. You’ve felt more moments of darkness than most ever do.

And we both knew that our time together had to come to an end. That it was time to escape from the broken world we lived in together for so long.

And I just want you to know that I made it.

I made it through the countless sleepless nights. I made it through the dreaded mornings of the warm sun touching our skin and still feeling nothing but coldness. I made it through the exhaustion, the hurt, the mourning, the grief. I wiped our eyes and let slivers of light into our dark corner. I crawled our way out. Even though most days we didn’t think I ever would; I made it.

And I think you’d be proud of who I’ve grown into. That I’ve healed. That I found lightness. I think you’d be proud that I don’t endure the same pain we once suffered through together. That my body regained its warmth and strength. That I rewrote our story from its original plan, and it’s better than we could have dreamed up. That I’m happy — genuinely, happy. I don’t fake my smiles or shiver at being asked “how are you?” just to lie through my teeth.

But, I wouldn’t have made it to this point had it not been for you. For your non-judgment in letting me feel deeply and fully. For making me realize that sometimes we do not get to be okay. Sometimes we need to be in the dark. Sometimes we need to feel it all. And even if we’re not always okay, that is okay.

You taught me that our hearts will not always stay airy. Sometimes they crack and break, and everything around us crashes. And how would I have found my way back to the light without being in the pitched dark for some time? How would I have known that while I felt weak and broken, you were actually pushing me to grow resilient. How would I have gotten to this new place without you? Well, the truth is, I wouldn’t have.

And while you forced me to leave you behind, you knew that I needed to move on without your gripping hand. You knew in leaving you behind, I was setting us both free. You knew that leaving you behind was the only option we both had to make it out. But sometimes, when I close my eyes, I still feel you. Your bruised soul, your heavy heart, your aching bones — the sweet girl that carried it all. Please know, I made it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Let us live in a world where breaking and growing are the same.

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