This Is How You Will Finally Be Free

Britt Ernst
Britt Ernst

You asked me when it all changed.

You wanted to know the moment the cloud flooding my thoughts dissipated, along with the ghost of who I was. You asked me how it felt, the day I looked into the mirror and stopped hating the person staring back at me. You asked me: how did you become free? Free from the madness that stole into your life, consuming your entire being. Free from the lies they fed you with, with sly grins on their faces. When did you decide your life is your life?

It was simple: one day, I woke up. And I stopped caring what they thought.

Before you roll your eyes at me, understand what I mean. I simply did not roll out of bed and jump to my feet, deciding today was the day. I indeed spent my youth waiting for that day to come, naive enough to believe it would, sinking deeper every time it didn’t.

For a long time, I felt that I had a mind that was always rooting against me. Not a positive thought could populate; for every strength there were a thousand flaws. Every time I stood before a person, an endless reel played in my head. I could only picture what they must see: a person who holds no merit, a reject cast amongst the rest.

I began to romanticize my sadness, the way I was attracted to broken things and words too deep for an ordinary mind. I took pride in the way I connected to words that only my despondent heart could understand, clinging to those who understand my sadness, like it was their own. I tried to make homes out of a multitude of things: countless lovers, endless food, blaring headphones, a computer screen. But a temporary fix is just that.

One day you wake up and the haze is gone. Every thought is free from negative connotations, once prettily tied up in a bow on each passerby. Every process and function no longer clogged with anxiety-ridden fears. When the light breaks through, there’s no stopping in illuminating the dark.

It pours out freely, willingly, effortlessly. Shadows will cast, but it’s only to remind you of what used to be.

May it be from medication, therapy, or a combination of both. May it be from growing up and letting go of the things that only hurt. Once you realize you must take care of yourself before anything else, you will succeed. Your happiness is not dependent on other people or the conditions in which your life surrounds, it is dependent upon you. The day you realize this, is the day you are free. TC mark

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