Today, I sit on my bed smiling. Suffering from depression, I’ve lived with the feeling of being trapped in a glass box for years. It gets hard to breathe. It gets hard to see things clearly. Everything is distorted, even your own reflection. The reflection staring back looks so monstrous and so broken to you, some part of you believes it deserves this box. You live years in this box and at times you find yourself banging on the walls, screaming to be let out. You hope desperately that someone will come to let you out. No one comes.
Until you realize only you have the power to let yourself out. You make a promise to yourself that you will. You make a CHOICE.
At first, it seems impossible. So you look around for days, weeks, or even months on end.
Eventually, you choose to begin looking beyond the glass walls. You see the pathetically happy things people talk about in books and movies. You see the flowers on the other side, the beauty in others, the beauty in yourself, but beyond that, you see the little things. You see the people who adore you beyond what words can describe, you see the endless possibilities that exist outside of the box, you see all the different things you can shift your focus toward instead of the glass in front of you. You focus harder to see and slowly it becomes clearer.
You finally see yourself one day, the real you. The one you lost while staring at the distorted reflection.
The you who smiled wide and toothless at your mother when you were one. The you who only cried when you fell and scraped a knee as a two-year-old. The five-year-old you who screamed so hard your lungs would burst as your father pushed you on the swing. The you, who cared about nothing more than eating the ice cream in your fridge after dinner when you were eight. The you who felt giddy with excitement the day before a school trip when you were 12. The you who stayed up with your best friends at sleepovers until three in the morning when you were 16. The you who couldn’t wait to start life at 18.
And finally, you see YOU as you are. Although you may never go back to how you were, you are still all the things you have been and all the things you could be.
You are the endless possibilities, the endless choices you can make about who you want to be, about who you want to love, about what you want to learn.
You reach out to touch this beautiful reflection you’ve chosen to see instead of the monster. But your hand goes right through it. You realize there is no glass box. There never was.
We so often chose, over and over, to see the uglier parts of ourselves in our reflections. We believe there is a box that we are bound to.
Choosing one thing over and over makes it instinct, until one day, you don’t.
So I sit on my bed smiling, realizing there is no box. Realizing I can reach out and grab at any one of the endless possibilities. The endless choices.
“It is our choices that make us who we are far more than our abilities.” — J.K. Rowling