When You’ve Reached The End Of Your Rope, Please Hold On

Dermot O'Halloran
Dermot O’Halloran

Here is the day sorrow leaves no room in your stomach for food. Despair finds your innermost being its perfect punching bag. Here, today, your crying will sound like daggers to your friends’ ears; you will be misunderstood as dangerous, angry, codependent.

Your coping mechanisms, honed like a canyon of stone, will continue unabated, forging deep groves and spurring excruciating recessions in your relationships even as you yearn in your marrow to be more deeply connected to people.

In some ways, you have tried too hard to build the bridges; without reciprocity, they will crumble no matter your strongest intentions. In other ways, you know you have thoroughly failed to reach as far as you can to others across what has always felt like an impossibly large and seethingly deep abyss between you and the humans you want to love.

Here is the day you will have to skirmish with the many voices you’ve got in your heart: the ones that sound suspiciously like your own that warn you, “you can either be who you are or have what you want but not both,” that taunt you with the sticky lie that you cannot have people’s love so you have to settle for their pity.

The ones that say they love you and care for you, that say they aren’t going anywhere, that believe with their full heart that you are remarkable, a gift, that you deserve to be here and are badly needed here. The ones that say you matter, your dreams matter, your pain matters, your emptiness matters, that your fight matters.

The ones that say that all you need is God because only God and not people can comfort, that no one can be what you ask people to be. And here is where you will walk away from that.

What you are asking people to be is human again.

You aren’t wrong. You are asking people to mean what they say, to follow up and to show up for each other, to live as if relationships are imperative to life. You are asking people to hear you and each other, to learn the different love languages people speak and to grow space in their souls for the lives and loves of those they care about. You are asking people to remember what they’ve learned.

You are asking that we raise hell to relieve hell for each other.

You are asking that life again be a mad chase through this haunted woods we have been plunked down in. That, in other words, we care about what being human means again.

And so this means that you, dearest heart, have to let yourself be changed.

Not change – you have striven yourself riven, clawing yourself apart trying to heal. But be changed. Here is the day you have come to the end of that rope you’ve mucked together with fear and rage and cleaved to with splitting knuckles and seared skin.

You don’t have to loop this rope around your neck.

Here is the day you can release and drop into the current of change: sometimes its electric, but sometimes its water.

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A Colorado native living in Seattle since 2006. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, xoJane, Five and elsewhere. She currently writes for Seattle’s street newspaper Real Change.

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