By: Alyssa Hawkinson, Guest Contributor
Here I am, in the deep, dark, secret tunnels and valleys of my mind. I don’t come here often- I’m typically too involved with living in the light to remember the dark exists. But I find myself here every now and again. Usually, my journey to this place begins with a little burning ember of loneliness. I have family and friends, sometimes I have lovers, and I always have the option to be surrounded by people who love me. I am very blessed that way.
But sometimes, this dark and creeping feeling of loneliness slowly and steadily engulfs me and cannot be vanquished by those around me. It is an entity I need to conquer on my own. When I am in it, as I am now, I am terrified. My mind is as cluttered as the countertops in my apartment, and I am a neat girl, so the mess is an indicator something is really wrong. And as much as I can’t seem to bring myself to prioritize and organize the mess on my countertops, the project of doing the same to my mind is infinitely more daunting. All I hear when I look around at the half-empty glasses of my goals and desires is a bitter and self-deprecating voice saying, “You’re a fool for ever believing you could do better than this.” And oh, how I believe that voice. How I trust those hateful words it spews, far more than I trust the statements of love and assurance my friends and family offer me. Why is that? Why, when I am in the dark, does it seem all I can see is the dark, even when other shades are presented to me?
I have been here before. The only way out unveiled itself through time and self-respect. I know my mission in this moment is to show myself love. I can honestly say, I don’t know how right now. I don’t even like me right now, how can I prove to myself that I love me? This.is.blasphemy. for. me. I am an intern for this incredible organization all about encouraging women and girls to be, love, and express who we truly are. I have always been self-empowered, self-reliant, and self-assured. My passion is to help women everywhere see how valuable they are, how worthy of respect and love they are, and how very important it is that they learn to love themselves. I know all these things. They carry weight in my mind, and I often put them into practice without even having to think about how to do so. I am very blessed that way as well. But sometimes, it doesn’t work. The software in my mind glitches, and no matter what I do, I can’t scream positivity louder than that bitter voice so effortlessly hisses unworthiness.
And that’s where I find myself right now. I’m in a sad pocket. I know from experience this isn’t going to last forever. I’ll find my way back out to the light. But even that little sliver of hope can easily be diminished when I think of how long it might take to get there. But I am determined. Any time I have become stronger has begun with me feeling weaker than ever before. In this way, I can draw strength from my weakness, if only on loan from the aftermath of this storm. I have to get to know myself in here. I have to learn to love this version of me. I must learn unconditional love for myself, because I’m the only one I am guaranteed to have for the rest of my life. I am on a mission to love me, because I am who I am truly lonely for.
I am an intern with I AM THAT GIRL (it's amazing), and I live in beautiful San Diego. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I am utterly passionate, and I am constantly inspired by the spirits of the women and men around me who are pushing for change in the areas we need it most. This world is a global community, and I feel the most at home when I'm helping a neighbor.
Featured image via tomatochan.tumblr.com