Even silence has a sound. Nothing sounds a whole lot like something when it’s just you and your thoughts alone in a room. Silence speaks greater volumes than words at times. Imagine coming home after a long day and it’s silence greeting you at the door. For some, that’s ideal, but when silence taunts you and you’re face-to-face with your unspoken truths, it’s another story.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced and even appreciated silence at some points in our lives, but I learned silence made a sound, a very unpleasant sound, roughly six years ago. I didn’t know how to communicate nor was I willing to learn. Like most people, I thought if I didn’t address things and ignored them, they would go away. And if they didn’t go away, I thought I could pretend until I convinced my own mind otherwise.
I tried to keep myself busy enough to avoid myself. Who has time to think when there’s so much to do? I tried to resist being alone at all costs because I didn’t want to be stuck in a room with just me, my thoughts and silence facilitating the unwanted meeting. As much as I hated these frequent unexpressed forums, I decided that suffering in silence was easier and less painful than speaking up. Thoughts of having to hear myself utter undesired words that actually pertained to my situation, the responses I would receive from others and even how I would cohabitate with these said truths were enough to keep me quiet. I didn’t want these things to be true about me and I was ashamed.
I allowed silence to hold my tongue hostage for two long years. That screaming quiet let me die a little every day until I could not contain myself any longer.
I was depressed and didn’t want anyone to know. However, I thought I could pull a fast one on depression by sleeping. I thought the only way I could avoid thinking and all my 19-year-old problems was to sleep them off. It might sound crazy, but I did and I’ve never wasted so much time in my life.
I slept two years away. It only took me several years later to realize how destructive my behavior was. Besides my relationships and grades, my emotional and physical health suffered more than anything. I look back now and know that it wasn’t worth it. I inflicted more stress and pain on myself all because I would not speak up about anything. I was a stone wall to the public eye and a coward to mine. To this day, my biggest regret is those two years I’ll never get back and the spiraling damage they caused.
I know I’m speaking rather vaguely right now, but please understand this is a process. Baring your soul isn’t easy and words can’t be unsaid once they’re out there. I’m still learning how to summarize and verbalize all that I’ve endured. I’m still learning to be comfortable in my truths. No matter how ugly they are, they’re mine and I need to own them so they don’t own me.
There’s still life in my voice, even when I thought we got separated in the darkness. And while there’s still life in this body, I want to use this voice to be heard for someone else and to help someone else. I’m probably not the best example, so hell, if you have to, look at me as what not to do. Take what you can from these posts, be better than me and go be the example for someone else! I’m telling you, there’s someone who needs it who won’t say so.
*Photo Credit: K. Lashay