She reminded me of Jamie Lee Curtis.
She had this really short grey pixie cut, with that same slender build. She looked extremely nervous, as if she was next in line for the electric chair. But I guess she kinda was in a way. We all were.
I had been to group meetings before but never like that one. The lights were barely on, which made it difficult to read the walls. All four walls were populated with motivational visuals, and any pamphlet a person with problems might need. The eighteen chairs in the room acted as baseboards, leaving very little room for the coffee table, and it’s basket of pencils and... pamphlets.
I was pretending to read those walls, I can’t see shit without my glasses. I was being careful not to make eye contact. I didn’t want to talk yet. Other women began entering the room, choosing seats as far away from one another as possible. But the room filled up fast, making it impossible to not sit beside someone.
I didn’t know a single soul, but I recognized all their faces. Some looked as frightened as I used to be, some as weak. Some of them had given up like I had before, and some were still fighting like I was. I saw all the chapters of my life through their expressions and body language. Even The Angry Princess was there.
My job wasn’t to go in there and tell them how much pain I was still in, or how socially removed I was. My job was to tell them my fake name, and give them hope that they too could defeat all obstacles, and beat all odds. I didn’t feel like the hero I was told I was, and I definitely didn’t want to seem like a show off. How could I look a bunch of women in the face and talk about how great I was doing, while they were all feeling so shitty? But I did it anyway, apparently it would be helpful for those ladies... and apparently it was. Tremendously.
I can’t tell you what went on in that room, but what I can tell you is that I left feeling really brave, but I knew I wasn’t the bravest.
Not a chance.
Before the circle of “tell us how you’re feeling” got to me, it got to six other women first. And by the time it got to lady three, I realized I wasn’t only there to spread hope, I was there to receive some as well.
I can’t tell you her name or age.
I can’t tell you what her illness was.
And I can’t tell you what was written on her cue cards.
If there were a contest for most nervous, it would have been a tie between her and I. But as soon as she started reading from the notes she prepared, and I heard the honesty in what she was sharing, all my anxiety blew out the door, the door that wasn’t allowed to be completely closed. I guess leaving it open a crack was an effort to make the room feel more inviting, but all it was doing was reminding me how non closed windows and doors freaked me out. Tears began rolling down my face and my leg was shaking so much it was vibrating my whole row. Thankfully I was able to tune my focus back to her honesty and her cue cards.
She spoke really fast.
Her hands were trembling.
It was clear she wanted her turn to be over and done with. Her vocabulary was incredible and she was making so much sense, I don’t think she had any idea how much sense. I was so enlightened by what she was sharing and how, that more tears rolled down my face. I was so proud of her, whoever she was, and I felt this overwhelming feeling of love for her. All I wanted to do was hug the shit out of her! But I could tell she was still on her own journey, far away from the day that she realized how inspiring, strong and kick ass she was. I didn’t want to frighten her or make her feel uncomfortable by letting her know how moved I was.
But I told her anyway.
I even gave her a gift.
I also suggested she become a writer cause FUCK could she write! I don’t know if it took everything in her power to get there that day, but I was so grateful she did.
The world moves fast. People move faster. Change is affluent. The great journey to only God knows where, has us scrambling, making lists and plans, promises and mistakes. I constantly find myself orchestrating things that are far beyond my micromanaging skill set. We’ve become the bustle to the hustle. And somewhere in tiny four walled rooms, filled to the brim with pamphlets, sits a bunch of people who feel as if they don’t stand a chance. Maybe because they see things that “aren’t there” or need to flick a light switch on and off thirty seven times. Maybe it’s because they cut themselves or because they hear voices. But there are other four walled rooms, with more people who feel helpless and beyond that room is even more rooms with more people and different problems, terrified to come out and admit to their struggle.
All because somewhere down the time line, respected morons deemed it lame to feel.
Show me the man who was born successful and died happy.
Show me the women who enjoyed smooth sailing all the way to the top of her mountain.
I don’t know exactly when the fuck people started kidding themselves. You can strut your ass around town all you want, pretending it's as effortless as you’re making it seem, but I’m not buying it. And neither are the people that exit those rooms.
There is nothing wrong with falling.
There is nothing wrong with the fallen.
The fall is forever as important as the climb.