“…you don’t face the dark of this alone.”

“When everything was much darker, people would tell me it was going to get better, and I would ask them how they knew. Some of them had instincts about it; they held the conviction my life would improve with the same unquestioning certainty they gave to the idea the sun would rise tomorrow. Others had faith in something greater than this world, in the idea of unseen hands guiding everything, and they believed something kinder would be sent to me again. Out of all the buds of life trying desperately to open on this planet, they thought the dreams I carried were amongst the ones which had to bloom. Then, there were those who had faith in me. More faith than I had. I knew I was strong, but I was never certain I was strong enough. Doubts are heavy; they are the battle armour of the weary and exhausted and Fears are like the fog of Victorian London, billowing thickly around you, so you can’t see where you are going anymore.
“It’s going to get better” they told me.
“Well, maybe” I would think, but it didn’t make me feel any better to hear them say so. Unless it was my grandparents, who were imbued with the mystical wisdom of old age and I could imagine might really have a knowing, or a couple of my friends who could have said “it’s going to pour with rain” in a soothing enough tone to give me comfort. When anyone else gave me their prophecies, it made me feel more alone. It made me feel like they didn’t understand what was happening to me.
When someone is crawling through a long and dark tunnel, with no sign of light to guide them, and the roof is threatening to cave in on top of them, it doesn’t necessarily help them to hear that you think it’s going to turn out fine. When you shout encouragingly into a burning building to the person frantically looking for an exit, to tell them it will be alright, even though you don’t have the power to rescue them yourself, it doesn’t always feel like your hope is anything more tangible than that.
“It’s going to get better.” They told me.
“Well, maybe, but when? And what makes you think I can hold on that long?” I thought, but I didn’t say out loud.
And so, I continued crawling and frantically looking for a way to survive, and I kept dealing with the daily impact of the meteorite which couldn’t stop itself from crashing into me, while people who were still close enough to existing to be able to count the stars kept telling me it was going to be ok.
“Well, perhaps, but unless your promises will be kept by my own life, that isn’t enough for me. You can’t save me. What if I can’t save me either?” I wondered quite frantically, but I never thought I could ask them.
After a very long time, it turns out they were right. It did get better. Unrecognisably so, and it does get better still. Sometimes it is even better enough to feel possible again. Maybe being closer to the stars means something, after all, about the scope of their perception. I don’t know.
I do know there is a part of me which wants to make you those promises, too. We all do. When we see someone we love or care about is in pain, we have to believe it will work out for them, because anything else is too unreasonable to contemplate. We want to comfort them, instinctively, and we try to comfort them by drawing hopeful faces on the monsters surrounding them, because sometimes that is all we know how to do.
What is happening to you is awful and it is unfair, and I can’t guarantee I won’t take my crayons and try to draw smiles on every dragon’s fearsome jaws. Or that I won’t forget myself and claim some instinct about your future. My inner Nostradamus as certain as the phases of the moon that there is happiness left for you. I am so sorry if I do that and it hurts.
I promise, though, that I do see the tunnel collapsing and the fire raging and the comet racing for your heart. I can see you, as well, in the midst of the chaos, doing all you can to make it out alive.
If you should want my company, I will bring you any lanterns I can find. I will build you a well and carry buckets from it to where you are. I will help you set your lasers to obliterate to take that comet down.
I will imagine us by the ocean, with our feet in the sand, and the sea (who tells no lies and asks no questions) lapping at our feet.
I will take you to the moon, where there is a warm blanket of silence to wrap around our shoulders, and time itself is made to stop its incessant chattering by the absence of the clocks to give it voice. There is nothing left to do for now but sleep, and rest, and heal.
I know today was hard, and tomorrow will be too, but you’re remarkable and you don’t face the dark of this alone.”
~ sarah-louise jordan


2 thoughts on ““…you don’t face the dark of this alone.”

    • sarah-louise fell ill suddenly with ME at age 14. she is now in her late 20s. for several years she could do nothing but endure unspeakable horrors. she has improved a lot but remains predominately housebound. she is one of the most eloquent spokespersons for those of us with ME. a wise & compassionate & beautiful woman.

      Liked by 1 person

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