More often than not, I feel really helpless. I look around me and see so much pain painted everywhere. I see it in the eyes of strangers that pass me in the store. I feel it in the downcast gaze or the lack of words from a family member. I hear it booming through unspoken words. I see it in messages from friends who assure me that they’re fine when I know that they aren’t.
I don’t know what to do about it.
I can’t make it go away.
I can’t fix it.
I can’t pray a magic prayer and watch it disappear into thin air.
I wish I had the words to make it all better. I wish I had words to encourage you and help you see how much of a difference you are making in the world. I wish you could see yourself like I see you – a talented person who is doing their best in a hard situation. You’re braver than you believe. Your stronger than you think.
I want to beg you not to give up because you’re worth so much more than you believe. I tell you and then wonder if my words are making any difference at all. Are they lost somewhere in the swirling darkness of your pain? Should I have said less? Should I have said more?
I want you to know how much I love you, but I’m scared to say it because maybe you’ll leave me and I’ll feel like a fool. If I let myself realize how much I care about you, it’ll hurt way worse if you give up on life. I’m stuck somewhere in the middle without words. I want you to know how much you are loved but I’m scared to be the one to say it.
Even though I’ve gone through some of your pain myself and know how it feels, I’m still wondering what to say. I sit in front of the screen with my hands on the keys or poise my pen above a pretty piece of stationary and I wish for words. The blank empty screen mocks me and reminds me that I don’t know how to help you. So I type out some glib message and end it with a smiling emoji and hope that it’ll somehow help you see that I care.
I lay awake at night and replay the words that I’ve written to you over and over again. I stare into the darkness and kick myself because I shouldn’t have said something. Or because I should have said something else. I regret not trying harder and then wonder if I’ve pushed too far.
I want to have words and answers.
But I don’t.
I rarely know what to say and I never have solutions. But I can be there for you. I can stay while you cry, while your rant, while you scream and while you’re silent. I can hold you hand and walk along side you. I can’t get you out, but I can stay with you while you wait for answers. I see you. You don’t have to do this alone. If you let me in, I won’t leave you. I’ll make mistakes, I’ll fail, I’ll fall. But I’ll stay.