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The unbecoming

I have shared stories of trials and tribulations and how they have shaped me into the woman I am today. But the things I haven’t shared are the layers I’ve shed in the process. The walls I built were full of fear, anger, and sorrow and tearing them down took courage. Courage I only found in the journey of unbecoming everything the world forced me to be.
Depression is a thief, it steals from us the innocence and passions that once embodied who we are at our core. In other words, the things that set your soul on fire no longer spark a flame and the ability to feel anything at all is completely out of reach. But even when the darkest days have passed, the scars remain and suddenly the walls you built are not to keep anything out but to keep yourself in a place that feels safe. From the outside looking in, your life looks the same to everyone around you and unless you put up a “handle with care” sign on your front door people may never know that your bones are fragile and your heart is empty. Maybe it’s been months of going through the motions, looking at yourself in the mirror hoping the eyes looking back at you might see something other than the ghost town you’ve let yourself move into.

I was going through the motions, doing everything my therapists taught me to do, look for the light and feel the sun. I picked up my camera and drove to the water, desperate to feel something again, I took photos of the light. Thinking I could hold on to it that way. I thought about the ones I’ve loved and lost. I thought about all the versions of me I tried to be that never stuck and the chapters of life I should have closed long after I was done reading the book. I thought about the darkness that took so much from me and the pain I let myself live in for far too long.

& the sun does not shine because someone else wants it to. It shines because that is what it was born to do.

There, on the edge of the seawall, I breathed in every ounce of light I let into the lens. I thought about the boy who first led me out of the darkness some 5 years ago. I thought about the man who was like a second father to me who lost his battle to the darkness, wishing I could have given him the same light I captured that day. I thought about all the versions of myself I became in order to fill the emptiness that depression left me with. I was numb and unrecognizable. So I did the only thing I possibly had left - I began to knock down the walls, shedding the layers of this person I let myself become. I’m calling this chapter the unbecoming; it’s the one where I let go of everything the world has led me to be in the darkness.

At least once in life, we will find ourselves at a crossroads where we are forced to choose. And when you get there, I hope you have the courage to choose yourself.

Welcome to the unbecoming.

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