Things won’t get better
I’ve experienced darkness in my life. Deep darkness. When I was a kid, I was in boy scouts. One time, on a day trip, our scout leaders took us to an abandoned mine shaft. I know, this story has a very promising beginning, just like the last one. Because we didn’t know anything, and apparently neither did our leaders, we wandered into the mine shaft, deeper and deeper into the mountain. Our way was lighted by an actual torch, not a flashlight or lantern. One of our leaders, who just happened to be the one holding the torch and also happened to have the most severe case of ADHD of the bunch of us, thought it would be a funny trick, once we were several hundred feet into the mine shaft, to knock the torch on the ground, extinguishing the flame. The tunnel that we were exploring had curved to the left, meaning that when the torch was gone, the entrance to the shaft was out of sight around a corner, leaving us with absolutely no light. In review, we were 12 year old kids in an abandoned mine shaft and it was so dark, we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces. We were not happy. To say that panic set in would be an understatement. However, rather than let the panic swallow us whole, we reached our arms out until we found the walls of the shaft. Then, inching our way back the way we came (we hoped) we all stayed close to each other. Finally, after what seemed an interminable amount of time, the light from the tunnel’s entrance began to filter into the distance. Once we rounded the corner completely, we could see the exit and wasted no time in getting the heck out of there.
When we were at the darkest point, it would be easy to believe that we would never make it out alive. But we stuck together and slowly, but surely, made our way towards the light. I’ve experienced other kinds of darkness in my life as well. Debilitating emotional darkness. The kind that makes you feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel because there is no end to the tunnel. During those times, it is easy to feel like things will never get better, but you know what? They have, every single time. Without fail, up to this point in my life, I have survived every tragedy, every heartbreak, every loss, every backwards step, and if you are reading this, so have you. It hasn’t been easy or fun or quick but here I am, at the entrance to another tunnel. I may not always be able to see the light, but I do know that it is there.