My way out of the dark hole


A collage of Marley, Jojo and me

My building blocks to my life have fallen, and I’m trying to pick them up and put them back together. 

I’ve been feeling like I’m on the edge of a cliff about to fall, holding onto the few thin strands I have left to keep from collapsing into the abyss that I have tried so hard to avoid. 

I fell once, and never again will I go back. 

The abyss is a mystery to me; all I know is that it’s cold, dark, scary, and makes me feel like I want to crawl under a rock and cry. It is not on my list of favorite places—honestly, it is the last place I ever want to be. 

There are many times that I find myself almost falling into that dark, dark place, thankfully, I have my people and things I treasure most to bring me back, wrap me in their arms and keep me safe. 

I have learned to surround myself with the people who keep me safe and fill me with joy. 

One of my best friends, Marley, lives a one-minute walk or a 30-second bike ride away. Almost every Sunday night when we come back from our dad’s, I will go through at least four pairs of pants from the hours of laughter that cause me to pee. When I am with Marley, I smile, smile like everything is perfect, the skies are blue, it is a hot summer day, and there are no worries in the world. Just joy. 

Now I am here, picking up a romance book every time I start to feel an unmanageable feeling of worry and stress. 

Now although Jojo lives farther away—only 10 minutes—I still feel equally close to her as I do with Marley. Jojo shows me that self-care and self-love are very important to one’s health. When I am with Jojo I don’t feel judged or belittled, I feel safe. I have known Jojo since kindergarten but became immensely close with her again in March. When I am with her, I feel that I don’t need a social battery, if we want to lay in bed and go on our phones, it’s fine, just enjoying each other’s presence. 

Marley, Jojo, and I have created a perfect trio, our own little bubble. 

Apart from Marley and Jojo, I have my books.

I started reading random 100-page chapter books in first grade and immediately fell in love. I believe that I thought of it as an escape, but who needs a big escape when you’re six? So, I fell out of my love for reading. Yes, obviously, I would read books, but I would not read as much as I wanted. 

At the beginning of eighth grade, I began reading more and more, and I loved it. At first, it was random books, but soon after, I realized that when I started a romance book, I could not put it down and felt adrenaline rushing through my veins, so I followed that passion. Now I am here, picking up a romance book every time I start to feel an unmanageable feeling of worry and stress.

Those are my strongest strings, the strings that keep me from falling off the cliff into the dark hole and help me to rebuild my life.