Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Berry

Dear Child(ren),

Are you one person or two?

Silly question as it may seem this question has had a deep meaning to my life recently.

You see, I thought for the longest time I was one person trapped in another person’s miserable body. I was depressed and lonely and afraid that my life had no meaning. I was bitter and cold and wanted it all to be over. Times were bleak. I spent a lot of time thinking that all of that which was on the exterior, all of that anger and sadness, that was just a front for who I really was and I was really this happy-go-lucky, day dreaming person who was looking for his place in life. I was sure that once I found all that I was looking for I would be different.

It was a mistake to think that, I see that now. Even recently I thought that I was one person that was just battling all of the old effects of who I used to be. The truth of the matter, as I am sure you have figured out by now, is that I’m not one person. I’m not someone just trapped within someone else. I am two people represented best by light and dark.

I wanted to believe that I could only ever be one or the other and I needed to fight with all I had to be the one I wanted. I wanted to believe that somewhere along the line there was a choice I could make to be who I want. I am darkness. Sad and bitter. Cynical and angry. I am depressed and hopeless and afraid. I am all of the things that for so long I was certain would go away when I had the tools I needed to find my way.

I thought that with happiness, love, and adventure a switch would flip and all of a sudden I would miraculously be ‘me’, the real me that I had always said was buried inside.

I am still filled with that darkness and filled with that hatred that had been ingrained in my spirit.

However, I am also the light.

I am an optimist. I am always filled to the brim with hope that tomorrow will be better than today and that dreams not only can come true but they will as long as we believe in them and work towards them. I am a barrel full of laughs and smiles that are looking for a place to come out in the world. I am happiness and adventure and a dreamer. For all that is horrible in this world I choose to see that the world is still a beautiful place with billions of people that have the power to add to the wonder all around us. I am loving and compassionate and giving.

It can be summed up by recapping on something I said in an earlier post; having a big heart comes at the price that you feel everything extremely deeply. The good and the bad. I feel all of the awfulness of the darkness in me to my core and, if I let it, it consumes me. I also feel the light with all of its overwhelming wonderfulness and see just how amazing life can be if I can just fight that darkness.

I am two people and I am constantly conflicted. For all the good days I have filled with hope and dreams there is doubt and fear. For all of the terrible days filled with depression and feelings of being meaningless there is optimism that the future holds brighter days.

I thought that saying I was only one person that was fighting a virus inside of me would make life easier to understand and to deal with. If I was one person I was just finding my way and one day all of these awful feelings would just fade away to become a rarity. I was only lying to myself and setting myself up for disappointment. I am two people both dark and light. I will always be at conflict with myself. The trick, or so I am learning, is to see the darkness as a mirror of yourself. You look at yourself and you see all of the flaws and imperfections. You see all of these things you don’t want to be; but you see it. Instead of wondering what is wrong and never understanding what is needed to fix how you feel you can see it all staring right back at you. You can see those things you want to change about yourself and take action against it.

Sometimes, a lot of times, it is absolutely overwhelming. Sometimes I am too much for myself to bare. Yet, I make it through each day knowing that tomorrow can be better. From the mistakes of today I can improve my tomorrow. I can learn from all of that darkness lurking inside to find the way to let the light shine brighter and more frequently.

On the days you see me and the darkness is beating the light and you worry that something is terribly wrong, stop. Don’t worry. I will never let the light overtake me. Especially when you come into this world and I am given even more reasons to let that light shine.

Love you always,
Dad

 

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