The Darkness Doesn’t Scare Me Anymore
Wouldn’t it be nice if life could always be as simple as it was during our younger days? Those days when we could play outside for hours with other school children from our neighborhood? The ones when all we had to worry about was doing well in school? Whether our parents would let us sleep at a friend’s house over the weekend? These were the days when fears were merely figments our imaginations, like monsters lurking under our beds. We can’t help but take these days for granted when we’re young. We don’t realize just how truly precious this time is.
If you were to ask me what I feared the most as a kid, my immediate answer would be the dark. My own wild imagination would take control and frighten me so much I wouldn’t be able to sleep without the light on. I remember my mom would always say to me, “Judy, there is nothing in the dark that isn’t already there when the lights are on”. Although I could never bring myself to believe what she was telling me back then, I know now that her words were only meant to comfort me. My fear of the dark was just one of those things that I would need time to overcome.
There is nothing in the dark that isn’t already there when the lights are on
I carried this fear around with me for several years and admittedly, it wasn’t until middle school that I finally grew out of it. Unfortunately, it was around this particular time that my life began to take a very different turn. My personality was always pretty happy go lucky, despite the obstacles that I had already faced as a Little Person. However, by junior high school, I had endured numerous medical procedures in order to treat conditions related to my disability. The trauma of surgery, as well as the process of recovering each time, was starting to catch up to me. Suddenly, the darkness became the least of my worries.
My personality was always pretty happy go lucky, despite the obstacles that I had already faced as a Little Person
My anxiety grew and I began to suffer from depression. It became so unbearable at times, that I would even pretend I wasn’t feeling well just to be able to stay home from school. I kept my battle with mental illness hidden for a very long time, even denying to myself that I was truly suffering from it. The fact that I was born with Dwarfism already made me feel as though there was something terribly wrong with me. I couldn’t bear the thought of admitting I had even more flaws than that.
I kept my battle with mental illness hidden for a very long time, even denying to myself that I was truly suffering from it
So, if you were to ask me today about one thing that I fear the most, my answer to you would be the power of mental illness. The human mind is beautiful, but it can also be incredibly scary for those who struggle with their mental health. The only way that I could describe what it’s like to suffer from anxiety and depression is to compare it to carrying a heavy weight. It is constant and, on some days, much heavier to carry. For those of you who are lucky enough to be spared from battling a mental illness, my advice to you is to try to understand, even though it may be a difficult thing for you to do. Help someone you love who may be suffering and let them know that they shouldn’t be ashamed. A little kindness and patience can go a long way. It can even save a life.