Hold on. Please stay. The world loves you

This picture of me was taken exactly 4 fours ago. I was in South Africa. It was mid morning. I was with my younger sister, her husband and their newborn at a restaurant.
 
I look so happy.
I wanted the world to think that I was.
But it was all a lie.
I was grieving.
Traumatised.
In shock.
I did not honour my loss, my trauma.
I traded my authenticity for social approval.
I cloaked my vulnerability with fabricated positive pretence.
I used alcohol to camouflage my sadness.
 
A western upbringing taught me to hide my messy and loud expression of pain.
To turn down the volume on my grief and to do my feeling behind closed doors, in the shower… anywhere but out in the open.
In my glass is whiskey. I was drinking morning till night. I wasn’t sleeping. Or eating.
 
A few weeks later my mind would break. Completely.
I would end up in a detox house to be monitored medically. And then I would go to rehab.
 
At the time I didn’t know that my shadows, my pain, my trauma was guiding me back to myself. I just felt like I was falling. Deeper. And deeper. Into darkness.
 
I didn’t know.
 
I didn’t know that the fire of self destruction was EXACTLY what I needed to burn off old stories, limiting beliefs. Being in the fire turned out to be the biggest fucking blessing in disguise. It alchemised my pain and turned it into something of great value.
 
I didn’t know that I was going to slowly put back together my fucked up messy life.
 
I didn’t know that releasing my trauma would be my salvation.
 
I just didn’t know.
 
And neither do you.
 
You don’t know why what is happening to you right now needs to happen. Why it has to hurt so bad. Why shedding skins can be so gruelling, so exhausting.
 
But I want to remind you that this pain you are feeling will shift. It will change. You will get through. You will. Please hold on. Please stay. The world needs you.
 
Today have a shower. Drink some water. Rest.
And know that many have been where you are. Even if their pictures seem to look happy, they have a story to tell that would most likely resonate with yours.
 
Hold on.
Please.
 
Irma