There is a line in a song that has always resonated with me …”I feel a little bit left of centre”. I’ve always felt different, a little bit off, standing on the outskirts of normal, not fitting in. Have you felt that way?
Have you tried so hard to fit in that you lost yourself? Did you stuff down that voice of warning inside you that screamed at you to be yourself? Did you let the voice of the outside world become your inner voice? Did it quietly repeat things like “who you are is wrong”… “different isn’t cool”… “you’re too much”,… “you’re not enough”?
I’ve let the voice of others, the voice of society, get so loud that it drowned out my own. That voice chipped away at my insides and left me a shell of myself, seeking the approval of others, feeling empty and lost. I became a stranger to myself, disconnected from everything, going through the motions. I’ve looked over the precipice into death, but I put a semicolon rather than a period in the story of my life. I could have put a period, but I chose to go on.
Those moments after the choice to go on were raw and painful, my focus on my family, but ever so slowly I put the pieces of my puzzle back together. I came back to myself. When I was brave enough to show my true self, I found real connection and friendship, unconditional love. This connection was not always from the people that I expected, and many people fell away. Out of the rubble came a spark that grew into fire, an ever-consuming natural element that made room for growth and support in a place I never imagined it could grow: my own heart.
Airdrie Pride is about helping people find a community of acceptance, a place to be unapologetically themselves. A place that helps to quiet the voice that says you are not enough, to celebrate the true you.
Find your community without leaving your community.
There is power in sharing our stories. It is a message to others that they are not alone. You are not alone.
I hope that my story leaves you feeling less alone. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide please reach out. We love you and accept you. The world is a better place because of you.
The second part of that line for that same song is, “…but then again we’ve all be there before”.
You are not alone.
24-hour phone help is available through the Distress Centre @ 403 266 4357
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