Dear Alice,

I fear that I am coming undone. I thought I have achieved the balance I so desperately desired, but it feels more like my life is coming apart at the seams. I feel sick, tired, lonely, and hopeless.

I keep trying to ask for help, but it would seem that I am not critical enough to receive it, despite how often I feel as if I’m treading water, keeping my head just above sinking. It feels like I’m staring darkness in the face and I am left with a choice: either to step in or run away.

I don’t know how things got to this point. I think it’s an accumulation of feelings that I’ve kept hidden in the deepest parts of myself that I’ve recently had to let loose. Perhaps it’s the result of avoiding the reality of my environment for 5 years. Or maybe it’s just that I’ve been running on empty pretending I’m full.

Honestly, Alice, I don’t know. I don’t know anything. It feels like my life is no longer under my control and that I’m just a piece in some twisted game of chess. This is the part where I’d say something brave, as if I were the hero in some fantasy novel, but I have no brave words to offer. All I have is this heaviness inside.

I don’t think sadness is the right word for what I’m feeling right now. I think despair is better. Despair: to be without hope. I feel like I don’t have hope anymore. Like a compass without a north, I feel directionless. I don’t know where to find the path forward.

The concept of the dark night of the soul comes to mind. The mythical rock bottom that St. John of the Cross wrote a poem about. But the name is deceiving, for I am not experiencing a single night, but 5 years worth of darkness. They say you are transformed at the end, but with no end in sight, I am unsure of what I am becoming.

I think that’s what terrifies me the most. The uncertainty. I’m used to a certain level of uncertainty (I mean, I’ve lived in 3 different places in the past year alone), but I’m at a point in my life where nothing is certain. Everything feels shaky and unsure.

I thought sending my resignation letter would make me feel at peace, yet it has been the source of my greatest anxiety. For I fear what is to come and the consequences I must face. The fallout of this situation might be more costly than I can bear alone.

But I have to keep going. At least for now. I owe it to myself to make it out of this. I owe it to that bright-eyed kid that thought becoming a pastor would make all things better. I owe it to the kid who dreamed of a better world. I owe it to the kid who cried bitter tears when he realized that the world was more broken than he could fix alone.

So I believe I must step into the dark rather than running away. Perhaps the dark has something to teach me. Perhaps I will become someone better after I have walked with the dark for a long time. I t is time I face the dark and not run away.

Love,

Alex

A note to the reader: be not alarmed by what you read here. I am safe. I am cared for. I am getting help. It just takes a while before the people who can help can see me. The problem with living in a colony is that medical care is not very accessible, and due to my current condition, there are a lot of hoops I have to jump through. If you wish to reach out, you may do so, but it might take me a while to reply. But do know that I appreciate those who reach out and I do value your concern. Love, Alex

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