Wishing for Time Travel
There are things that I wish I could go back and time and tell myself in my later undergrad years, when things were tough and I didn’t know then that things would be okay.
There are things that you learn about coping when you’ve already been through what you think will be the worst thing you’ve ever coped with and you know that if you survived all of that then nothing is unsolvable and nothing is permanently painful in the way that it can be in most raw moments of the healing process.
I’m grateful for knowing this now, as I’m dealing with a difficult time. I’m grateful for the knowledge that already going through it lends me, for knowing that when there is an acute ache or a moment where things seem incredibly bleak, it always passes.That’s the thing about pain. It passes. It dulls. It never remains at that fierce level of its initial creation. When it starts, it never feels that way, and sometimes it reintroduces itself in painful, unexpected waves, but these waves pass too.
Knowing this now, I am sometimes sad for the Me who didn’t know this, who did whatever she could to feel better fast, who coped like she was completely alone on a planet full of people didn’t understand and couldn’t help. I regret the things she did and the visible scars I bear because she didn’t know.
Current Me has knowledge, and support, and acceptance (both of the reality of her life and reality that others live in), and I am absolutely, positively certain that I will be okay and that even now, when it sometimes hurts, I am already okay, and I sometimes literally ache with a longing to give that understanding to that other Me.
I wish I could give her a hug when she needed one. I wish I could tell her about the person she was going to become, the things she would overcome, the people she would have in her life, the strength she was going to have after all of that pain dulled. I wish I could teach her about what she deserved and what she should expect (or not accept) of the people in her life.
Sometimes being so loved and cherished now reminds me that I haven’t always felt that, and that’s a strange kind of mourning to move through in the midst of other mourning… the wish that I could’ve been here sooner, that I could have been healthier earlier along the way.