I stillremember staring at those teal walls that I painted when I was in eighth grade.I probably stared at them for hours, now thinking back to that day.
What was I doing?What was wrong with me? I took a drink of water and placed the glass back on mynight stand. Watching the tv, but just staring at the picture. Words bouncingaround in my head saying things like you’re not good enough, you’ll never behappy and you’re worthless. Thinking to myself, ‘what does this even mean’. Ilaid back and slowly shut my eyes. Itbegan so slowly, but hit me so fast those couple of words are said toomuch. It was like constantly having thisinvisible weight on my back. Living with a glass wall between you and the world.
You keep hitting the glass to get out but you can’t break through. I probablystared at those walls for hours, perfectly painted with that bold teal color. Ihad no clue on how to break free, how to feel like myself again, how to be me.I opened my eyes, I heard a door close. My grandmother began to make her way upthe stairs. I thought to myself, “What if she comes in? What do I say? What doI do?”. She approaches the door, shuffling slowly.
I lay stiff in my bed, mindraising, and my heart beating out of my chest. She entered the room and became immediatelyconcerned. I pushed her away, “please leave, I just want to be alone.” I said Theweeks that followed were some of the most challenging I have endured.Communication between my grandmother and I was at an all-time low. Although wewere living so close, we’ve never been so far apart. I began to pace in my room,feeling the coarse carpet beneath my feet.
Deep in thought I hadn’t evennoticed my feet burning from the friction. But I kept pacing thinking, “I wishshe could just know. Why doesn’t she understand?” I felt like I was physically drowningwithin my own mind. The nights grew longer as I slept through the days. I thinkto back to that bold teal color, bright and simple as life once was. I couldhardly even remember how that felt anymore. That night I decided to reach out,that night I was going to do something I had never done before. I was going topick up the phone.
I was going to get better. I could not take this feelinganymore. She answered.
She heard the tone ofmy voice as I breathed heavily. A wave of emotion came over me and I began tocry. I poured out, I said things out loud that I have never even thought aboutsaying. Things I thought I could not say. An invisible weight was lifted, theglass began to break.
In that moment, my grandmother and I were not so farapart. I described my feelings to her, the struggles I had been facing alone fortoo long. My silence had finally brokenand I was able to be free. My grandmother had been listening patiently for sometime, only beginning to speak as I paused to wipe my tears. She knew what I wasgoing through, she could finally feel what I was feeling.
Struggling to find words,she told me that I was not alone. Those words hit me in a new way. I ran to thedoor to find that she was already there.
She hugged me and I gained a newfoundhope. She helped me out to the car and I knew that we were in this together. I was sitting in my bed drinking a glass ofwater.
I laughed with my friends as we watched our favorite movie. “Are yougoing to the game on Friday?” one of my friends said to me, “Of course, Iwouldn’t miss it.” I replied. “Hey, I really like what you’ve done with yourroom.” My friend exclaimed. “I think I am starting to like it too.
” I said as Iturned and looked at my teal walls.