SLIDER

SUMMER WHITTAKER


'When you can tell your story and it doesn't make you cry, you know you are healing.'

- unknown.

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24 YEARS LATER


I used to love growing up. I would thrive off the idea of more responsibilities, learning the wisdoms of the world and being able to express myself when I want and how I want. But for me, somehow each year brings a new form of sadness I have to overcome. Whether that be a death of a loved one, a life changing nightmare or just another challenge with mental health. Through just these past 6 years, I have come to fear growing older.

Throughout these years, throughout my life even, I have always been told that I am strong. To put that into some form of context, I have heard the following, strong for trying to cope with my Father's death, strong for sitting besides my partner who needed both legs amputated and strong for dealing with the general shit thrown my way. Truth be told, I feel that with each year that passes, I get weaker.

I feel that as human beings, we use this feeling of weakness to generate a form of strength to blind the pain. I can only speak for myself when I say that the strength I portray to the world, is to allow myself to be hopeful in making this a reality, a reality I can then believe myself. The more I show this strength, the more likely I am to believe the words of those around me. It's a developing habit I sadly have and long to hold onto. What kind of person does this make me? Naive, or hopeful?

It's a tiring act put in place to create a fearless future. I understand how draining doing this can be, but for now, it's who I am. I am a normal girl who struggles daily, yet pushes through and counts down the hours each day, lies there at night and summaries all emotions. Will I be the same another year on? Who knows, because I certainly don't.

I know I am not the only person out there, which is what makes me non-judgemental. You never know quite know what somebody is dealing with behind closed doors. I'm undergoing a lot of stress and pain recently, but my smile is there to fool you, and most importantly, fool myself.


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