When I was a kid, I was scared of the dark. I was so petrified about going into a dark room that I would usually have my little sis, five-and-a- half-years younger than me, to accompany me in to a dark room. There she was, all of four-years-old, holding my hand, “Are you scared? Don’t worry, I will come with you!” She would promptly step in to the dark room, her re-assuring hand holding my hand tight, and would switch on all the lights in the room. Then she would smile at me and step aside.
While a part of me was embarrassed, I couldn’t help but admire my sister’s courage at that young age. I also realized that my problem had a simple solution … simply switch on the lights. Problem solved!
To this day, before I step in to a dark room, my hands look for the switch board, and then I hear a few clicking sounds and there is light everywhere. My sister doesn’t accompany me anymore, but the image of her smiling face floats in my head as I thank her for all those times that she was there for me.
There is the darkness in a room and then there is the darkness in our soul. Not all darkness can be conveniently removed in this manner. The darkest of the dark feeling is when you lose the will to live. I can not even imagine what goes through a person’s mind when they contemplate taking their own life. Do they wish for someone to reach out to in those dark moments? Do they even stop caring enough to try to come up with a solution?
It is so easy to judge them and call them a coward. It is so easy to claim that they should not have given up so easily. The truth is we all should be doing something that we are not doing. Or we should all not be doing something that we are doing. Hindsight, as they say is 20/20. But is it really that easy to do or to not do?
In an ideal world, I should not have been scared of the dark. In an ideal world my little sister shouldn’t have to take care of my fears. But both of the situations happened. In fact, I grew up to have my own children and constantly tell them to overcome their fears. And yet, to this day, my hands look for the switchboard before I step in to a dark room. When I think logically, I know that there is no reason for me to fear anything. Nothing bad has ever happened to me in a dark room. And yet, I still feel that irrational fear. It can happen to the best of us, all rational thoughts disappear when we are stressed about something. So, I close my eyes, imagine my four year old sister telling me, “Don’t worry. I will come with you.”
As I tell my children, the world is filled with good guys and bad guys. Some people are there for you even when they are not physically present. Some people are there just to pull you down so they can feel on top of the world.
When you come across the latter, hold on tight to the former. Reach out and cry for help. Tell them that you’re in pain. If there are ten people pulling you down, there will be ten people smiling at you as they say, ” I’m there for you!”