These past few weeks, I wanted to show others extravagant love. Partly in an attempt to forget my deep depression and heartbreak, my mission on campus became to touch as many people as possible with kindness. One of the main ways that I chose to do this was by writing anonymous notes. Post-Its with quotes were slipped into backups, candies with uplifting messages were left in random mailboxes, and letters were written to numerous others.
However, I ended up only feeling drained. No matter how much I attempted love others, the sorrow inside ate away at me. Life seemed unbearable, making me want to end everything. Somehow (perhaps because I was too depressed to do anything), self-harm and major restriction did not begin again despite the strong urges. However, I knew that I could stay strong in my recovery for only so long. After such an amazing fall semester, my life was falling apart. Going back to the university, being an inspiration to others, and simply living any longer seemed pointless and impossible to handle any longer.
After putting out so much love to others, I felt empty and forgotten. We should not care for others just to receive something in return. At the same time, people cannot function simply giving of themselves and never receiving anything in return. Worthless and unlovable, disgusting and pathetic – that is what I must be based on what others thought of me. Or so I thought.
Then something amazing changed last week. Suddenly an amazing switch has taken place, and peace has filled me. Recovery, life, and friendship are possible.
It started small. Several girls at school let me cry on their shoulder. Slowly, I opened up about the pain inside despite fear of rejection. To my surprise, even more people gathered to my side and showed me that they cared.
Then, some girls let me room with them. Instead of seeing it as a chore or even a service, they enjoyed having me around. “It’s like a sleepover!” One exclaimed. “I wish that you were over more.” Really? Someone wanted me to be around more rather than less? Even better, they invited me to live with them next year. For years, I have not imagined living on campus. However, the thought of this new adventure in life fills me with joy. I, the aspergers girl who was too awkward and strange to have friends, is wanted as a roommate! This next step in independence and recovery will not be simple, but I am ready for the challenge.
These two events alone would have been great. However, the thing that really blessed me was all of the letters that I received. Funny how the love that I poured out on others came back to me even stronger than what I had done.
Each message touched so deeply – affirmation from a person I thought disliked me, encouragement from a new friend, honesty from someone I barely knew, joy from a long-time pen pal, inspiration from a sweet classmate, and a timely card from a dear friend who understands my pain. Everyone encouraged me and wrote about the good that they saw in me. All of my self-hate was confronted by the kind words from others.
Just last week, I could not stop sobbing. Hurt boiled up inside that I was using all of my energy to care for others despite my misery but no one seemed to notice or care. Now, the honesty is apparent; people do love me. Sometimes one simply needs to be patient. When you love others, it will bless you greatly although it might take time.