It doesn’t take much, sometimes.
You lose a single follower on Facebook, and it feels like your entire world has crumbled into oblivion and you’re left there, shouting out your distress to the void.
No one is listening.
No one cares.
No one sees you struggling to keep your head above water.
No one understands that, to you,
being heard is a matter of life or death.
Or so it feels when you try and swim against the current of the norm and be that shiny unicorn salmoning her way up the waterfalls while the sharp teeth of Society snap at your heels. You know this feat of strength is possible. Others have done it before you.
You just don’t know how.
And, as the grand Nobody that you are, you feel too small and insignificant to dare bother the Greats in their daily affairs to ask for advice or a nudge in a right direction.
You don’t see your own value.
And how could you, since the void is a place of absolute darkness? It doesn’t merely drive back the light; it swallows it whole. This is the place of no return for all of the fools who dared believe they are more than who they are.
Yes, but. But? But. No one tells you that the void leads to greater places.
They say that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. After surviving a ten-year depression and somehow coming up on top (even though I collapse now and again, but who’s perfect?), this is a saying I not only strongly believe in, but have experienced to be true. It isn’t easy clawing your way back up a hole, and when I did, I ended up in a different place than where I’d started.
The void led me to a better reality.
Sure, you don’t come out of the void unscathed. I grew up chronophobic and weak to negativity, so I had to teach myself to accept the return of Depression as an unwanted friend coming to visit rather than a thing of horror. It was that or living with the constant, crippling fear that my world could die around me any second.
And it does, every now and again. I lose the ability to write. What do you do when the sole point of light in your life, the only talent you have at your disposal, suddenly disappears?
Tous les repères sont morts — all the landmarks are dead.
All because of a single follower jumping ship. And when you have so few already, every desertion feels like a knife to the gut. No one cares. No one is listening.
Except that maybe someone is, and they’re simply not telling you. They don’t show themselves, but enjoy your presence nonetheless. The void is inhabited. It is inhabited by other Nobodies that blend into the ambient darkness and believe their own voices not to matter at all.
Every voice matters. Yours as well as mine. Every word might not be golden, but neither is silence when it traps inside an angry beast that demands to roar out its truth.
Speak up. Even if it is to complain about a single lost follower. You never know whose life you might be brightening, if only by giving them someone in this vast and scary world to relate to.