Shortly after my car accident last Wednesday, where I was hit while turning left by a man who ran a red light while texting on his phone, I was given a special gift that meant a great deal to me.
No, it wasn't flowers. No, not even a meal (although I DID receive meals and assistance of all kinds that DID mean a great deal to me).
But this was different. It was a gift of words. My friend, Maren Scriven Alitagtag, whom I seem to talk about constantly (because she is amazing and we share a love of stretchy pants and musical theatre) has started writing a blog about the ways theatre has enriched her life and given her insights she needed at crucial times.
This time, the words were for me. And, as I sat in my crunched vehicle and read them, the tears were not a few. I felt so, so alone. So, so single. So, so invisible and afraid. Through her words she lifted me and made me feel seen and loved.
Her blog can remain a secret no longer. She feels maybe five people will read it.
I say, at least ten.
Her blog can be found HERE: MAREN'S MANY MOMENTS
Here is her original post, in it's entirety:
WHEN YOU'RE BROKEN ON THE GROUND
Today I found out a friend of mine that I care about a great deal was in a car accident. Life has been a challenge for this friend. She is divorced, in school, dealing with children and life and loneliness several states away from her family. I am the type that wants to run to the side of those in need and help in any way that I can, which is very frustrating when I am far away and cannot do anything. This time, it hurts even more, because, I was her. Alone and scared and frustrated and far from those whom I love.
As I drove home, the words from Dear Evan Hansen struck me:
"Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Have you felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere? Have you ever felt like you could disappear? Like you could fall and no one would hear?"
Yes, I have felt that. I have felt the darkness come in around me. I have read that JK Rowling based the idea of the dementors on her experience with depression, and I have to admit it is a precise definition for me. I have felt many times that I could fall and no one would ever hear.
"Even when the dark comes crashing through, When you need a friend to carry you, And when you're broken on the ground."
I have an image seared in my brain of myself, lying broken on the ground. In a small apartment in Chicago. In the span of a short amount of time it felt like I had destroyed my career and lost my marriage and my purpose and everything I had worked on for years. That feeling of despair and misery was so strong that I am not sure it will ever fully leave me.
But, let's look at the next line of the song. You will be found. Sometimes that means a person. And it is wonderful when it is someone who comes running, picks you up, and carries you. I have a slightly different view of it.
I found me. It was hard to do it alone. It was hard to be alone. It was tempting to just go and run to anyone who would be there to save me. Somehow, I learned that sometimes, while I have friends and family who love me more than anything, I am the one who is going to help me at many points in my life. I am the reason to believe I will be ok. I am the one who will come running to me.
"So let the sun come streaming in, Cause you'll reach up and you'll rise again, Lift your head and look around, You will be found."
You are a talented, fabulous, wonderful woman. You have been through more than you deserve. But, you are not alone. You will rise again. You have so much ahead of you. The beauty that you bring to this world will not be forgotten. The challenges you face make the beauty more poignant. Look around. Find you. You will rise again. Of anyone I know, you have the ability to continue to rise and rise and rise. Let that sun in.
"Out of the shadows, The morning is breaking, And all is new, All is new. It's feeling awfully empty.
And suddenly I see, That all is new, All is new."
I am not who I was four years ago when I was laying broken on the ground. Along the way, I was found by you. I was found by other friends who helped me see that the pieces of me were still worthwhile. Most of all, I was found by me. I figured out that I would be ok. I saw that my world may have felt empty, but what was before me was a new, beautiful path.
I cannot be there to physically come running as you reach out your hand. But I can say that "From across the silence, your voice is heard."
I love you. Today hurts. Tomorrow will be better. You will be found. You are not alone.