I used to like dimmed lights
I used to enjoy dimmed lights. It felt warm and cozy; having these soft, warm, winter lights through the year. For a minute there, I thought I was taking the energy from that dimness. As if in some weird, supernatural way, my inner light was shining brighter. But suddenly that feels like a lifetime ago.
The stars are long dead, yet they keep on shining for you…
Not all of them, though. It’s unlikely, though not impossible. It makes me feel even more sad, because nothing in this world is forever. Not even the stars. How is that not overwhelming, my Friend? Starlight is pure and soft and it’s always dimmed for a city girl like me.
But I always found a great comfort in stargazing, you know? Every time I was coming home late at night, I was guided by Ursa Major. It was right there, above the building my parents live in. But lately, the sky is gray. Not only over the war zone.
The air around us feels thick, like there is no oxygen at all. Every breath is a struggle and this is not an exaggeration. It’s a rough time, Friend, and sadly – it’s exactly like in the saying: when it rains, it pours. And that rain is slowly, methodically and brutally killing my dimmed light.
Rebellions are built on hope.
I don’t want to get into politics. I’ve seen too many war movies to know how cruel and pointless it is. It’s inexplicable. It’s hurtful and heartbreaking. There is no light. There is darkness, the same kind of darkness that’s slowly consuming my heart, Friend.
How do you explain? How do you watch the news with no emotions, without being shaken down to the core? My therapist told me to make sure I keep some limits to what and how I digest. It’s kind of funny, though. I was never afraid to watch the news before.
But lately, everything seems to trigger my paralyzing anxiety. You look at me with concern, but all I feel right now is numbness. Anger burns inside, but I can’t seem to get it out. Maybe that darkness took over my dimmed light. Or maybe there is still something that could keep the spark alive?
Take a deep breath, my Friend. We’ve been through worse, so I know that there will be a light at the end of this long and rocky road. And it will be my favorite kind of light: the one that’s dimmed. But with every episode, it’s getting harder.
There is a light that never goes out!
There is, really. It’s the bright light of unity, solidarity and love – and for the first time in years, it’s not coming from me. But I can see it in my closest ones; people checking up on me just because they noticed the big toll world is taking on me.
Because there is only so much we can do, right? And it will never feel enough. I keep stopping myself from watching Schindler’s List, Dunkirk, 1917 or Jojo Rabbit. They would only break my heart even more, but maybe that would be a bucket of ice-cold water as well? I can’t cope with grief. Part of me doesn’t want to. The other part of me is working on it during therapy.
And here we are, my Friend. Watching the news with a cup of tea in our hands; hoping to see more and more positive images – people coming together. You know, I spoke with my mum about it. I think that caring for one another in times of war is running deep in Polish blood. History, eh? People coming together so selflessly, so quick and with hearts on their sleeves… It keeps the dimmed light up. My heart is fighting back.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Exhale comes with a cough, like there is a barbed wire around my lungs. They are burning as if I am running, but my muscles won’t move. I am static, almost stoic. But my heart is burning. I know it’s not final and I know that I will bounce back stronger than ever. But I promised myself and I promised you, my Friend, that I will be true and honest.
So, truly and honestly – I am overwhelmed. Over-dimmed and over-informed. I am over my head, but at least I feel like my head is over the water. I am not drowning. There is still some air left, even though it’s hard to inhale.
I think it’s important to say how we feel, there is no shame in sadness or helplessness. Especially right now. Too many people decided to bottle the feelings up, but this is just the time bomb, trust me. I am lucky enough to have no breaks, whatsoever. So please, don’t worry my Friend.
No feeling is final, but most of them will dim even the brightest lights. Don’t let anyone or anything tell you what you feel is not right. Not okay. It is perfectly human to empathize. And to think, some people call me unempathetic.
I like to think he may have at last found some small measure of peace that we all seek, and few of us ever find…
Listen to me, Friend. Pay attention, because it’s important. I know that I’m not the only one affected by everything happening this week. I like my light dimmed. Maybe that’s because I don’t want to blind people with it. Maybe I’m scared to show the full potential just yet. So yes, I like it dimmed. But if your light is being dimmed intentionally by someone or something…
This is not the way. Don’t let anyone guilty-trip you, too. No one knows, no one really knows what’s in your heart – until you decide to show them, or let them in. And just because I like the light dimmed… It’s not the same for everyone.
Look at me, Friend. Please, look at me. No feeling is final, but that light inside you – you carry it till the very last day. This is why you need to take care of it, cherish it. It is what makes you the most beautiful person on this planet. Kind, sweet and yearning for more.
Just because I feel like my light is dying; like my heart is being consumed by darkness… It doesn’t mean that yours is dying too. Don’t let it. I know I won’t. It is so much easier to fight for someone else’s heart, you know?
There is some comfort in the emptiness of the sea, no past, no future…
The air gets lighter with each slow inhale. Suddenly, it feels a bit easier. The pain is not that sharp; the darkness is there, it’s still there but… The small dimmed light is not giving up. I like it like that. You know why? Because the disappointment is easier. You don’t have your hopes up; you don’t expect.
Things come and go, and your reactions are genuine and honest. There is no waiting for something to happen. You just, you are here. And so are the stars, even though some of them no longer exist. We still see them, right? Remember that work is just work; life will always find a way and there are some things that we will never be able to control.
But as long as you keep that light shining – dimmed or not – as long as it is there inside you, as long as you can share it with someone… That’s all, that’s the only thing that matters. I say that with warm tears streaming down my face, because even though I firmly believe in these words…
It’s just tough. We are only humans with limits – especially when it comes to emotions and feelings. And remember – just because you don’t understand some of them, it doesn’t mean that they are wrong. There are people who will help you understand.
People help the people
And if you’re homesick, give me your hand and I’ll hold it…
At some point, everyone is expected to just move on. Dust it off, shake it off and move on. Friend, I am here to tell you: do it on your own terms and at your own pace. “No feeling is final”, and it will never be forever. But you can take all the time you need.
I will keep your light alive, I have some of that “spark” left in me. Who knows? Maybe it will keep my light dimmed as well… Perhaps that’s what I need for the darkness to fade away; for a melancholic mist to settle in?
My heart is already broken, yet with every day I feel like the world is crushing the pieces with a hammer. But… There is glue that puts some parts together – people coming together; friends supporting each other. So, stay connected.
My first instinct is to cut everyone off – not because I don’t need them, no. Because life is tough enough. But I’ve learnt my lesson and I know that these people keep me grounded and safe. And just because my light is… Well, it’s not doing so well, I need them most.
God knows what is hiding in this world of little consequence
Behind the tears, inside the lies
A thousand slowly dying sunsets
Stars might be dead, Friend. Some of them are, and that is okay. You still can outshine them, believe me. And so can so many souls out there… Don’t give in the numbness, the solitude and disperse. After all, we are never really alone in this.
This shouldn’t sound like any kind of comfort, but there are people out there feeling exactly the same. And my heart is jumping out of my chest for them. But my point is – there are people who will understand you, me.
I know that my dimmed light will survive the biggest storm and darkness that follows. Why? Oh, because dimmed lights are often underrated and unappreciated. But because they are on a constant “power saving” mode, they can last longer. Longer than the stars, Friend. And nothing makes people happier that that soft, weak light at the end of never-ending tunnel of pain, right?
HOW CAN WE HELP?
- Donate blood – I am working with my doctor to make sure I can do that with no major harm to my body. More info here, but please remember that blood and its parts have a limited „lifetime”. Be mindful. Below is picture how blood banks’ reserve looks like in Poland.
- Give what you can – but remember to check what is missing on the border. If you can take someone home, open up your doors. I signed up to be a foster home for animals brought to Poland. As for material things, my heart is full just like the drop-off centers. Keep on checking.
- Donate money – it doesn’t have to be much. Everything matters and no donation is too small. Link in PL and ENG.
- Reach out to your Ukraine friends/family. My heart is breaking when I talk with them. But even that short conversation is a big sign of support. There is only so much we can do… O., V., O. – my heart goes to you.
- DO NOT SPREAD FAKE NEWS. It helps the other side. Research and check your sources. Try to stay calm.
- Take care of yourself too. If YOU are not 100% well and healthy, you will not be able to help others. Check in with yourself and if need be – connect with a professional.
- Remember that you are not alone. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see people uniting over a tragedy, but there is a special type of strength in that. Let it be your charger.