I used to Feel Empty

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There was a time when I felt like I was merely existing; existing in the shadows of who I used to be before losing my parents. Life was tasteless and although I knew I wanted better for myself, sometimes it all felt pointless. In today’s blog post, I’d like to talk about this feeling of pointless existence; about what it felt like and about what it means to me today, nearly two decades after becoming an orphan. I truly hope this encourages you.

I was a child when mom and dad died and, despite my age, I understood that dying meant I’d never see my parents again. Granted, I spent several years in and out of disbelief, and even as an adult sometimes I find myself feeling shocked at what happened many many years ago, but deep down I was always conscious of the fact that my parents would not come back. This realisation made me feel empty inside. It felt like the essence of who I was had left my body and that all that was left was a shell, a pointless shell. I spent many years feeling that way; not always, but more than I thought I would.

My childhood was a real rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes I felt driven and determined to change the way I felt about life, but on most days I felt cold, unwanted and misunderstood. Underneath the smiles and the giggles, I was just a little girl who did not know what to do with all the emotions constantly fighting each other inside. I did not know how to ask for help, but at the same time, I felt that the world had to anticipate my needs and worries without me having to voice them. I had a dream for my life, but life often felt purposeless. It was like I was living in a constant state of fear and pain, even when I felt a pinch of happiness.

As I grew up, the emptiness, although it never really went away, felt manageable. Perhaps I was too busy slaying other dragons that I often forgot about the emptiness altogether. I think it was when I reached my mid-twenties, about 15 years after becoming an orphan, that I started to feel more purposeful than empty. It is not to say that prior to that I walked around like a zombie, but deep down I struggled quite a bit with my emotions. This feeling of emptiness co-existed with so many other emotions and thoughts, both positive and negative, and sometimes it was just too much for me to handle.

There was a time when I felt like I was merely existing; existing in the shadows of who I used to be before losing my parents. Life was tasteless and although I knew I wanted better for myself, sometimes it all felt pointless. Today, I am happy to say that things have changed for the better. I still get days when I feel hollow and I have to fight to get out of bed, but those days are no way near as frequent as they once were. When those days come, I have to remind myself that it is okay to feel emotionally (and physically) tired. If anything, those days are a reminder for me to take a step back from everything and to focus on caring from my fragile heart. I refuse to live just for the sake of being alive. I am grateful that I am still standing and thriving and because of that gratitude, on most days, I am at peace and I am happy.