Future Tense

By Sharleigh ThomsonMarch 16, 2018

Usually, when I write, I write from the future. I write as if I’m already on the far side of recovery. Most of what I share is written almost as a character study: this is what I would say if I were healed. And I am healing. Slowly. Painfully. I am healing.

But the truth is that most of the time, I’m still there. I’m still in a ditch. Some days I feel like a fraud. Like I’m pretending to be something I am not. Because while I write in future tense, it is not often that I’m living there.

Right now, I’m writing to you from the inside. From where it is dark and endless. I am writing from sleepless nights and stiff mornings. From desperate conversations with therapists and leaving the grocery store in tears. From unmade beds and waiting rooms and easy mac for breakfast.

I’m writing to you from scared and sore and hopeless.

From here, I know what it’s like to have friends grow so comfortable with your sadness that they don’t understand how painful it still is.

I know what it’s like to not know whether tomorrow is worth it. To be so exhausted that you would give anything just for a chance to put the load down.

I know what it’s like to end the day raw and battered. To have nothing left to give yourself but sleep.

I know what it’s like to have everything go dark. To not know if you’ll ever be happy again. Or if you ever were.

I know what it’s like is to scream into the clouds. To beg whatever is out there listening for just ten minutes of quiet.

But there are days when the light turns on. When I am less alone and the world is less heavy on my heart. There are good moments. They exist, they are real—no matter what my mind tells me when the sun goes down.

There are days when writing in future tense feels like writing from now.

There are days when I understand that there are good things coming.

There are days when the truth is so clear: there is worth in every moment. In every breath. And if I can just keep going—the sun will come up tomorrow. Things will be clean and fresh and new, and I will have another chance to see the gentleness in the world. Because there is gentle in the world, if only you remember to look for it.

I’m writing to you from the inside. From the mouth of the lion. The bottom of the well. It’s dark down here, and it’s lonely. But we’re here together. And I’m telling you: there’s something better waiting for us.

The soft days are coming.

And you and me, we’re going to be persistent in our pursuit of something better—whatever that is. We’re going to be stubborn and difficult and refuse to accept anything other than growth. We’re going to dig in our heels and find hope.

One day, our future tense will be present tense. Because some days I see it. I see a glimpse of the future. I see the truth. And the truth is: We make it.


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Comments (11)

  1. Charity

    This resonates with me on such a spiritual level. I’m sorry that you are hurting, but I’m happy you’re able to see a pinprick of light. It’s beautiful, you’re beautiful, and you’re doing great. It will definitely be worth it once you are there. But until then, keep looking at the little things, the birds singing outside your window, the first flowers of spring. Because those little moments will add up to surround you with light.

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  2. KAT

    “Already on the far side of recovery” — Wow! I like that phrase. Thanks for your honesty and for your “stubbornness” to believe that there is hope.

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  3. Ebony

    “And you and me, we’re going to be persistent in our pursuit of something better—whatever that is. We’re going to be stubborn and difficult and refuse to accept anything other than growth. We’re going to dig in our heels and find hope.”

    The above quote really spoke to me; so encouraging to keep going. Thank you for sharing a part of your journey of healing. And yes, we will dig in our heels and be persistent in finding that something better.

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  4. Chris Allen

    Hi!! My name’s Chris and I was really moved by your story. I mean I felt every single expression of what you were feeling as I read this because I was feeling it too at that moment. You gave me so much hope and courage… And I have been writing about my own life and you just inspired me to start a blog or reach out to someone somehow . Feel free to contact me back I want to help people like you helped me today. Much love 😉

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  5. Samantha

    I needed to read this today. Thank you for reminding me there is good to come and it’s not always like this

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  6. Siobhan

    I relate so much. Thank you so much for your share. I know that darkness and sometimes it’s hard to see the light. But brighter days do come; even though we got to fight and stay strong every single day.

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  7. Erin

    This website,and your kind Blog as helped in amazing ways at my University, and the transgender community having issues receiving help within our community. It has helped reached the younger LGBTQ youth and their personal life mental struggles.

    Thank you with all Sincerity you have helped save many lifes

    Reply  |  
  8. Ashley

    Thank you for writing this.

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  9. Jennifer

    Wow! That is beautifully written and so raw and powerful! It takes courage to write that. Unfortunately I understand what you’re going through. We have to just get through one day at a time. Sometimes it’s an hour at a time or even minute by minute. Keep fighting!

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  10. Megan L Hayes

    Thank you for this. I needed it today. It’s painful, but beautiful.

    Reply  |  
  11. G

    Totally needed this tonight and passed it on, thanks.

    Reply  |  
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