Everyone, no matter how big or small, has a shadow. A little piece of darkness that never leaves us, following us through our lives like an obsessed puppy. For some, coexistence with their shadow is such that they are barely even aware of its presence. For others, the shadow grows far beyond the reach of their control, ever spreading, ever consuming. For others still, the shadow consumes all they have to give until only a battered husk remains.
For those locked in battle against their personal darkness, it is a daily struggle to stay on top. A daily fight, tooth and claw, to see the sun. A fight some of us will never win.
The shadow moves swiftly and silently, it shows a cunning and resilience commonly reserved for large predators, but that is what it truly is, at the end of the day, the largest and most deadly predator of all. It circles us, taking shots at our hearts, tearing our soul from us, bit by bit. Toying with us, making us wish it were over. Making us beg for it to end.
The world and those in it are particularly cruel to the kind, the warm and receptive to the pain of others. Those of us who ignore our own shadow to help quell the insatiable hunger of those around us. The darkness takes aim at these warriors of emotion, adding fuel to the fire and causing our shadow to grow even more restless while we dare not look. We dare not see what our own monster has become, we dare not notice how far our own shadow has stretched whilst distracted by trying to heal someone else.
For some, it stretches and stretches, ever expanding until all light is obscured. Until only darkness remains.
The weight of ones shadow can fluctuate by a daily measure. On the lightest days, the pain is but a whisper in the recesses of the mind, kept at arm’s length. But other days, it carries the weight of the world. Crushing, always crushing. Souls, as bones do, become brittle with time. They cannot carry the same weight they used to. They break and shatter, like hearts do, only the healing can seem impossible.
Sometimes we find ourselves at our breaking point. We find ourselves standing at an emotional precipice, unsure which way is up and which way is down. Lost within the shadow itself, ever floating, ever spiraling, never again meant to feel the solidity of ground beneath our feet.
Some of us have been battling our shadows for as long as we can remember. For some of us, the time before the darkness is a simple but clouded memory of better times.
Brittle souls and dull weapons. War can last too long. Sometimes the end is a reprieve.