This Is Us: Stitched My Wings With Pain by Sarah Hayek

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Growing up with much anger toward myself and the world, it turned my heart into stone. I was unable to feel anything but anger, mistrust and sometimes, just numbness. I grew so angry with the things I’ve experienced and witnessed growing up. Whether it was the 6 years living in the midst of a war zone, or living here in East Boston, where I learned about all the different kinds of drugs and violence. On top of that, befriending and trusting the wrong people had its consequences. I carried such a heavy weight on my heart and shoulders that I was consumed with anger. The idea of “love” and “family” and “trust” became nothing but a ghost.

I had no one to talk to, no one to turn to-- so I ended up doing things that had negative consequences to my life, physically and mentally. I grew up in such a divided household. I learned that crying was a weakness, so when I would be hurt, it usually turned into anger. As years went by, the anger just kept building up, until it became so toxic that I  had a mental breakdown.  I fell on the ground after punching the walls with blood dripping down my knuckles, and I cried for the first time since I was a baby. I fell down. I felt like depression suddenly hit me like a speeding train with broken brakes. I don’t know how to explain it, but it was as if all the anger just transformed into hurt, pain, and loneliness: their true forms. Depression haunted me and took over causing me to cut my wrists. I needed to feel something, anything. I lost count of the pills I’d swallow to ease the headaches. To silence the noise. I would turn on the hot shower screaming in pain and agony for God to stop what I’m feeling and to forgive me for trying to kill the blessing he and my parents created. At that moment I knew that the anger I’d felt for so long was much more serene than this hurt. I was so desperate for someone to save me. I wanted someone to take this pain away; but heroes, as I learned, are nothing but a fantasy, a hoax. So, I decided to become others' cavalry. I didn’t want anyone to be in my position, alone. I began to spread out my wings to those in need. I strove to lead by example, to aid those who felt voiceless and lonely. I listened to as many heartbreaking stories as I could, even during the middle of the night at 2 am just to make sure that that person had someone to vent to. And just like that, I saved two souls from the brink of suicide. And then it hit me: how could I be dying, but be able to save others from the same death? And so a year later after exhausting ups and downs, from losing friends to losing myself, I went on an adventure to find out who I am. And I did. I found myself and became my own hero. Here I am living to see 17 with nothing but self-love.