February 9, 2023

“What is so fragile that when you say its name, you break it?” is a riddle that is well-known for everyone to recall.

As a child, I lived up to my reputation as the family’s “sunshine.” I was portrayed as a bright, talkative child in stories they told me. Everyone loved being around me because I radiated positive energy that seemed to influence others.

It was fun to be around people. I enjoyed sharing my experiences with them and hearing their tales. But now, I struggle to grasp the idea of me being the complete opposite of how I was.

I was frequently asked, “Bakit ang tahimik mo?” by my family and friends, but I do not know how to answer them. I am silent, not because I’ve got nothing to talk about, or I am not willing to join the conversation. I am silent because I have too much to say.

This is what I have been wanting to tell them, but my silence was always louder. The pressure I feel from others and the anxiety it gives me often cloud my mind with negative thoughts. When I think of speaking out, the fear of being judged gets in the way. When I am alone, I regret not speaking out. With the thoughts I can’t express, I can feel my head getting heavier, my chest tightening because I’m keeping myself from letting my emotions out.

A part of me does not want people to see me in my state of transparency and vulnerability. However, deep down, I was yelling for help. Unfortunately, my silence always wins. As a result, I suffer by myself as my thoughts slowly consume me whole. I couldn’t bring myself to speak, thinking that it would add up to their burden.

Barriers began to form on their own, isolating me from everyone I could possibly get help from. Until now, I am still learning to speak the thoughts going on in my mind. Going through this, I realized that it never helped me cope with the pain of my struggles. Rather, I was only placing myself in darkness.

The presence of silence is calming, and it helps you gather your thoughts. But sometimes, silence carries the struggles of someone. It is true that speaking out is not easy. Some people would rather suffer in silence, believing that being outspoken and transparent places a burden on others.

Well, your mind is playing tricks on you with this. Sometimes, a listener is all we need to lighten up the struggles we come across with. So to those who are suffering in silence alone, allow yourself to open up to people once more. Break your silence, and speak now.