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  • Writer's pictureAlya

The Dark Void

Updated: Sep 19, 2020

People become attached to their burdens, sometimes more than their burdens are attached to them.

-George Bernard Shaw

Beth could now see the small house and its garden, at the end of the street, from the window of their car. It had been months since she had been away from home, and it felt good to be returning, for a second time. She had relapsed the first time around and was forced to go back to rehab. She still remembered her parents’ faces when they had seen her off. It seemed like someone had stolen their life in front of their eyes, twice. And yet, she could see the same eyes lighting upon seeing her again after so long.

No matter how hard she tried, Beth couldn’t forget the suffering her addiction had brought down on her. As she approached the front door, all the sleepless nights and suffocating paranoia came rushing to greet her. It was far from reassuring, it made her scared. No matter how hard she tried, she was not able to shake the apprehension that she would let it all go to waste again.

It had started at the beginning of her last year of high school. Grades were not something Beth had to worry about since she was an excellent student. She even used to sing, though she couldn’t remember when the last time she did was. For no apparent reason, she had begun to burden herself with the expectation her parents held for her, academically or otherwise. She felt trapped, like the light in which she was regarded was blinding her, and keeping her from the possibilities of experiencing things other people her age had done long ago. It no longer felt nice to be a do-gooder and never to have broken any rules. It had made Beth feel hollow. Hence, she had plunged straight into a dark void, being entirely unfamiliar with its depth.

At first, it was just a mild rebellion of sorts; missing classes, not completing assignments on time, and staying out later till much later than she was allowed. Her parents had shown some concern, but believing that their daughter was a good kid who wouldn’t do anything too reckless, they did not confront her. But then came one final push, after which everything had come tumbling down.

When she first started taking drugs, she could function for hours on end, and everything felt amazing. But then the effects would wear off and she wouldn’t want it to end, so she took more, and more until there was no going back. Soon, it was the only thing she cared about, nothing else mattered. When her parents started to suspect that something was wrong, they tried to stop it, tried to talk to her and set things right, but in vain. Beth had already lost her friends because of her addiction, and her grades were a disaster. everything seemed to happen in a blur. She had stopped being happy with her life altogether.

Pulling herself out of that void was the only way for her to survive. This she realized after almost having died. Now, coming back to her family, her house, the possibility of getting her life back together did not seem very impossible. All that was left with her were bad memories, misery, and helplessness. It would be hard to overcome that once and for all, yes, but she had had enough.

Once inside, Beth’s mother wrapped her in a warm embrace she had so craved during her painful recovery. She felt the hope in her father’s smile as he said, “Welcome back home.” The hope echoed in her own heart.

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