I found this journal entry of mine the other night while cleaning out a few drawers in my desk. I haven’t looked through this particular journal for well over a year. It’s pages are lined with the raw realities and emotions that broke me down and turned every day into darkness for
months years. For a long time that journal was my life boat. The only real friend I could trust, to spill my soul into every day. It never judged me, never called me crazy, never told me to snap out of it and get my crap together. It kept me afloat in some of my darkest hours when I felt I could never talk to another human being about what I was feeling because that conversation probably definitely would have turned into a Britney Spears, 5150 circus. Seriously, some days it felt like I was on the edge of that transpiring in my own life. I whole heartedly wanted to spare my husband and family the public humiliation so I rode the dark waters with my journals and a pen gripped tightly in my hands instead.
I never thought I would find myself again when those waves of darkness beat me constantly day after day, month after month. I remember standing on my porch in the cold, below-freezing winter temperatures with my face turned to the sun and not being able to feel anything or see the light. Winter turned to spring, spring to summer, and summer to fall and still I couldn’t see. My every day life was a dark, sinister, scary world that I stumbled through like a zombie. I spent long days and longer nights pleading with God to rescue me from the darkness that I had succumbed to.
I couldn’t explain what was going on with me either. I had never in my life felt this way and seriously thought I was a crazy person. I felt crazy, acted crazy and could not get a grip on it no matter what I tried.
Jeremiah 17:9 (NIV) says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
The word deceitful is pretty scary and powerful. My own heart had caused me to lose things I didn’t know I was even capable of losing and before I was even aware that it was happening. I felt deceived by my heart and some of the closest people to me and most definitely felt I was beyond a cure. I didn’t understand it, my family couldn’t understand it, and my friends….well they were all gone. I trusted no one, not even my husband, and lived like a wild, sick creature in our home ready to pounce and bite on anyone who thought they had the answer or said they understood what I was going through.
My husband watched me fall apart and my kids tried to avoid me like the plague. I cried, I slept way too much, I stopped eating, I barely showered. I set up camp on our couch and drowned my sorrows to a constant re-play of Grey’s Anatomy reruns. I was exhausted daily and my body ached and moaned in a way I’d never felt before. I said hateful things, I promised to do better, I avoided the outside world. I went through the motions of every day having no idea what I had even said or done. I made excuses, I cried some more, I lied to those closest to me. There was a constant sickness in the pit of my stomach and bile in the back of my throat. I was in a never ending state of regurgitating the events that had transpired, things that were completely out of my control. I made unexpected visits to my childhood home, to spill tears of anguish at my parent’s kitchen table. I took long drives contemplating the easiest way out of the sickening, overwhelming darkness that wouldn’t stop chasing me down. I pictured driving my vehicle at high rate speeds into telephone poles or into oncoming traffic to stop the pain. I begged my husband not to leave me or give up on me. I confided many of my feelings to my sister and enlisted her help to clean my house when it had reached a state of utter neglect. It had gotten so bad we had to actually go buy cleaning supplies. I thank God she is a humble selfless servant who didn’t pry, didn’t judge and didn’t tell me to suck it up.
I became the wife and mom who forgot to do anything special for Christmas in our house during this time. No decorations, no tree, no baking, no Christmas cards or photos. The following winter my teenage son asked if we were celebrating Christmas that year. He’s question caught me off guard and seemed ridiculous which I quickly told him as I searched frantically for pictures of Christmas on my camera to prove him wrong. I starting rambling on about things I was sure I had done. But my poor family stood before me with scared looks on their faces shaking their heads no in unison as I realized I wasn’t finding any pictures. I really didn’t do anything? How did that happen?
How did it all happen? I still have some lingering unanswered questions to this day.
I never knew until that experience that depression and darkness could truly exist and how gut-wrenching, soul draining, mind-shaping and life changing it could become. I had no idea it was capable of over taking a person, their entire life and at such a high rate of speed.
At one point during this season of darkness someone asked me if I had changed. That phrase played constantly over and over in my head for months on end. It hurt that this person I had trusted for years was pointing blame at me. Who did she think she was to call me out and ask such a significant question. I was defiant and seriously ticked off. If anyone had changed it sure wasn’t me, it was everyone else in my life.
The reality is I was so lost from the unthinkable that had happened to me that I allowed my bruised heart to inflict pain on others. The shards of my heart were used to cut my poor friend apart and tear her out of my life in the process. Saying I’m sorry a million times will never mend the wounds I caused while wallowing in the early stages my darkness. I hurt people, many people because I was so scared and so tired of hurting myself.
I’m thankful now to be able to look back at it all and see that I did change. The events that transpired DID change me but standing here today I don’t think that was a bad thing.
I feel relief as I re-read through a few of my journal entries because God was true to His promise and I’m no longer a trapped permanent fixture in that deep dark place that tormented my soul so desperately that I wanted to disappear. The tear stained pages no longer pierce straight to my heart. I don’t feel small and worthless and alone every single day.
I’m not standing still, I’m no longer frozen in time unable to see the light.
I am still in the process of healing and picking up the pieces that were left in the wake of those years, but the words spilled out on those journal pages are no longer true and don’t hold power over me like they once did. My mind is no longer trapped in that scary state.
I don’t wake up each day screaming the words “I hate my life” in my head.
It’s in indescribable glorious feeling knowing my heart and soul and mind are heading down a path to becoming whole again.
I am healing and it’s a welcomed relief after what has felt like an eternity.
It’s been a poignant experience to say the least. A life changing experience. A soul searching, awakening. I’m not the same person but I hope the person I am at the end of it all is someone my husband and family is still proud of. But more importantly someone my Father in Heaven is proud of.