Reflections on 365 days…

I was recently reading in the book “SoulTalk” by Larry Crabb.  I came across several quotes that really struck me.  Two of which are…

“We offer nothing but empathic support, we’re putting band-aids on infected wounds; we’re passing out aspirin to cancer patients.”

          A recently divorced woman told her small group, “I’m really lonely.”  The chorus of helpful responses was deafening.  “We could sure use another worker in the children’s ministry at church.  You might make some friends.” “Oh, Sandy.  May be you just need to hear how God is delighting in you.  Here, let me read Zephaniah 3:17 – God sings over you with delight.”  “You seem to stay to yourself pretty much.  I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I wonder if you’re sliding into self-pity.”
          No one entered Sandy’s soul through her story.  No one asked a question, not even one so simple as, “I’d love to hear you talk about that.  Would you?”  No one was thinking story.  They were too occupied with empathy, solutions, and their desire to help.  And Sandy left that evening feeling more lonely than when she came and a little angry.  Everyone else left feeling good about his or her input.

I can’t tell you how perfectly that described how I feel a lot of the time, which is why I tell people not to try to fix me.  Because they’re just passing me aspirin.  And why I tell people not to give me sympathetic looks, words of wisdom, and explanations.  I’m not looking for solutions.  I’m looking for peace, company, someone to ask me how I actually feel about it all. Because to be honest…

I feel disheartened.  I expected to be a lot farther along in this journey than I am.  And I don’t feel like that is an unrealistic expectation.  I was doing really well this summer.  But I’ve just been sliding ever since I got back out on the east coast.

I think it’s partly because I’ve realized a lot about myself lately, partly because I’ve been getting more attention than I ever have before and I’m not used to being that on the spot with socializing and emotions, and partly because the calendar has been slowly inching closer to it.  November the 7th.

One year ago, my story took an unexpected turn and my identity and personality have been redefined.  One year ago I considered myself a doormat, today I’ve moved my stubborn sassy (aka rude) side to the front lines and now consider myself a jerk the majority of the time.  One year ago I made decisions based off of want, don’t want, and future implications.  Today I make decisions off of comfort and fear.  One year ago I was a very huggy, touchy-feely person.  Today, my sense of personal space is hypersensitive.   One year ago, I felt like a fairly stable person.  Today, I am so unpredictable it’s scary to me.  One year ago, I was very good at hiding myself behind a mask and burying my emotions.  Today, I’ve perfected those skills.

Let me state something right now.  I have no intent or desire to kill myself.  I have no intent or desire to physically harm myself.  I do not want to hurt or not live.  I would like to calm any fear you may have about that right now.  I may be depressed, but I’m not suicidal or self-harming.  Don’t worry about that.

And that’s what makes me sad.  I don’t want to hurt myself physically, but I hurt everyday on the inside.  I pine for the person I once was.  I ache with the knowledge that this is still a burden for me.  I don’t want kill myself and not live, but everyday I feel tied down in someway.   The way I see myself feels so dead.

I’d like to spend a day without having this come to mind, but I know that a day like that is miles down the road.  And that makes me sad too.  Knowing that my anxiety will still be a stone’s throw away, my mind will unintentionally dwell on my sadness, and my view of myself will still be like this for an extended period of time.

How long?  I don’t know.  Could be a few months… a year? five years? maybe a decade?  I know it slowly dwindles away.  Research and professionals have told me it will never go away completely, which makes me sad as well.  Because I started out on the journey against this with the goal of eradicating it completely, but I have to come to terms that I won’t quite be able to reach that.  I can get close, but I can’t expect it to ever fully go away.

I guess this is me trying to be a little more transparent about it all.  I don’t want to keep my story in secrets anymore, but I’m not comfortable telling it yet and I’m afraid of over exposing it.  So this blog post is me offering a window into my thoughts and emotions about this process.

So, here’s to one year, as depressing as it was.   I’ve experienced a new level of emotions that I had never been to before.  I thought things I never realized I would.  And I’ve changed.  So much.   I am not the same person that I was.   But at least it has been a year.  I wish it was more.  I wish I had made more progress. But I’ve got to at least acknowledge that one year is something to be noted and thankful for.

November the 7th.  It may not mean nothing to you, but this date has a world of implications for me.  So pray for me today.  I need peace, and the strength to plow ahead.   Pray that I feel God by my side, because that’s what I need most right now. And forgive me for looking like a slob today.  I think I have all the rights to just be comfortable, I’ve got enough going against me today.

I think the only way to end this post is lyrics to a song that has been pretty close to what I’ve felt through a lot of this: By Your Side by Tenth Avenue North.  This song is one of the reasons why I love music so much.  Music has so much potential to say exactly what I need to hear, and sometimes I need it to come from an unaffiliated source with no intention on speaking to specifically me personally.  And sometimes I need to have these things told to me by a stumbling through my iTunes play list or a random link on a friend’s fb page and not  someone saying”Hey, this might help.  Listen to this.”

This song has really connected to me, because I’ve needed to be reminded that God’s always holding me in His hands.  I’ve needed to be personally reminded of that intimate love I have from my Father.   And I’ve needed to be reminded that He is the answer and the key to this all.  I need to be focused on Him and pray for His guidance.

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go


4 thoughts on “Reflections on 365 days…

  1. hoping i’ve not been passing out aspirin (but bet i have). when you’re ready to talk, i’d like to listen. You have a soft place to fall.

  2. you’ve got my number, (and my support). Just so you know, God’s been leading me to be in prayer for you a lot recently. He’s your biggest fan.

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