I’m feeling brave enough to write again for the first time in two months. Well, blog writing. I’ve been writing absolutely awful short stories and abysmal poetry. Like, so bad even I don’t want to read them. Even melodramatic pre-teeny boppers would find it too painful to read.
Now that that’s out of the way. On to the real stuff. The painful stuff. The living stuff.
There is an old Creed song that begs the question of what is this life for and maybe it’s the depression talking but I’ve related more to that song than I have in like.. months. (I know I’m not being funny but work with me here. I’m trying.) And the answer I come up with is this:
I’m alive to live.
Too simple? Maybe. But it brings me back to reality. To the living. The reason I am alive and breathing and here on this planet is to live and breathe and be.
I live. Little and fierce and frightened and alive.
But I’m alive to live. I know that much. I’m alive to be here. To look and see and inhale and exhale and dream and wake and taste and touch. To love and be loved. To talk and listen. To enjoy life and creation. To be passionate in and for and with life.
And I am passionate about writing. And loving people: I mean really loving them. When I hate what they do and how they destroy themselves: I love them even when they don’t love themselves. I want them to be and feel accepted when everything around them screams judgment and condemnation. I want to be the safe place. Because I understand and have breathed the opposite.
Honestly: I am so scared. And feel so unsafe. And broken. Oh God, the brokenness. I feel like I’m dying yet I’m still alive. Always dying and never really living. I spent Sunday morning crying on the floor of my church’s bathroom. Crying in near hysterics, because of a disagreement that crippled the control I had over my emotions. Then I cried on the way to our small group meeting. Just streams of tears. Refusing to tell our pastor (y’know, the man we asked to mentor and help guide us) what the issue was, is. And I just couldn’t pull it together.
It feels like there is a glass city of emotion in my gut that goes up to my chest. And when I’m in conflict each word that the other person speaks just cracks the glass. Until I’m nothing but shards in there and so scared that if I move I will completely break and just disintegrate into nothing.
That’s inside my chest. Pretty but bound to crack.
And why am I this way? What happened to me to make me so scared and rule driven? Am I wrong? Does it even matter? I’m afraid that no one would love me, accept me, if they really knew me. If they knew the things I’ve done (and y’all, I’m as open of a book there as I know how to be) they couldn’t bear to be around me. If they only knew how tainted and jaded and imperfect I am.
Like when I’m mad, I think cuss words. And sometimes, I even say them. Or when I feel particularly vulnerable and don’t think I can protect myself I imagine the unspeakable. Or that my dad doesn’t want me and my mom only cares on her own terms. When my paternal grandparents died no one told me. Or that I don’t read to my kids every day or even every week. I procrastinate and forget birthdays. I over promise and under deliver. And I am so afraid of failure. So afraid to be rejected yet again, by yet another friend or family member. And I take rejection as failure; make it my own fault even when it isn’t. I berate myself for every misstep and don’t see what others see in me.
I don’t see the favorable comments my friends posted: I see the baggy under eyes and misshapen lips. I cried reading each comment that said how beautiful and loved I am.
So afraid of the good times because that it just means that the bad times are on their way. Afraid of the bad times because good times aren’t always on the immediate horizon. Terrified that God can save me but He won’t. That I’ve made too many mistakes. That I didn’t believe enough. If I only had more faith, then my proverbial prison door would open. That His love and grace are conditional on me getting “it” right, if only I could figure out what that “it” is. For the record I hate that “it.” It hinders and binds and shames and isn’t real and I know it but I can’t seem to shake it.
And yet I’m alive and I have a stubborn hope living inside of me. In my glass case of emotions that is slowly but surely shattering I am alive. Maybe that’s where the living is? When the case surrounding my insides is shattered and gone. During one of my runs (this is when I pound away at the hard stuff I can’t bear to think of when I’m not physically consumed) I thought of how the seasons are turning and soon enough winter will be here. Death. Winter is the dying away of summer and green and the purples and pinks I adore; and the sun just doesn’t shine as well in the gray and bleak winter death.
I know there is life here. And yet I ache and grieve as though it’s all death.
“. . . old things are passed away. . .”
2 Corinthians 5:17
I know there is more to the verse. I know that there is a “Behold! All things are new!” before and after the passing away of the old. But before we get to the new things there is a death. Death to the old. And no matter how awful that thing that passes away was death still has a bitterness to it. There’s a sadness there. Ecclesiastes says there is a time to live and a time to die. And it feels like a great big chunk of me is dying now. And it hurts. Hurts to know that my early life was just as bad, if not worse, then what I had chalked it up to be. Hurts to know I’ve been hurting others. Hurts to move forward because I’m not sure I know how.
It should be noted that I picked my nose on purpose for this photo. It’s my fave. I couldn’t leave you with all sadness.
Y’all. I’m Heidi. And I’m a mess. A mess who takes pictures with her finger up her nose. And I’m still here. Living, breathing, being. It feels like dying but really it’s living. It’s painful and I’m alive to feel it. Yes, I want a pill to take to numb the pain. Yes, I want a band aid to hide the wound. Yes, I want to quit and act like this period of life has never really happened. And I don’t take the pill, refuse the useless band aid, and keep persisting despite the pain.**
So this is the least heart warming post I’ve ever written and I hope it’s the last miserable one I ever write. But it’s real. It’s where I’m at. And it is NOT where I am staying. There is a light. There is the dawning of a new day. There is life after death. I am alive and I will thrive. Join me, won’t you? I invite your feedback either at firstname.lastname@example.org or right here in the comment section.
**I am not an expert on mental illness or mood disorders. I am only speaking for me and not any other person on this planet-if you and your medical professional have decided on a pharmaceutical treatment plan I applaud you! And am so proud of you for choosing life and the path to wholeness. You are great and I love you. For reals.