Without fear, sorrow, pain, happiness, risks what are we? What are we when no one is watching? When no one cares what you say or do? Who are you then?
For the past 6 years I’ve been battling my inner demons which you’d categorize as ‘’Depression’’. You know I never quite accepted the term ‘depression’ because to me it wasn’t that I felt low, it was more like a feeling of emptiness. A feeling of being out of place. I had my low moments of course but I wouldn’t say that sadness was the only emotion I had at the time.
The reason why I say I still am battling is because I have moments where I feel not myself, I feel alone, I feel hopeless. Just like every human being as well. Everyone goes through emotions like those at some stage, I just went through them at a higher level than most. Depression wasn’t even the core of my behavior. Oh no it was more me than anything. I am fighting my inner demons meaning..inner demon, which is Me.
I remember how at the beginning I saw everything in black and grey. Everything was so pointless, everything seemed like a waste of time. A time I didn’t possess. But when you’re in that space where you can’t find a way out, time is the only thing you want to get rid of. Time had trapped me inside my own self. I didn’t know who I was, or who I had become. I was even surprised that others didn’t notice it either.
But you know why they didn’t?
I played hide and seek. That’s why. They couldn’t know I was drowning in front of their eyes because I was hiding it away from them but yet still hoping they would find me; they would see I’m not okay without me having to express myself as feeling really bad. Every day now it’s like a glow of darkness around me, that still lurks inside my head when I feel low. It never goes away, that is why people say once a person tries to leave the world on their own terms, they will manage to go for the final time, on their terms. And there is nothing you can do to stop them. Nothing…
Despite the negative thoughts I know deep down in my heart this isn’t the end. It’s not because there are moments in life where I find myself so happy. SO happy. It’s interesting, my friends used to ask me what’s it like to be in your position. And funny enough the only thing I managed to say is
“You can’t feel.”
What I meant was exactly what I said, I meant that no matter what you did, even the things you loved most you couldn’t feel happy about it nor sad. You couldn’t do anything you once loved altogether. I remember I stopped singing, stopped listening to music and even when I did, I couldn’t get myself to feel.
At that point is when I realized something was really wrong with me. That even by listening to music I could not feel, all I felt was emptiness, this hollow feeling in my chest. Like someone had ripped my heart out and I was still alive minus the emotions. It felt horrible when I look back now. Feelings such as those led to a lot more horrible things. They led to self-harm, they led to suicidal thoughts and even attempts…
I would stare at the person in the mirror and wouldn’t recognize them. I would stare at myself, and it felt like a stranger was staring right back at me. Like I said before I didn’t know who I’ve become. I had totally buried the real me under the monster I had become. I felt like a skeleton without the tissues, a rock with a hollow core. Nothing was alright, and I didn’t admit it. Instead, when asked if I was okay all I did was smiled and said
“I am great, thank you.”
My fear…was a liar. He controlled my life. He took my fears, my insecurities and pushed me towards a path I didn’t want to take. I didn’t want to lose friends, family. I didn’t want to be selfish, mean, or a horrible person. I didn’t want to be THAT person. Oh Lord no. I wanted to be strong, I wanted to be brave, confident in who I was.
One thing you take away from me is to be yourself, yes even when the whole world and even you turn against yourself. You must fight, harder than anyone, because your life is in your hands and only yours. No one else can be you but you.
I am thankful to the Lord for my life today.
Faith was never close to my heart, In fact I didn’t believe in God at all. I believed in nothing, but strangely enough now I notice whenever people are in trouble or in pain, they call out to him. I think in a way I believed in him I just never knew I did. In 2015 I joined a worship band in my local church, which took off my faith on a sprint. After that day my faith grew and grew, thanks to Aisling my dearest friend I am here today. Her invitation led my life towards a different direction. I am not saying my life is perfect, it’s not, far from it.
But every day, when those dark thoughts enter my mind, when I feel hopeless and totally lost, I talk to him. I talk to Jesus and ask him to bring peace upon my mind, upon my heart and most of all upon my family and friends. Lord works in the most amazing ways when you open your heart. I sometimes think about earlier stages of my depression, and I wish, lord had come knocking at my door back then because I don’t think I would have ever done what I had and would have never become who I had back then. I might have never been in the state of low self-esteem. Although it was a lesson learnt. And I am who I am today thanks to those years.
Every day is a miracle you know why?…Because you might die tomorrow, tonight…you never know when you will take your last breath. You don’t know when someone else will. That’s why we all need to live as best as we can. I won’t deny I will tell you my story and then I may walk out through the church door and feel horrible. And may tell myself about how bad I was, keep downgrading myself. But while I’m here, I am going to tell you how bad my life was so that you may do something about yours because I don’t want you to be where I was. You need to be brave for your own sake. I had given up, but don’t you dare give up! I know how hard it is to let go sometimes of pain, of guilt, of shame but the faster you do that the faster your heart can start healing.
I’ve done a lot of work trying to build my faith which is rocky I won’t lie, it’s thin ice which I am so careful of not breaking. My best friends helped me a lot. Despite fall outs and the usual nonsense they were like a solid rock for me when I hit rock bottom. When I thought no one cared I had them by my side. I always tell a story of when I held a handful of paracetamol tablets in my hand about to swallow, and Hannah my dearest friend texted me at that exact time. It wasn’t a bad message it was really casual ‘’Hey, How are you sis’’ And I remember just staring at those pills with my shaking hands, tears falling down my cheeks unable to take those pills. Unable to end it. There and then. I could’ve but seeing her text I couldn’t do it. So a gratitude goes towards her too. Thank you, Hannah.
I also remember when I told my middle sister about how I tried to take my own life and seeing her cry…seeing her so angry and hurt with me. Tore my heart into million pieces, just seeing how much pain that would have caused her made me change my mind about suicide. I instantly saw what it did to the people I loved. They would be hurt more than I was. Thank you Sis. Know it or not but you did save my life.
A lot of people saved my life, without knowing they did so. My sisters, my best friends and even the people passing by.
One person I owe to the most is my spiritual mentor as I call her now, she provides guidance and understanding when I need it most. And that’s quite frequently. But she will never turn her back to me, even if she had a hard day herself, I am first and foremost proud of what person she is. Despite what life threw her way she’s been the most inspiring person for me, I can never be like her. I don’t want to be. I want to be me of course.
Annette has been like another mum to me. I love my mum don’t get me wrong but Annette gave me guidance in areas where my mum wasn’t equipped. And that’s okay, at least I had someone who was able to help me get answers for my crazy questions. I admire her strength and her will to help people without pay. She does it because that’s what God would do, he would help each one of us without a second thought. Thank you, Annette, for everything you’ve done for me. I will always be grateful.
I’ve watched many people come to faith, I’ve seen TV shows about people asking questions about God and the existence of humankind. Questions we all ask. I was a broken piece of glass, that had a place in this world just like you. You were the other broken piece of glass, and someone else beside you was the other one. We all connect despite the prejudice, the conflict, the history. Despite the he must be this, she must be that.
One thing I’ve learnt by coming to faith is that I am my own writer, no one can take the pen from me and write my story. No matter what happens in life I can change it, I can learn from it and I can reflect on it moving forward. Jesus never hurts people for no reason, believe me I know how harsh that sounds when you lose someone you love, when there are wars right on your doorstep, when the world doesn’t know the meaning of peace anymore, when poverty wipes away life in the click of a finger. Believe me I know that YOU know it’s all wrong and it doesn’t make sense.
But trust me, coming from a person whose only become a believer very recently Jesus loves people so much, his love is so much different than anything you’ve ever experienced. It really is. He didn’t bring poverty, he didn’t bring suffering or pain. They exist because we let them exist. Because we are either too scared to say anything or we find someone else to blame. Its human nature. Poverty exists but if it didn’t exist people wouldn’t be helping the ones in need to live. They are lessons, teachings. Rather quite harsh ones but they teach us things that textbooks can’t teach, that word of mouth can’t explain. Sometimes you must believe that all of this bad stuff in the world have a meaning, they are here for a reason that none of us can understand, Jesus does.
In Matthew 6:7 it says,
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.”
That struck to me, you know why? Because it’s true, even in the bible it tells us that we don’t have to recite long prayers to the Lord a simple conversation when you’re lying in bed will do. Or a conversation in your mind while you’re on the bus to school will do. He doesn’t ask much from us, all he wants from you is inclusion, for him to feel wanted in your life, have you never felt wanted? You wanted someone to notice your new shoes, new hair, new piece of clothing or notice you’ve been better at soccer or other sport.
We all desire to be needed, wanted by others. Mostly by the loved ones, because we don’t want to be alone. Neither does he. Well, you may say, wait a minute he has people praying to him right now as we speak, he surely is the most wanted person in the world. Well, let me tell you a secret, God wants those that don’t know they want him too. When a new person comes to faith, that’s what makes him feel wanted, makes him see that he is worthy. I’ve always had a problem with feeling worthy Of…something, someone.
After I turned to faith I realized I started to even tell myself, Oh I can’t go to church and take the holy bread I’m not worthy. Oh no I shouldn’t be praising God I’m not worthy. You want me to say a prayer Oh I don’t think I’m worthy. That’s all I believed. Even though I had just come to faith and had just been told God will take me no matter who I am, no matter what I’ve done. He loves me and he will take me. Because he is not you, and he’s not me. Even till today at times I don’t like to do things that I feel would put me in a position where I will feel unworthy. And that’s alright, you can feel that way but know that despite you thinking that way, he will wrap you in his arms and whisper in your ear
“I love you, just the way you are from the top of your head to the ends of your feet.”
You mean everything to him. No one is better than anyone else, we are all special in different ways. We all bring something different into this world. The journey is searching for what that is. Don’t turn down the invitation from God. Like Aisling inviting me to the band, that was God using Aisling to invite me in. And sometimes I really do believe that he looked at me and said,
“You know what that girl is ready, she is ready for what I have in store for her, she is ready for the suffering that’s yet to come because she will trust in me, because she has that strength within her soul to be someone great someday.”
And it doesn’t mean I’ll own millions and drive expensive cars that might simply mean I will have a healthy loving family of my own someday, I will love my friends and my coworkers and love him. That’s all that it may mean, but that is greatness. Greatness dwells where God is present.
I will never be the same. Not after what God has done for me. I can no longer sit quietly in the corner and watch other young people’s lives deteriorate. I can’t help but get up and speak up and help at least one person see the light at the end of the tunnel. Life isn’t rainbow and sunshine, it’s more like green fields and Rocky Mountains. It’s dirt and rain to wash it away. You will never be alone.
When the hope is lost and when the world seems to be crashing down at your feet God is right there picking up the pieces and telling you to take his hand because he has a plan for you. Hear him. He is calling out. He called me…and now I am here. Alive and well. I’m not 6 feet under the ground. I’m looking right at you right now, and you’re looking at me. We’re all breathing. We’re all present.
God is right here. He is looking at you and smiling. He adores you, loves you, cherishes you. You’re the most precious person in the whole world for him.
Open your heart. Open your mind. Open your eyes.
You will see God calling you to take his hand, for him to travel with you through this journey we all call life.