2017 was the year I became lost.
The sadness could not be shaken. It would well up in me during the most inappropriate moments. It would create actions and words that I never knew I had in me.
I lost everything I knew, without warning; quickly and with no time to adjust. Depression roared loud in my ear and crept vigorously into my veins. I ran towards toxicity. I ran towards people I should not have trusted to help me heal. I ran towards the path that felt good under my feet. I became a master at escaping from myself. I wanted out of my life. I wanted to trade. I wanted someone to live in my body for a day and understand how painful and hard it was.
It is exhausting to sugar-coat what grieving feels like. It physically hurts to breath. I breathe more shallow because it hurts less. It hurts to live. Like breathing, it is less painful to live shallowly. Wordly. Not caring. Giving up. Doing anything that makes me feel better. Trusting God hurt. So I trusted God shallowly. So shallowly, that I could not even talk to Him anymore. It hurt to talk about Him. I couldn’t sing worship songs because I could not believe the things that I was saying. I would break down anytime someone would pray or sing. The church became painful. Christian community was painful. Being home was painful. Being alone was painful. Being with people was painful.
It hurt to live. I became shallow.
Psalm 69:1-3 “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.”
I had a conversation with God on October 3rd. The last thing I journaled before closing my notebook for the rest of the year was:
“God, I do not know how to grieve this. I am pushing away everyone. I am changing. I am different. God, I am making some really poor choices and I can not stop. What if I am taking the wrong path? I know I am being judged for my actions, but I have stopped caring. People do not understand. They treat me differently. I treat people dfferently. How am I supposed to walk through this when I have no one to walk through this with me? God, WHERE ARE YOU. You haven’t answered a single prayer I have prayed in six months. How am I supposed to be a light for you when you are leaving me in the dark. You have forgotten about me.”
Yes. I am utterly heartbroken to start a new year without my mom because it makes her seem that much farther away. Going through traditions without the person who started our traditions feels completely defeating. Eating her favorite foods or listening to the songs she would sing or laughing at a joke she would have made or hearing people say a phrase she would say or sitting in “her” chair or accidentally calling her name or arriving home and knowing she won’t be waiting for me outside of the garage or knowing that everyone around me is sad and there is nothing I can do.
Those things are gone, but I am not. I am not empty. I am not numb.
2018: I am taking my life back.
I will not live shallowly. I will not let depression have the final word. I will appreciate the small miracles in my life. I will find deep meaning in the minute things in life. I will appreciate the people who I call family. I will rise out of the toxic cycle of blame and hurt and anger and sadness. I will deeply trust even when it is hard. I will look at others like they are made of magic. I will keep myself healthy by sleeping regularly and nourishing my body with healthy food. I will not deprive myself of nutrients. I will seek optimal mental health. I will write and read to grow my mind and learn more about myself. I will let gratitude guide my life. I will sing loudly. I will forgive myself. I will apologize when I am wrong. I will love Christ first. I will seek Christ first. I will do hard things to honor Christ. I will learn something new about my heavenly Father every day. I will let God lead my life. I will honor my mom. I will be selfless. I will give. I will worship through my lack of understanding. I will understand that I can not understand what He is doing. I will gain wisdom from pain. I will not be silent. I will help others. I will be reliable. I will be a trustworthy friend. I will spend alone time with Christ every day.
Micah 7:7 “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”