Living in the Light, with darkness in tow
Truth Tuesday — on a Thursday. Bonus Thanksgiving, real-time, rapid fire, super vulnerable & authentic edition.
I woke up feeling great today — full of love and gratitude! It’s Thanksgiving! My favorite holiday! I have so much to be thankful for!!! Hooray!!! Pray, meditate, spread love and joy, coffee, walk with Ellie, talk with my mom. Life is good! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude!
A few hours in, though, my darkness emerged. My shadow selves ripped through my illuminated surface, my emoticons, my “I’m great(ful)!” facades. It came rushing in — (seemingly) without warning, without invitation, without reason.
I sobbed. I prayed. I sobbed some more. I prayed through my streaming tears and my screaming pain. I couldn’t breathe I was sobbing so hard. I prayed with each breath I could take. I got on my knees. I paced around. I lifted my hands and head up. I curled up like a child. I begged. Begging God for relief. Begging for help. Begging for answers. Begging for something, anything, everything to make the pain and darkness stop.
Despite hours of praying, of sobbing, of walking outside, of talking with God, I felt no peace. I felt done. DONE. Like, “what is the point” Asking what is worth living for? Not coming up with any answers. DONE. Done with pain — emotional, physical, mental — done with trauma. Done with everything being so hard. All of the time. For so long. DONE.
Wow! I felt hopeless. I thought I was done with this. Done with feeling DONE. Done with feeling “what’s the point.” Done with wanting to check out. I thought I was past this. I thought I was better.
Feeling dehydrated — of tears, of emotion, of energy — and exhausted, hours later, I’m here. Still. Obviously not done. I don’t feel great. I don’t feel good. But I don’t feel as dark. I don’t necessarily feel light, but I don’t feel as heavy. I feel hesitant to feel at all, but I am. I don’t feel numb, I do feel something. I don’t feel finished, but I also don’t feel DONE. And so I go on.
I take a nap. I tell someone how I’m feeling. I’m honest. I reach out. I text lots of my friends to tell them I’m thankful for them. Throwing a whole bunch of love out to see what sticks. What comes back. And what doesn’t.
Sometimes — not often anymore, thank God — this is what it is like for me to live with major depression, with anxiety, with addictions (even former and inactive). Even when I’m doing everything “right,” these illnesses can still sneak in. Barge in. Remind me that I’m not “normal.” Assault your senses — common and other. Remind me that sometimes I’m super fragile and need lots of self-care.
Healing? Feeling? It’s f*cking hard. I get why I avoided it, ran from it, hid from it, numbed it for so long. It hurts like hell. I pray I get through to the other side. I pray that my light will prevail. I pray that my darkness — having been recognized, fully felt, and named (depression, shame, guilt, grief, mourning, remorse, regret, addiction, suicidal, rage, PTSD, anxiety, fear, hateful thoughts, jealousy, resentment) — will dissipate. And dissolve. And blow away. So my light can shine brighter, deeper, and longer. Than ever before.
I am learning to hold and feel the opposing truths of myself — dark and light, easy and hard, messy and neat, anguish and joy — at the same time. I’m grateful for this, even when I can’t see that I am. Even when I can’t see past this second, this moment, this hour. Somehow, somewhere, something inside of me carries on. And right now, I’m thankful for that.
#mentalhealth #depression #selfcare #truthTuesdayonaThursday #holidaysarehardsometimes