**I write none of this as a cry for help, yet I know that some will read this and worry about my state of being—don’t. This is part of my journey, and although it is a scary part, it’s a part nonetheless. I also recognize this post may resonate with some and be a trigger. If that is the case, please don’t try to “be strong enough” to read something that may be harmful for your mental state… seriously. **
I have this habit of getting writing ideas in my head and spending the following days determining what exactly I am attempting to convey in said writing. And this past week has been no different.
But a week after my former writing venture, I am in recovery.
I suppose there are both pros and cons of being both a writer and mentally unstable.
Pro. I can typically get what is happening in my head out of my head and onto paper or computer.
Pro. I am able to communicate feelings and struggles that others around me are silently suffering through, so maybe me giving tangibility to these heartaches helps somebody… anybody.
Con. When I am unable to communicate that which is happening inside of me, I get stuck with no escape.
I was imprisoned in my own mind for the past week with only one writing that my mind sought to formulate. And I think part of me wants to actually follow through with this writing, but the other part knows that if I do, it will be one less thing hindering my departure.
Obviously, this writing has been the suicide letter that my mind has sworn to me will be the best means of which I should spend my time. And in my mind, I’ve been trapped with this note of eviction haunting me; with this constant reminder of all the reasons I should cease to exist; with this plea that quickly became the only passion left within my heart; with this novel that I kept by the bed I was chained to retelling the stories of shame, isolation, disappointment, and fear that kept me from the love and intimacy and acceptance that I craved, but from which I hid.
It’s a scary place to be when you lose your will to live and your reasoning to die becomes more persuasive than your reasons to keep on living. I have been to many dark places along this journey, but never have I ventured to a place such as this one; a place void of color, yet not dark; a place filled with despair, but absent of emotion. When I cried, I would weep; when I went for a drive, I imagined myself crashing into walls and drowning in lakes; when I slept, I no longer dreamt; when I was with friends, my mind was reading my letter that I would leave to each of them, then questioned if they would even care.
They say suicide is selfish, and I guess to an extent, I agree. But I also think it is selfish to put guilt on someone for wanting to escape their reality, whether it be a valid reality or illusioned reality. I think it is also somewhat selfish for people who have never faced a season of colorlessness with a broken brain to try to tell someone what is right or wrong. You see, there is no right or wrong when there is no meaning to life. It’s all suddenly very relative. Things that mattered at one time seem unreasonably meaningless. I guess that is the difference between survival mode and living mode. Survival mode entails surviving, at any cost… even if you lose everything in the process, which you don’t really give a shit about, while living mode usually entails seeking success and chasing after an abundant life… thriving, maybe?
I found myself asking, How did I get here? And no answer seemed to suffice.
I mean, yes, I got laid off from two jobs at once. And yes, I felt the need to isolate myself from people who may look down upon me if they knew my state of being surviving. And yes, it felt as if I was letting everyone down and that nobody took me seriously. And a big part was likely that I had entirely too much free-time on my hands allocated to feeding the shame into which I fell. Maybe it was bipolar disorder? Maybe it was my meds? Maybe it was a demon tryna kill me? Maybe I’m unable to deal with life? Maybe I’m just crazy? Maybe I’m just dramatic? Maybe I need to be an adult like the rest of the world and get it together?
Maybe I spend a shit ton of time invalidating my thoughts and emotions and scary moments just so people don’t think I’m as crazy and broken as I fear I may be.
But nonetheless, I recognized that I needed help. Professional help. So I talked to my counselor and he wanted to get me evaluated for hospitalization. But I had class, so I didn’t have time for that. He suggested I get a support system, so reluctantly, I told some friends. That wasn’t a bad idea, since I was met with a lot of grace and kindness from the few that I reached out to (to those, you know who you are… and again, thank you for being patient with me and loving me despite my messiness), but there is a religious person in every crowd, right?
I remember being told that I have to keep worshipping, as I sat silently in a worship service with a friend I had just reached out to. That I need to just fight through my feelings. That I need to stop isolating myself. That it would be a bad idea to kill myself. That I have so much to give and so much to live for and it would hurt everyone’s feelings if I died. I chalked it up to them just not understanding my state of being or my state of mind. But I wonder sometimes if the verse mentioning being quick to listen and slow to speak has to do with suicidal friends because shitty advice is what follows after a lack of understanding, and a lack of understanding from a lack of listening. Hearing does not constitute listening.
[Advice from a suicidal friend to a friend of suicidal friends: If you actually want to help your friend, remember that no matter how uncomfortable their rawness and vulnerability may make you, you don’t have to respond with the first cliche thing that comes to mind. Chances are, if someone is at the point of suicidal ideation, they see no point in living and that is likely fueled by shame or guilt, so try to not add to that shame or guilt. The things that I will never forget are my friends who weren’t afraid of sitting in silence with me during the times that I had nothing to say; the friends that would be a tangible reminder that I wasn’t alone rather than just telling me and invalidating my feelings; the friends who let me share the scary stuff, but didn’t run away; the friends that didn’t try to tell me that I had purpose or said anything that they knew I couldn’t remotely accept or believe in this state. To those friends, there’s a blog post coming devoted to thanking you. We need more of you in this world.]
However, I think the scariest part of this entire place of being was my uncanny ability to logically explain to myself why death was a really good idea, and why life was a really bad idea. Sitting in my bedroom on Tuesday afternoon, I thought through every means of death and whether or not it would be a good idea based on its potential for success—if I could live through said means, then it wasn’t a successful means of killing myself. I needed to be hospitalized. But even more, I needed something to keep me alive.
Then the Beloved shows up. He says to me, “You have comes to terms with telling Me that I’m worth dying for, and you have submitted to being a martyr someday. You have admitted that I am worth dying for, but anyone can die. Am I worth living for?”
I was at a loss for words, and a loss of thoughts, and a loss of reasoning.
He didn’t come to me and tell me that I am beautiful or that my life mattered or that I was worth dying for or that life gets better or that I have purpose. He didn’t say any of that. Because he knew it wouldn’t be enough. I won’t ever find reasoning to live within myself. Rather, he spoke of his worth.
I have never seen this Man, but I know he is beautiful. His leadership over my life is perfect. I have never met a Man quite like this One. One who can speak of his own worth and I fall down in submission to him. A Man who keeps his promises. A Man who is perfect stability. A Man who is self-sufficient and doesn’t, even for one second, need me for him to be completely secure and fully worthy and absolutely perfect.
In a way, my living is worship to him. When you come down to having nothing, your weak “yes” becomes your love offering. And I am so in love with this Man that I am bringing him my life as the only thing I can give.
He is keeping me alive. His worth is sustaining me. The prayer room has become my place of refuge, not to hear something from him or to be fixed, but to learn how to simply exist again. Abiding means something new to me. This place has broken me, which has brought me to the end of myself, where I have found that everything is vapor—all things pass away, even the walls of this prison and all the letters and each ounce of my will to die.
When everything fades away and the noises in my mind finally quiet, he remains—lovingly and gently and tenderly holding me still. Perhaps it is the world around me that is spiraling around while he holds me still. Perhaps he lets me walk through the valleys so that I can trust his faithfulness. Perhaps he knows what he is doing more than I do. Perhaps I need to let him carry me through these shadows. Perhaps he is able to expose my faulty paradigms in ways that will destroy my stubborn heart and broken brain because it’s only after those things are destroyed that they can be rebuilt.
I guess we are back to the beginning of last semester where he gently whispered to my fearfulness that he loves me enough to break my heart… and the kindness of his heart is that he is more concerned with making me whole than letting me wallow in my brokenness. He is teaching me how to dance in the Garden with him again. We are going back to the basics.
It’s hard, but it’s worth it… because he is worth it, and loving him is worth it, and being with him is worth it, and falling in love with him again and again and again is so worth it.
He’s a damn good Man.
I’m living currently from a perspective of realizing that for all of eternity after I die, I won’t get to choose to worship Jesus; rather, worshipping this Man will be so right that it will be an involuntary response… there is no faith needed in Heaven because there is no mystery of His existence, there is no question of his beauty, and there is no doubt of his sovereignty. On earth, however, in the messiness of my pilgrimage to discovering this Man, faith is necessary, mystery is reality, questioning is like breathing, and doubting is natural; thus, worship is a choice.
I am choosing worship. I am choosing to live. I am choosing to lean into grace and recognizing that I’ve never had anything that belongs to me that I can give him except choosing to live. Each breath is my offering to him, reminding my wayward heart, broken brain, and confused being that he is worthy. So damn worthy.
That’s where my hope remains secure. For I am hidden in a Man who cannot be shaken. Here, there is more color than you can imagine; there is more joy than you can ever speak of; there is more life than this world tried to promise you.