I want to write regarding my mental health and where my emotions currently lie and all the various ways I am feeling, but every time I try, it sounds nothing short of a sob story. It benefits no one, not even myself.
I’m in that stage of depression where I am fully aware of my loneliness, and I am fully aware that nobody understands how I am feeling. From this place, I tend to just become angry at those around me for not seeming to listen, care, or empathize with the darkness that is invading my mind.
But wanting someone to empathize? I both crave that and never want that happenstance to occur. Because while it would be nice to speak of a things that are both impossible and mysterious to those who have never faced darkness, I know that I am not lacking in compassion despite my overwhelming frustration towards those around me. And this compassion draws me to despise any thoughts of anyone ever facing how I currently feel.
I want to be understood, but not at the sake of another suffering. So this is where I must lean into grace trusting that there is a Man who has faced this sorrow, and he defeated it.
And although I don’t understand all of the mysteries of my standing with this Man, I recognize that he offers the same victories to me, even in my frailty and weakness and unbelief. He has faced darkness and was not consumed by it as I find myself so tempted to allow.
There is no noble cause that will separate me from a chemical imbalance; there is no amount of willpower that will remove me from the very thing I seek to escape, which is myself; there is no hope in the midst of this darkness other than in the Man who suggests that even the dark is not dark to him.
There is both beauty and sorrow in escape. There is sorrow in that I can never escape myself. There is beauty in that I can never escape this loving-kindness that is both longsuffering and eternal. Although I am trapped with a person that I hate, namely myself, I am joyfully trapped with an enduring Man who somehow finds beauty in this person. Somehow, he transforms me into something better than anything I could ever imagine. And somehow, I believe that a day is coming where I can love myself, not in a vain manner, but rather, in a manner that allows me to love my neighbor as I love myself; in a manner that glorifies this Man because today, the pride I contain within myself is pride towards my disdain towards all the things that make up who I am–the annoying personality, the loud voice, the lack of quiet submission, the face covered in blemishes, the hair that won’t sit just right, the teeth stained by coffee, the curved body, the laziness that prevents any change, the stubbornness to believe I shouldn’t have to, the fear that I will never be enough, the sorrow in feeling disconnected to others, the grief in realizing another man may never love me, the sympathy I share with all men in seeing that I’m not worthy of companionship, the questioning of my calling, the chemical imbalance, the partnership I have made with darkness. I take pride in how much I dislike myself, and I cry when my masked strength is challenged because I don’t believe in this person I pretend to be.
I recognize the complexity of this overwhelming season of great sorrow and sadness. I recognize the simplicity of looking away from my own selfish despair and into his glorious light. I’ve believed that there’s more than just this present evil age, but there’s an age to come, where he will wipe away every tear from my eyes. There’s hope in this. And while my hope may be extraordinarily dim today, there is still hope. And the hope of seeing the beauty of this Man is what unchains me from my bed so I can leave my isolation; it is the hope of a smile on another’s face who has seen a life devoid of the tragedies my heart has faced; it is the hope of closeness with the one who brings meaning into the meaningless things of my life; it is the hope that this present evil age is nothing more than a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow–if only I can make it ’til tomorrow. It’s just a little while longer and I will see him, and all the distortion and brokenness will be made right.