I think one of the hardest things is to climb inside of your own pain and be okay. To accept it finally so that it no longer has so much power over you. It almost feels like climbing into bed with the enemy. You want to remain mad at society, at your culture, at your parents, your pastor, at God. We’d rather lash out and seek vengeance on what hurt us. But the only way to be free is to climb inside your own pain and forgive them all.
Depression will often make you believe that you want to die, when what you are really craving is to feel alive. There have been so many times over the years that I desperately wanted to put an end to my misery and I mistakenly thought that looked very much like suicide. I couldn’t find my way out of the darkness and pain I had fallen into—yet my overwhelming desire to end it all was a response to my inability to obtain life and joy from everything that used to bring me fulfillment.
I would gaze in bewilderment at the people around me, going about their everyday lives, and I would scream at them internally, “Don’t you feel it?! Don’t you feel the disaster of my existence, the utter annihilation of my very soul? How can you not stop and stare in shock and horror at the destruction of everything I once was?” I was bleeding out my very essence into the universe and yet no one had the slightest clue. They blithely kept on living while my life had come to a sudden and unexpected halt.
Being on the outside looking in engraved some of the most brutal lessons into my shattered soul. Mainly, how important it is to notice the people around you. Not just their outward appearance or the expressions painted on their face—but to really see the person underneath. Being forced to a complete stop in a world that constantly rushes forward at the speed of light showed me how often I would trample over people in my climb to the top—never once noticing or even caring if my actions hurt someone in my rush.
Learning the simple act of kindness came with a terribly steep cost and one I am loathe to ever have to learn again. But unexpectedly, I was also left with invaluable gifts that could not have been obtained in any other way than making my way through that darkness.