I always say I’m going to write more… but I never really do. I have to be inspired to write, and I’m just not inspired to write on a weekly basis. Maybe I just want to write when I realize something. Sometimes I write when a friend is going through something. But instead of being able to talk to them, I just write. This way I can mess up, fix, and perfect what I need to tell them. Mostly I just want you to feel like you’re not alone. I want you to know other people feel what you do.
I have spent a good majority of the last 9 months in a haze. I have been confused, sad, sick, tired, in pain, anxiety ridden, broken in every way. But I’ve gotten really good at smiling when I’m hurting. I’ve spent the last 2 years too close to the forest to see the trees; too deep in the ocean to feel the freedom.
I’ve been so deep in the forest I can’t see the beautiful green leaves or the way each vine has a place it needs to be. I don’t see how the flowers are growing in the places the trees protect them from too much water, but allow just enough to sustain them. I don’t see the way the sun hits the rustling leaves and it makes the canopy look like green glittering lights. Instead of seeing all of that I see my dirty face. I see my shaking hands. I feel my heart beating uncontrollably. My brain is racing. Instead of seeing all of the beauty my brain sees no way out. My brain says it is ugly. My brain says to close my eyes and not open them ever again.
Just like I am so far out in the ocean I cannot feel the freedom of the open waters. I cannot feel the pure salt water on my skin. I cannot see the beauty in the ocean life below me. I cannot take in that there is nothing holding me down. I feel the panic. I feel like I cannot get a grip on anything. I feel like the beautiful ocean is going to swallow me. The pure salt water is going to flood my barely working lungs. And my brain is telling me to let the ocean swallow me whole.
I’m a visual person, so work with me. The world is a forest, an ocean. It’s big, it’s vast, it’s impossible to know everything about it. The world is beautiful. Except if you have a brain like me. The world isn’t beautiful then. But I my heart tells me it is. That’s where things get messy. The heart and head disagree. Your heart wants to feel one way, but your head doesn’t agree. So what do you do? Well, I’ll tell you. You will feel like the weirdest and stupidest human ever. But you are not. You will tell yourself that you are a messed up product. But you are not. You will feel like you don’t function right. That’s true. But that doesn’t mean that you are a broken vessel to be thrown away.
I have spent 22 years not being normal. I came into the world to situations some adults never had to navigate through. I’ve had some of the meanest things spoken over my young and impressionable mind. I’ve acquired the beautiful family heirloom of mental illnesses. I’ve had the worst things done to my body. I’ve been the worst to myself. My inner voice yells constantly of how worthless I am. I see the bottom regularly.
One thing I have going for me is my savior, really though. There is a whole book telling me how beautiful I am. How much purpose my life has. There is a man that took my burdens on His shoulders. (sorry to my readers who don’t believe in God. I’m sorry, but I can only give honesty. This is how I get through these moments.) The amazing thing is that when this man died, hope became a very real thing. A better place became a realistic thought.
Listen guys, we all have glasses we see the world through. Jesus can change my glasses for me. When I am lost in the forest, or drowning out at sea; He wants to change my glasses. He wants me to see I am adventuring through a forest seeing all of the beautiful butterflies. Or maybe I am scuba diving under the waters seeing the amazing creations and colors of the sea floor. The thing is I have to want Him to change my glasses. I’ve spent the last 2 years continually taking off what He has given me and putting on my own. I have spent the last two years saying my own glasses are broken. All the while, He is literally begging me to take His. It’s all in how we see things.
Bad things will always happen, and typically they happen to good people just as much as bad people. Life will kick you, spit on you, tell you that you have no worth. But the thing is that we do have worth. Even those of us like me. With more than one diagnosis. With brains that don’t see the world like others. Those of use with the broken lives. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Has. Worth. We all have a plan. We all have a purpose for being here.
I am right with you in the forest, I am swimming in the sea with you. You are not alone, you are not weird.
I know I spent a good portion of this blog describing bad things. Maybe that was a bad choice… I just want you to know that you are not alone. I wanted to say exactly how it is because I have spent 20 years thinking nobody was like me.
I am praying for you. I’m praying the chains of your childhood are broken. I’m praying the bondage of words spoken over you (by someone else or yourself). I’m praying for those of you that have had mental illness diagnoses. Life is beautiful. I pray you can see that. I pray you pick up the glasses that make things easier to see. I pray you love yourself a little more every day. I pray the bad days start to last less longer and less longer as the years go by. I pray the good days are magical, life changing. I am praying the forest becomes a playground and the ocean becomes an adventure.