Lost: Turning Left, When You Should Have Turned Right

“Where do I turn next?” a question that pops into my mind often.

Where do you go in a world that is so full of things less than desirable?

Do you put yourself down?

Do you drink to drown out the sorrows?

Do you get high to forget?

Do you contemplate the end?

What do you do when you feel like there is nothing left? It’s easy to say that we can find beauty in the deep aching in our hearts but it’s a completely different thing to actually find it.

Looking back at my previous two articles, I see that. I see they are soaked in a positivity that is much unlike me but that doesn’t mean that it’s wrong I just failed to say how hard it is to achieve such things. How much I have had to fight with myself.

Fighting to LIVE with depression isn’t easy. I don’t wake up in the morning and jump out of bed to take on the day. Most days it takes much more than that.

I have to talk myself into getting out of bed– getting up is much like shifting the weight of an F-150 onto my feet. Just standing can be impossible to bear but after the first step, the following get much easier.

As the day moves on, I face setbacks, sure. We all do. But mine mainly have to do with an internal dialogue that hardly stops its commentary.

On the bad days, my thoughts are like a radio announcer broadcasting my every failure and relaying them to the world– summarizing my inability and making me feel small.

On the good days, my thoughts are there but an endless amount of distraction can keep them from surfacing and having an effect on my feelings.

Before on the bad days I would be faced with extreme urges to self-harm and I know this is a hard concept for a lot of people to grasp but it was my way of releasing all of the pent-up emotion inside me I cut hopelessly for years trying to overcome it as it became an addiction I feared would take over my life.

It took me a long time before I noticed. I was looking for healing in the wrong place. I was looking for healing through wounding myself. Making my mental agony a physical pain that I could understand.

But, it wasn’t helping. It wasn’t changing anything. I was most certainly looking in the wrong place to gain peace from my thoughts, even just for a minute.

So, I began a journey to find the right thing to help me be true to who I wanted to be.

I didn’t want to be defined by the cuts on my arms that would eventually be scars. I wanted to be more and I couldn’t do that staying where I was.

I grew up in a Catholic family. I fell away from my faith altogether when my parents got divorced. I felt like if there was a God there was no way that my parents would go their separate ways.

After years of searching turning over almost every stone in my deeply agnostic life trying to “find my way to happiness” I thought I could make it for myself, be super successful, leave my little town and be happy somewhere else but what I didn’t know is, depression follows you. It doesn’t matter how far away you are or how successful you are, you can still have the cloud.

It took a lot to turn away from my stubborn pride and lean into God’s grace but when I did the journey became less about surviving and more about learning to live in His presence.

I still have a lot to do and a long way to travel but by His grace, I feel like I’m on the right path.

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