My best friend asked me to go to church with her, and with as angry as I've been with God I didn't want to go. I also have a lot going on right now and know that when I have felt this lost and confused in the past, God has been the only one that stood by me. Even when it felt like even He gave up, He turned out to be the only one walking beside me. So I got out of bed, put my big girl panties on (quite literally actually) and faced it. I faced the hurt, confusion, anger and SHAME, walked right into that church and sat in my garbage.
I felt so naked and was sure that everyone could see. But you know what? Whether they knew me well enough to know or just shook my hand for the first time today, I felt welcomed. I haven't felt welcomed (even on this earth) in quite some time now. It was incredibly refreshing. An amazing thing happened in that moment... As soon as the first worship song started playing and everyone stood up to praise, the only thought going through my head was, "Why am I telling myself all these terrible things?"
Now, y'all know my background and you know what I struggle with, so there's no need to explain the things I tell myself, but I'll go ahead and do so anyway. I had thoughts like, "you don't deserve to live", "you are a waste of space", "you're fat", "you're ugly" and "nobody loves you" running through my head. That's just to name a few. But in that moment of stillness and clarity, when I wondered why I was bullying myself, Romans 8:1 popped in my head.
Now, I don't read the bible very often. I don't know many books, chapters or verses by heart, but this one I remember because back in the day my friend Jessica Volcansek (now Steel) sent me an email telling me that when I cry, Jesus cries with me. This verse was included in that email and although it's not usually in the forefront of my mind, when I need it, it comes back.
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..."
The verse goes on to say, "because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death." But I just kept repeating to myself "there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ". No condemnation. It doesn't matter how long I've turned my back. It doesn't matter what church I choose to attend. It does not matter if I'm angry, sad or shameful. I am loved and wanted and welcomed in His eyes. That is truly all that matters.
Ironically enough, as I sat there and cried, the pastor talked about how words have the strength to heal or the power to hurt. I have been hurting myself with my words. I have been beating myself down with the negative things I tell myself. And I have been ashamed to admit it because doing so means admitting that I have a problem, that I am struggling incredibly with depression, with my eating and with self harm. But I am willing to do so today. And I am willing to come to you and to God and to say that I need help right now. I cannot do this on my own. And I feel so lucky to have such an amazing friend, whose family has shown me so much love and support. They have prayed with me and for me, they've spent both night and day with me when I have felt so alone and afraid. I honestly don't know how I could ever repay them... But I also don't think they expect that.
I have been stronger this time around than any of the times in the past. My work has not suffered, but my home and personal life has gone down the drain. I have been able to keep myself just barely above the surface.
I'm rambling now so I'm going to stop there. I will say that I am getting help and getting on a different medication regimen. I have agreed (in order to be able to keep seeing the therapist I have been seeing for years now) to start outpatient treatment. I promise to choose my words wisely and I have chosen to start writing, as well as sharing my writing, with the world again.
I can't promise that it's going to be pretty. In fact, so far this has proven to be the hardest time of all for me to choose to get help because I don't feel sick enough. I would almost say I'm being forced into it, but that's also not giving myself enough credit. I made the assessment. I showed up to assessment, and tomorrow I will ultimately be the one showing up for treatment and signing the paperwork. So yes, I need to give myself some credit, even if I was given an ultimatum by my treatment team.
Lastly, I truly hope you all are doing well. I know it has been over a year since I shared any writing, and I know I have worried some of you and lost touch with many of you. But today I can say that in choosing to use my words for good, I have also chosen to share my writing in order to give a voice to the voiceless and hopefully give someone even the smallest bit of hope. Because ultimately, the is hope. There is hope, and truth and light out there... Sometimes we just have to search for it in order to find it.
I hope you find yourself well tonight and this week. I will find myself in a room full of broken people, each one of us sorting through our garbage.
Peace to you tonight,
PS. This was typed on my phone so I do apologize for any grammar mistakes. 😁