My story is long, and wondering. Full of hopes and dreams. And challenges and defeats. Probably much like yours.
But woven through each piece is a bubble of fear and darkness that always perches on the edge of my breath and wakes me in the night with the knowledge that I am wrong. I am broken. I am fraudulent.
I fought for years with the idea of how my anxiety and depression defined me, and defined my relationship with God. I lived in silence with the fear that this was a faith problem. And that others would judge me if they knew.
I was saved when I was 7 – firmly and sincerely believing I was a Wretch, saved by grace. Emphasis on the Wretch, less emphasis on the grace.
I however, took that simmering anxiety and turned it up to a raging boil. And then I just hunkered down and stewed in it.
Once again, the church was talking about us – but this time, something was different. And what was different, was me.
This is how it will always be. Tired, run down, barely able to spend time with your child because you are broken. They would be better off without you.
The thought is so perfect. And easy. And simple. It makes so much sense in a world that no longer makes any sense to me. The urge to listen to it is so strong, and almost pure. Everything would be better if I just let this one clear thought guide me.
For seven years, my merry-go-round spun, and each time I got a little more disillusioned, a little angrier, a little less hopeful that This Time It Would Be Magic.
It felt worse than I remembered. Lower than I anticipated. Darker than before. I don’t know if that is truly accurate, or if – like someone walking from brightness into a darkened tunnel will stumble until their eyes adjust – it was all relative? But it was insanely, ridiculously, awful.
And my long-suppressed anger at all the years of silence and shame, my fears for Bella and myself, broke free from the dam I had built around them and I found I could no longer be silent.
And so, here I am. Desperately wanting to make sure that no one else falls into these traps – whether this is a new fight for them, or an all too familiar one – that no one else fears asking for help, that no one else believes the lies that they are alone, unworthy, and somehow anything less than loved by God.