Posted by: Judy | April 26, 2021

Fighting the Darkness

Almost seven years ago, Robin Williams took his own life. He’d received a devastating diagnosis. I judged him harshly and anyone who committed suicide, calling it selfish. I had to acknowledge that part of the reason I was so angry is because I saw something in myself I didn’t like. I struggle with hanging on. I have all my life. I hate the weakness in myself and so hate it in others. God has taught me a few lessons since then. It still isn’t the answer, but now my heart breaks for those who feel there isn’t any other way. I understand.

I understand why encouraging words from others don’t help. I’m tired. Encouraging words don’t change that. I’m discouraged. Encouraging words sound like chastisement. I’m well aware of my flaws and shortcomings. The encourager is telling me what to do, but I’m the one who has to do it. I’m guilty of being an unhelpful encourager.

In defense of the encourager, I wanted to help. I wanted my friend to feel better. I didn’t see I was heaping on coals on an already heavy load. I recognize it now.

Telling me God loves me isn’t new information to me. I know. I don’t doubt it. Jesus died for me. I know.

Every day, I struggle with not wanting to face another day. I do it anyway. So much in my life hasn’t changed. I’ve tried so hard to make good, healthy changes. I’ve been successful in some ways and continue to fail miserably in other ways.

I’ve never had a time in my life when living inside my head wasn’t problematic. Storytelling gave me a way to dump what was in my head into the lives of my characters. I miss that.

I don’t regret becoming my father’s caregiver. It’s a privilege. It’s a season. It’s 24/7/365. It won’t last forever; something I don’t want to think about. I think it’s made me a better person.

Anxiety is a constant companion, no matter how much faith I endeavor to embrace. I have television or youtube playing all the time to keep my thoughts from wandering too far down forbidden paths. I even turn on YouTube at night, an 8-hour ambient sound video that plays throughout the night. I am trying to stay on top of the spiraling negative thoughts. I’m also tired of fighting.

As the world spins lies for political gain and power, I must watch and remain silent as I have no authority. It’s the first part of my nightmare life playing out all over again, from micro to macro. It doesn’t end well.

Messages from every quarter condemn my lack of education by their standards, my poor health by their definition, my struggling faith from their perspective, my lack of a career/gainful employment according to them. They want to tell me what to think and believe and how to live. They know best. I’m judged by the world’s measuring stick and found wanting, but I know the world’s measuring stick to be built on lies.

My faith and trust in God are not lacking, never have. I’ve always recognized that the problem is me. If I feel cheated, it’s because my perspective is flawed. God is good. He never promised fair. Really, who wants “fair”? A dubious measure of man created equity, flawed man, imperfect man, sinful man. God wants to give us everything, despite the fact we don’t deserve anything, but for Jesus.

So, every day, I wake up. God has given me another day. I stumble through most of them, constantly feeling like I’m close to drowning. I’m swallowing a lot of water but still breathing, and my head is mostly above water, barely.

I keep telling myself that if I quit, “they” win; Never. Going. To. Happen. It doesn’t silence “Death comes as a friend.”

So I live with the two voices battling in my head. Every day, I want to pull the covers over my head, but I stumble forward. I want to cry. I keep trying to look to God. I keep fighting to overcome the darkness. No matter how my candle sputters, God hasn’t allowed it to go out. I hold to that.

The purpose of this post? Sympathy? No. Advice? No. Information? Yes.

For those who’ve never considered punching your own ticket out, it isn’t about you. You don’t have power or control. You won’t see the signs; I’ve seen this over and over again, especially of late. “I thought they were doing better.” No, they made their plan and made the decision. What do you do? Don’t think there’s an easy fix. Don’t think you can say the right thing and make it better. Do be there but don’t pretend you understand if you don’t. Little things go a long way. Follow through on what you say you’ll do; if you’re not going to do it, don’t say you will. Recognize your own struggle.

Listen.

You’d be amazed by the moments of peace you are able to bring simply by being with them. Pray for guidance in what to do. Don’t expect the path to look like what you think it will; it won’t.

Confusing? I know. It is. Depression is confusing. It defies God’s logic and order.

Keep fighting for light. I do.


Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing your heart. While I might not have the same exact feelings, I do understand feeling depressed and anxious. For the most part, I am better than I used to be. But I still go through times when I dread life. I don’t have the answers, expect to cling to Jesus and praise His name. That usually lifts my spirits. I pray the Lord can help us one day at a time. ❤️

  2. This sums up many of my thoughts, and some unspoken feelings. I love that you verbalized the encouragement is not always encouraging, but more like dog piling on with negative, not positive.
    I had not verbalized, or read it in words, that encouragement can seem like chastisement, judgement or condemnation. That’s often how it makes me feel, worse, not better. Thank you for illuminating that!!

    • You’re not alone. You’re most welcome.


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