The New Year usually brings excitement, joy, and much to look forward to for most of us. I know in the past I have always been a planner, goal-oriented, and just super excited for a fresh start.
By nature, I am still a planner, but life has been knocking me around. I won’t get into all the details today, but I honestly can’t see past this moment.
I am living in a season where I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel most days. I speak often about mental health, and this is one of those times, but I don’t want to linger in the sadness of life. I will continue to push through and attempt to find things that make me happy in life. Something I am learning is that life does not stop. For anyone. Things happen and you have to keep going. What I don’t get all the time, is how. I used to be pretty good at letting things happen and pushing them down, keeping myself busy, and moving on. Until I wasn’t. It eventually boiled over and then let itself out and led to a very disgusting person that I am not super proud of having ever been. I now have been more mindful of feeling my emotions as they come so that isn’t the end result. So now it feels like I’m not being true to myself if I don’t allow myself to feel things as they happen. The new issue with this is, life will always happen, right? Right. So, it seems like often I am letting myself feel my feelings. So much so, that I am in a constant state of some form of depression. My new habit with depression is to isolate myself and not go around people in an attempt to not be a negative person to others at all times; essentially, the 2020 version of myself. My phone goes on Do Not Disturb, I close my office door at work, I ignore calls from friends, I flake out on plans, I allow my kid to stay multiple nights in a row at my parents, I don’t do my hair, I barely eat and eat sleep for dinner most nights. Any progress I have made in any plans or goals I have made for myself or just basic life skills that we all do to take care of ourselves properly, come to a screeching halt.
My life is either me living in one extreme or the other, with no in-between. I’d like to be in an in-between. I have gone through the motions multiple times and have tried consistently over months to “get my life together” with many different methods. All the “self-care” things you can think up and google. Working out daily, drinking water, going on a walk if I feel down, hopping in the shower just because I feel down, counseling (although not consistent), going back to church, not comparing myself, praying, eating a well-balanced diet even if I’m not hungry. I even thought about speaking to my doctor about if I needed to be on medication because I just can’t seem to shake this and it’s often at a point, where I cannot do basic functions to keep my home in order.
With the current job that I have now, I work with those who are also struggling with their own mental health, and I tell myself often that I have to have it together to be able to do my job properly. I think I do a pretty good job at that, and I work with some amazing women. Where I work is also a faith-based organization, I say this because it’s going to be important to know for where I’m going. God and faith in general are pretty heavily involved in all parts of my job. We pray over everything and even do devotions together weekly. You would be inclined to think my faith must be pretty strong or that maybe it’s growing quite a bit. I do wish that was the case, but it’s not and I haven’t been honest with myself about it. Life has taken a different course these last few months to where I now have to face this area of my life. So let me get to it.
I would say I am typically an open book, but I can sense when I should and shouldn’t be with certain people. There are a handful of people that I trust within my job. Recently, I shared a little about what I’ve been feeling and the question she asked me after I shared has had me thinking about where I am in a different light. She asked, “Do you think this is a spiritual issue or a chemical imbalance issue?”
I honestly, didn’t know how to answer her question, but it was a good one that I hadn’t even thought of. Wanna know why? . . I have been losing my faith in God slowly over the last 2 years. It could be both a spiritual and a chemical imbalance thing, and I since have been determined to figure it out. As I have been on this path of figuring this out, I’ve come to a few conclusions.
Now I just explained all the many things that I have tried over the last few months to help my mental state. Things that we hear often that typically can help with getting anyone out of a funk. As I stated those things haven’t worked so, yes, I’ve been leaning towards this could be a chemical imbalance and medication may be necessary. However, on the other hand, a series of events have also happened where I have questioned everything that I know about my faith. Now it’s not that I don’t believe God is real. I very much so do think and believe and know that he is. My life has been spared a few different times in some different scenarios that only a higher power could have helped with in my honest opinion. The issue is, I have prayed over some of the same things for years and I see nothing of it. Things have also just seemed to get worse in certain areas of my life. The opinions of people within my faith have also left a bad taste in my mouth. So much so that I would rather not be affiliated. I find myself being more angry and sometimes annoyed when praying gets bought up. I didn’t go to church for a while. Took a major break and when I came back, I was invited back with open arms and highly encouraged to jump back in with serving, joining a life group, and leading one again. At the time I was so overwhelmed, I’d rather mop the ocean.
So, since she has asked me that question, I have since had to come to terms with the fact that I very clearly have some resentment towards faith and God in general. I have my reasons, and if you ask me, they are dang good ones to have and I’m not practically sorry about it either.
During our Christmas break, I sat around my apartment isolated and in my feelings. You know the new skill I told you about that I decided was better for me and everyone around me. By the time the New Year came around, I hadn’t set any resolutions and I was okay with it for the most part. Like I said I wasn’t the least bit excited about it or anything at all pertaining to the “New Year, New Me” mindset. However, one day I decided to listen to a podcast on the way to work, and when I opened Apple Podcast the first thing that played was a podcast from Proverbs 31 Ministries. Where I would typically skip it or pick Morbid instead, today I felt inclined to listen to it. Through my occasional eyeroll (I honestly feel bad telling yall this), I happened to hear the guest speaker say, “Faith is tied to our trust in God”.
Then BOOM, I figured it out. All the anger and push back and eye rolls started to make more sense. . .my faith has been on this roller coaster because I don’t trust God. I don’t trust him with my finances, my love life, my family’s health, and a multitude of other things that have continued to go downhill the more I pray about them.
I’ve decided to sit with this for a bit, now knowing that I don’t trust God or even feel comforted by Him like they tell us we should I wanted to figure out how I could because I dang sure don’t feel any sort of comfort. It’s not like me calling up my dad and talking about the ins and outs of my life and him being able to either give me advice or a simple hug if I’m crying hysterically. Christianity often tells you to open your Bible, because God’s words are comforting and encouraging. Or they tell you to pray because it’s an exchange of communication between you and God. I don’t feel those things anymore. Prayer to me feels like I’m talking into the thin air or to a brick wall and there is no feedback, and no one to say it’ll all be okay. It’s complete silence and feels dark and lonely. In a way, I have these hurt feelings but also the desire to want more and seek more. It’s weird but I felt it before when I felt very distant in my faith a few years back.
I think about all the women I have encountered throughout my life who I have bonded with so deeply and how they look to me from the outside looking in. These women have some of the strongest faith that I have seen in young people around my age, and some have been through hell and back. Things I couldn’t even imagine going through and they still have a faith so strong. Bad things happen to them, but they still run to God and say he is faithful even if their prayers aren’t answered. I’m not saying they too don’t go through some hurt feelings; they probably do behind closed doors. However, what I see in these women is what I want people to see in me one day. I want people to look at me and see things that I have been through but still be encouraged that there is light on the other side, and you don’t have to lose who you are even though life has handed you crap in a basket on more than one occasion. I am nowhere near there and I’m not sure when or if I will ever be there. In the time that I was sitting in these thoughts and started working my way through getting back to some regular things I enjoyed like working out and reading. . my family got more disappointing news; a running theme seems like these days. I know now that this season that I am in, is going to be forever life-changing. I hate it here and I want out so bad. I didn’t sign up for any of this and I don’t want to play the role that was written for me. Being unsure about if things will turn around for the better is scary and I can only take things day by day. The little bit of hope that I gained after hearing that podcast was quickly crushed by that heartbreaking news that just keeps coming.
So even with this epiphany about my depression being most likely both spiritual and chemical and knowing that my next steps are most likely to continue down the road of talking to my doctor and everything else I have tried as well. I know that I am still deep in the throes of being in an untrusting relationship with life as it comes in general. It is hard and I am unsure if I will make it out of this season sane enough to continue doing life as I know it. I’m terrified that I will act recklessly out of anger or spite because of my own hurt feelings.
Odd enough a few things my dad told me recently when we got this news a few weeks ago were “Don’t lose your faith” & and “Don’t let this change who you are or your character”. I heard him and even though he was speaking to multiple people at one time, I know it was directed for me. The following day, he asked if I was going to be going to Church that weekend. My response was the same when my parents told me we were going to go back to church once they found out I was 17 and pregnant. . .he got a very teenage Pach. Sucked teeth, eye-roll, attitude, and mumbled words ending with a hard “NO”.
With all of this and in so many words, I know that I will not make it through this (or anything hard), by isolating myself and or being closed off. Life is a little easier when you aren’t doing it alone. I have been pushed by many people to do life surrounded by other like-minded people. I am also a social person and love just being in the company of others. I often think back on my time in 2020 and how I got out of it and how I had so many supporting people walking through life with me. I do believe that was my dad’s intention in encouraging me to go to church as well. I know that I also feel a little more like myself when I am surrounded by those that I care about. Something I learned years ago was that we aren’t supposed to do life alone. When I was leading my life groups, I often shared that when we share our stories it could always help someone else. I encouraged people to share if they felt led. You never know how much you have in common with someone else or how you could help each other when you walk alongside each other.
So, this year, even with all the unknown that I have going on, my plan (my only plan) is to not isolate myself and to surround myself with some caring people I have in my life. I’m gonna need it.
As I am going to surround myself with people to walk alongside me. I want to also encourage you to find your people and ask them if they would walk with you too. Join a life group, or a club, reach out to your friends you’ve been ignoring, and LEAVE YOUR HOUSE. Anything to get you around supportive people.
Also, just so you know even in my season, I’m down to walk with you too. (I am still a good friend and a life coach who would love to see you get closer to your goals)
Something new I am also wanting to do this year is to write more and open my platform for others to share their thoughts and stories that would be encouraging and helpful to those who visit this site.
If that’s you and you’re interested shoot me an email 😉 email@example.com
If this post helped you at all, please share it with your friends or someone you know who needs to hear they aren’t alone.
With love always,