Monday, July 5, 2010

A Very Dark Place

I grew up in the country. There were no street lights. When the sky was void of stars and the moon was in hiding, the night would be pitch black. Often I would have to go outside to get something from the car. It was so frightening to me, even as a teenager. Once outside, I literally could not see my hand in front of my face. I would run as fast as I could back to the safety of the house.

Recently, I went to a different type of dark place. I could not eat. I could not sleep. All I wanted to do was lie in my bed. I literally felt as if my arms and legs were tied down to the bed. Two weeks earlier I had run a half marathon. Yet on this day, when I tried to take a half-mile stroll around the block, I could hardly make it. “Just let me get home,” was all I could think. And once I got home, I drew the curtains, turned off the lights, and crawled into the bed. My world had come to a sudden and complete halt. If only I could just run away from this dark place. If I could just run back to the safety of life as I knew it before. I don’t want to be here in this dark place, yet at the same time, I don’t want to be anywhere else. It’s as if I stand at the beginning of this unplanned journey. There are several different roads I can take, and I do not want to take any of them. All I want to do is turn around and go back to happier times. That is not an option. So it is just easier to fall into the dark place and succumb to nothingness.

Then I look to my left, and I see a beautiful young woman with chestnut hair. I look to my right, and there is another beautiful girl with hair black as a raven. They are looking to me to lead them through. Oh, just to stay in the dark place. I am beginning to feel comfortable there. The dark place is empty. No feelings. Nothingness. This is better for me because feeling nothing feels better than feeling the pain. But once again those two girls stare at me. Their eyes say, “Help us, Mom. Lead us out of this dark place.”

When I was thrust into this journey, a very wise friend gave me very wise counsel. I will never forget it as long as I live. She said, “The way you handle this situation will shape your children into the adult women they become.” I look back at those eyes pleading with me. “Mom, which way do we go?” So I must crawl out of the dark place. I must take my precious girls by the hand and say, “Let’s choose a road.” I am scared. Will it be the right path? I do not know the answer to that. What I do know is that I must START the journey with them.

How do I crawl out of the dark place? I do all the things I know to do. I see a medical doctor for help. I go to professional counseling, and I lean heavily on my family and friends. I trust that God is there. I am having a hard time feeling that he is, but deep down, I know he is. For now, I trust that knowledge, and that is enough.

I do all these things, yet I am still in “the dark place.” Now what? Now the crawl begins. The alarm goes off, and I get up. I force myself to hold my chin up and put one foot in front of the other. I make it through one day.

This blog was written a couple of months ago. I am no longer in this dark place. I will be sharing that process in future blogs. I wanted to post this for others who may be experiencing "the dark place" now. It is okay to be in this place. You cannot help the way you feel. However, please don't let yourself stay in this place. Lean on your family and friends, trust God's promise, and begin the crawl!

"God, you did everything you promised,
and I'm thanking you with all my heart.
You pulled me from the brink of death,
my feet from the cliff-edge of doom.
Now I stroll at leisure with God
in the sunlit fields of life."

Psalm 56:12-13 (The Message)

Without a doubt, the best book I have ever read on depression is "Bright Days, Dark Nights"  It is the story of Charles Spurgeon's on-going struggle with depression.

1 comment:

  1. This really touched my heart & made me cry. I can relate to this dark place & i know how it feels to just want to crawl in a hole and not want to come out. I know you have heard about everything that has happened with my dad and i never ever in a million years thought that it would happen to me & my family. We were the perfect family, always taking family trips and never ever going a day without telling each other that we loved each other, every night me and my sister would kiss him good night, & i never thought the morning of saturday oct 24th that would be the last time i would kiss his cheek. Him and my mom were together for 27 years, That was her one and only love & they had been together since she was 13 years old. I watch her everyday and it really does hurt me so much worse because i hate to see her so hurt and lost without him, me and my sister try and get her out of the house but sometimes she just want budge. I watch her cry herself to sleep every night and Beg God for him & i sleep with her since dad has gotten killed and theres nights she wakes me up thinking im dad. It hurts to see all my other friends with dads and know this is my senior year and hes not here for any of it, but i do believe with every piece of my heart that he is with my God and he is in a much better place and he looks down on me, shanda and mom and protects us. Even though hes not here, i can still feel him and i can still feel his precense, i know hes with me and everytime i get in my car and close my eyes at night i say a prayer. I know how the dark place is & i know its no fun & i know how it feels to just want to lay in bed for the rest of your life, im alot better than i used to be because i kept telling myself wwdd (what would dad do) and i know he would not want me to be miserable and sad all the time and that he would want me to enjoy my senior year and make memories. My life will NEVER be the same & i would give anything to be able to go back to the way things used to be but this is my new life & ill probably never be used to it & never adjust but its something i have to learn to do because i have no choice. This sunday will be a year and it still feels like a bad dream, i still wake up in the morning time and reality hits me that hes not there & hes not coming home, i dont think you ever get used to it. I still look for him to come home from work every afternoon & he never shows up. Are situations may be different but i know how life can get you down in the dumps and have you asking why? but you have no choice but to go on and be strong. God want put anything on you that you cant handle and hes always that one person that want ever let you down and hes the one that picks you up and keeps you going when you feel like you cant. I love you ms Adams & i really do hope things get better for you! Your so strong & just remember He want put anything on you that you cant handle!

    <3 cindel