It was January 23. I remember it so well because I could only feel one thing. Rather, I felt nothing. I only had one word to describe it: empty.
The night before, I had come from drinking and in an act of desperation, went to see my boyfriend then and his friends. That led to insecurity and for some reason, anger. Never had I felt so low, so worthless, and as if none of this, none of it, had a point.
I’m sure many of you have felt this way too. When you look around, and it really just looks like one big lie. Well, let me tell you this…it kind of is.
I knew something felt off with me about two years ago. Mornings started to become a nightmare. I would force myself to wake up, “one more day, just one more day”. I’d take a deep breath, or two, and do it all over again. I’d pretend everything was okay, I’d tell myself something might just happen today, I’d pretend that I was happy. Living, honestly, had gotten so tiring. It was always a battle between me and my demons. And most of the time, I’d just let them win. My best friend even brought me to a doctor who told me, my problem was, I never had any real security in my life, thus depression. It really started to disturb me how much I thought about killing myself, it went from being on a weekly basis to a daily basis. It was a constant mental and spiritual war.
I had tried turning my life back to Christ before. I was fed up with trying to, for lack of a better term, keep up, with my own life. There were so many goals I wanted to accomplish, so many people I wanted to please, so many things I think I, out of anyone, felt was the most justified or qualified to say. And it all broke me, it just wore me down. I wrote about it on my blog then entitled “A Letter to Myself” which was written in five parts. I thought it helped to express it, just let it out, and for a time, it did.
But then I went back to what I knew, I let my “life” take over my life again. I fell in love with another guy, struggled through that relationship; I distracted myself with work and socializing, always going home thinking, is this it? I’d keep going back to it; it filled whatever void I needed it to at the time. But in the back of my head was a little voice saying, “Why don’t you just stop already?”
I didn’t stop. Opportunities came, as they do, to distract me from the pain I should have dealt with head-on. I went back to keeping up, I went back to pleasing, I went back to expecting way too much from the world, I went back to counting every little bit of acknowledgment thrown my way…I went back to being absolutely and inevitably, miserable. I, in fact, learned to hate myself.
Fast forward after months of drinking myself stupid, blacking out every night (I would scream at the guards at my apartment) I had had enough. After months of locking myself in the bathroom, punching my face so hard, and cutting my thighs and wrists, standing on the ledge of the 29th floor, thinking to myself the whole time, “It could all end right now.” All that pain, all that senselessness, all that disappointment. All of it.
I never jumped. But I wanted to. I never cut too deep. But I wanted to. I never overdosed. But I really, really wanted to. Something kept pulling me back. A little voice at the back of my head saying, “Stay.”
I ignored it and on that night, my boyfriend (this is the first one I mentioned at the beginning, yes love addiction) drove me home. I had screamed at a gas attendant. I had screamed at the guard. I had screamed and hurt, really hurt, Sam. It was going to end that night, I was sure of it. I just needed a little push and I got it. I asked for it and I got it. But let me tell you something, at the pit of my stomach, something was stirring, and that thing stirring just felt wrong, it felt evil.
I went upstairs, took out the medicine box, opened the windows, grabbed the Baygon on the counter (I was desperate to go). If it wasn’t going to happen one way, it was going to happen another. I took all the medicine, kept drinking the alcohol left in the refrigerator and went about cutting my left upper thigh. Boy, it felt good to feel nothing. I sprayed the Baygon onto a towel and sucked it in. I kept going on and on and on and on…
Then I woke up. My first thought was, “Why in the world is there Baygon on the table? And a knife?” I smelled the towel. Oh. I saw my leg. Oh. I closed the medicine box and window. What happened last night? Something must have come over me because when I checked my phone, yup. I had broken up with my boyfriend…again.
I rushed to his place and in a mess of myself, apologized and tried to explain as best I could. I can practically memorize it by now, my little script for people who “don’t understand me”:
It’s just a wave.
I had an attack.
I had learned to belittle my mental health so perfectly already and at the same time make it the biggest excuse as to why I was mean, or why I said or did something, or why I reacted that way.
Truth be told though, I was very tired that day. I wasn’t thinking about killing myself, but I was so tired. I went with Sam to his basketball game and on the way, we passed by Every Nation. There it was again, that little voice again, “Come to me.” I had gone there a couple of times before, but for the life of me, I could not see the point of really becoming a Christian. In my head, I was way past a solution. But I wanted to go.
I didn’t. But I really wanted to.
Instead, on the way home, I was quiet. There was no wave. It wasn’t an attack. But there it was, in the pit of my stomach, at the core of my being: Emptiness. I cried and Sam didn’t know what to say or do, he too, was helpless. How many times had I done this to him? To everyone? Of course. I told him I just needed to be alone and that I’d be okay.
I got out of the car and went up to my apartment. My dad just happened to be out of town. The minute I walked in and closed the door, I let go. I fell down on my knees. I was so tired and I had had enough. I didn’t want to hurt myself anymore, I didn’t want to hurt the ones I loved anymore, I didn’t want to hurt anymore, period. Through my sobbing, I managed to whisper, “God, I don’t know what to say. I don’t even know how to pray. But I need your help. Please God, please God, please God…”
Let me tell you, I was desperate for a solution.
I reached out to the only pastor I had really liked, pastor Robert of Victory, who is now in San Diego.
I told him about what I had been dealing with, and how I needed his help. I needed to read something. Anything. I needed God. I waited for his answer and listened to one song all night till I could fall asleep. All I Need Is You by Hillsong.
He directed me to Psalm 103.
I had thought I needed all these other things to keep me happy. A relationship. Validation from people. I thought I needed to constantly be “pretty” or “perfect” in the sight of others. To be the smartest in a conversation. To be the loudest in a party. I was just constantly lying to myself. Let me tell you something, there is nothing this world can really offer. I realized that night, God is the biggest truth anyone can ever tell. And only He can really heal. Jesus heals the broken-hearted. He binds their wounds. This was my story, this was my Jesus.
And that’s just it.
You don’t have to keep up. You don’t have to please others. When you try to, I’m sorry but you’re going to lose, over and over again. Life is so precious. And when I surrendered mine to Jesus, and I mean fully surrendered, I fell into His arms of LOVE. And this LOVE just covered me that in this lifetime, I will never be able to describe in words how that feels. To know, yes people love you, your family loves you, your friends care for you, yes, but no one will love you like Jesus does. No one cares like Jesus cares. The day I fell down on my knees was the day I fell into His arms. It was my nth chance, but it was the chance I was going to take forever. Do I feel bad for making Him my last solution? Yes. Was I glad it finally happened, though? YES.
I found hope, guys. I found security. Where? Believe me now or believe me never, but it’s only in Jesus. It’s only in the chances HE gives to run back to Him.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, all my inmost being, praise His holy name
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion
who satisfies your desires with good things
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s