For the past several days, I have wrestled with the idea about putting thoughts to paper. When you witness many different situations and circumstances that trigger feelings of hopelessness and sadness, the desire to address those moments become challenging at best. Yet, I have come to a place in my life where I must be honest about who I am and where I am in the movement of this world.
The past few months have been extremely trying. It would be cliche to suggest that I have never felt this way before in my life. However, I would be making light of the totality of my feelings. I can say with clarity that depression is terrible, anxiety is the devil, and self-doubt is a beast. I have watched family members, friends, church parishioners, and others endure some of the most horrific and trying moments imaginable. Then it happened……
I hit the wall….hard…..extremely hard.
I could no longer get up in the morning and shake off the heaviness. I could no longer no longer look in the mirror and fire up. I could not shake the loneliness. I could not dismiss the anger. I could not pass over the disrespect. I just could not. My mind had become weary. My strength was now depleted. Isolation had triggered the thoughts of disappointment. My greatest tool, my mind, was beginning to short circuit.
I broke down in the middle of my room. I was paralyzed by what I was now experiencing. It was not the first time I had ever dealt with a depressive episode. However, I would address it differently for the first time. For years, I have had moments like these that I wish to forget. The truth was that people would see me going through it. The standard thought and message was, “It’s going to be ok. Just shake it off.” “Just let the Lord fix it.” “Everyone has problems.”
For so many years, I had listened to people who swore that they had my best interest at heart tell me to put a bandaid on it so I could make their lives easier. Oh, I was always able to be clutch. I worked under pressure better than most. I always showed up. But who was showing up for me? Better yet, did I know how to show up for myself? No, not in the least.
This time something had to change. This time, I needed to take steps back to begin healing in places that were getting gangrene from emotional and mental trauma. I could no longer lean in on the bad advice of leading while bleeding. I had no more blood to give or lose. I can’t continue to pack the wounds for the moment to continue to lose out on the life God promised. So, I took the step to get a great counselor. I took the step to be honest with myself. I took the step to say that in moments I am not ok.
I decided that the life that I was living was not good enough any more. Life is so much more than superficial achievements, possessions, and expectations. Life is most fulfilling when you are loving people and receiving love. Life is filled when you watch your son smile. Life is knowing that your wife feels safe and protected. Life is when your family has their needs met. Life is friends who pour into your existence because they love you. Life is taking the chance to learn and appreciate the real you.
Now most people that might read this set of thoughts may pick and choose what they gather from it and decide to build a case for why I may not be suited for the “professional” life that I lead. Others may attempt to find ways to demonstrate some type of sympathetic approach to addressing me. None of these reasons or potential outcomes address my purpose for writing on this day. No. I just choose to be an example of how God can rearrange your path to healing and wholeness. I want to testify to the fact that God can still use me in powerful ways even when life is imploding. I am a testament to how God provides grace in my weakness and space for my healing. Do not allow anyone the ability to dictate how you make it to the other side of trial.
In this short period of time, I have discovered that three types of people exist in moments of traumatic experiences.
- People who don’t want you to heal properly
- People who want you to be whole
- People who want you functional enough for them to continue to benefit.
I never worry about people who don’t care about my existence. They have stated their case clearly. I don’t have to worry about the people who rally for my wholeness. They purpose in my life is clear. Those people who are addicted to your production, ability, and skill are the most dangerous. They are willing to do whatever necessary to make sure you are comfortable while you are dying inside. As long as the benefits of your gifts are present, they will place your feelings, emotions, and psyche in hospice. That type of people pleasing environment will never help anyone. So, I decided to change my address from that toxic place to the place that God has destined.
I am nowhere near the end of my healing journey. I will be constantly unlearning the bad and destructive thoughts that dictated my life for so long. Access to my inner space has guard dogs and angels with flaming swords. It’s not personal, People. I’m just getting down to business. I’m getting to know the Charles that God loves. I’m getting to know the Charles that God created. I pray that you begin to do the same searching for yourself. On the other side, we will all become the best versions of what God intended.
Blessings on the Journey…