30 Day Challenge: Day 5

Talk about a time you wanted to end your life.

This is a hard one to talk about, and I don’t know where to begin. That’s probably why I haven’t blogged about it until now. Adolescence was rough for me, and I don’t particularly know why. I have pages and pages of multiple journals describing my struggles with low self-esteem, depression and feelings of worthlessness; at times, these feelings were so overwhelming that they kept me up at night crying into my pillow and wishing I was dead. The hardest part for me was that I had no idea why. By all accounts, I should have been happy. I had a stable home life. I had good friends. I went to church. I was involved in my community. I got good grades. I thought I was doing everything right, but I still felt so lonely and so inadequate. I wasn’t good enough. And I don’t even know what standard I was holding myself up to. Was it godliness? Was it just plain ol’ perfection? Was it some bullshit ideal of all-American normalcy?

I really don’t know what I was chasing all those years, and the worst part is that this inner drive for the unattainable followed me into my university years and a little while after. That’s not to say that I was perpetually down, but my depression came in bewildering months long waves. The last and most potent of these tides, was in the year and half following my university graduation. For that year and half that I lived in my family home back in Texas, I indulgently fed my sadness. I steeped in bitterness and allowed it fuel my whole existence. The problem there, was that by that point it had turned into full-blown anger. I felt like I had paid my dues in adolescence and early young adulthood with years of inner strife and turmoil, and now I should be fucking happy. I should have been able to graduate with a clear and perfect path to a career, a smoking hot boyfriend/fiance, a ticket to travel the world, and an overall exciting and fabulous life. Instead, I was back home in Texas, jobless, single,  living with my parents, and away from all the amazing people I’d met in university. I didn’t understand how I could be so off-track.

I don’t know precisely what it was that kept me from ending my life during those confusing times, and I think that’s because it was a number of little things along the way that reminded me of what worth holding on to. A really great day with my family, a thoughtful conversation with a friend, a song that captured my thoughts so beautifully, a movie with a happy ending when you couldn’t possibly imagine things ending well, a book with a hero I could relate to, the honesty and wisdom of the Psalms, the guidance of my mentors. All those things held me together, and I really believe that God sent them my way when I was at my most fragile. It has long been my firm belief that, if you’re looking for it and you just enough faith, God will see you where you’re at, and send you exactly what you need to move forward. And really, that’s all you have to do. Move forward, one step at a time.

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