I’ve sat down to write this blog post multiple times over the last few days, occasionally I’ve spent one or two hours just looking at the blank screen before me as I’ve hopelessly attempted to gather my thoughts and articulate them in an appropriate manner – I still haven’t figured it out so I apologise for the state of this blog. As I sit here now, in need of love and peace, I feel broken and alone.
I’ve felt more deeply over the last few days and I’m unsure as to whether its due to the fact that I’m on my period again, only two days after finishing my last one, or if it’s as a result of reaching nearer to my breaking point. I feel disorientated as if I’ve been going around in circles, always ending up at the same crossroads and always playing the same game of tug ‘n’ war. Battling between my depression and my faith, both trying to take me over.
It was 11.43pm on Saturday night and I was laying on the tiled floor as the water falling from above pierced my skin. Empty bottles of gin laid on the bedroom floor and before me laid everything needed to numb the pain. I’d given in. As I took another sip from the bottle and picked up the blade before me, my head was pounding and my vision was blurred. By that point in time, I’d hung over the toilet bowl 6 times throughout the course of the day and my throat was still burning. The fresh lines on my thighs stung and my body ached, I had bruises everywhere. I’d given up. I’d spent the entire day destructively in a spiral of depression and self hatred. I’d stopped caring, whether I’d live or not, whether I’d heal or not and whether I’d be okay or not. I wasn’t proud of the manner in which I’d conducted myself and looking back I should have been more proactive in seeking help, I wasn’t in a good place.
The early hours of Sunday morning rolled around and I was sitting by the pool outside, under a blanket of stars. It was 2.14am and I was thinking back to what’d happened in the shower earlier and frankly the entire day. I remember acknowledging that the events that’d taken place evoked the need for intervention, but as for seeking help, I couldn’t imagine anything more daunting or shameful. I simply wanted myself and everything else to cease. I knew that if I were to involve others then they’d try to fix everything. By this point frustration had crept in. Bless others for caring but I felt that sometimes I didn’t want things to be fixed, I didn’t want to be fixed. I knew I was broken but I wasn’t a toy that could be superglued back together. I didn’t always want to logically think about the events unfolding, sometimes I just wanted to be present in that darkness. It’s so difficult to for me understand this concept, let alone articulate it and to someone reading this I must sound insane. After all, who’d want to be sad? Who’d want to harm themselves? Who’d want to constantly obsess over bulimia? Who’d want to wrestle between wanting to live or die? Who’d want to have their daily lives impacted by their mindset and behaviours? And so forth.
I understand that I must be coming across as ill-minded, ungrateful and unreasonable, however being in this state of mind has begun to feel like home. It’s been 8+ months and the idea of a normal mindset now daunts me. There was a time where healing and moving on from this was all I wanted, the thought of that now results in feelings of anxiety. I know that sounds selfish and awful of me, I know that healing should be what I strive towards and I know I shouldn’t be afraid, however in my mind this season I’m amidst outweighs the consequences of healing. I’m terrified; of reaching outside of my comfort zone and proactively seeking help, of losing control, of being vulnerable, of admitting the severity of my situation, of recognising the depression and bulimia for what it is, of being judged or categorised. I’m simply terrified. Right in the thick of it, I wanted to be not okay and I didn’t see a point nor did I see a reason to fight. I still don’t know if I do.
I fell asleep, only to shortly after wake for another Sunday. In the short sleep I managed, another nightmare. My body was covered in handprints. Handprints places there by a stranger. A stranger who took something so precious from me. A stranger who felt the need to show his power. How could I ever be loved now? After all, I probably deserved it.
I had church beginning soon and frankly, I didn’t want to go. However, JB had invited me at connect group on Wednesday and I hadn’t had her number to cancel. Therefore I reluctantly got out of bed and made my way to church. The message spoke on aligning ourselves with Jesus.
Allow me put that into visual context. I picture myself juggling a large number of balls, each ball representing something I carry in my life. Mine; depression, rape, guilt, anxiety, bulimia, self hatred, fear, anger, frustration, confusion and so forth. I’m in a closed off room and I want to escape, however theres only a small gap in the roof where the light shines in. It’s impossible to escape with all the balls that I’m juggling. When all hope seems lost, I see Jesus and He is able to glide through the small gap with ease. I quickly realise that aligning myself with Jesus is the only way I’ll ever be able escape and enter into full relationship with Him. As I stand behind Him and align myself in His presence, those balls that I’ve unnecessarily been juggling, begin to fall away. The balls that remain are balls of hope, love, purity, value, worth etc. At last I’m able to fit through the narrow gap and I’m able to Jesus in relationship.
I pondered the principle of aligning myself Jesus, it felt so daunting and out of reach. Nearing the end of the sermon we were challenged to commit each moment of our day to God. Driving somewhere? Pray that your drive and time in that place will glorify Him. Choosing something to watch or listen to? Pray that your choice will glorify Him. Reflect on each area of your day, your thoughts and behaviours, do they glorify God?
On that note, I left church and spent the rest of the day tucked in bed. I’d like to say that I thus far have surrendered to God and that I’ve aimed to bring glory to His name in each moment of each day. However the remainder of Sunday followed on from Saturday with close repetition. I drank 7 bottles of water and ignored the hunger for as long as I could because I knew that following each meal would be a purge and I’m so tired of it and the way it made me feel about myself. By midnight I’d lost the battle, I was laying on the bathroom floor hunched over the toilet, fingers in throat as my body was burning and shaking while I cried. I felt light headed and overtired. In that state, I fell asleep.
I woke early this morning to find that a strange bird was flying around the house and the other animals were going berserk. I got to my feet and so the day began. Aside from catching a bird and deep cleaning my home, I’ve spent the day laying on the couch. Avoiding any and all responsibilities. I spent a few hours listening to podcasts and felt God fighting for my being. I was convicted whilst listening to a particular podcast that spoke on personal transformation, this was exactly what I needed.
I’ll share below a few things that stood out to me and why;
• “You belong to God and He’s called you into relationship with Himself”. The fact that I belong to the one who created me is unfathomable. In His word God reminds us that He is our Father, this makes us His children. Being a daughter of the Most High is something I’ve been taught my whole life, however today knowing it meant more. My relationship with my parents hasn’t been okay for a long time and it’s begun to effect me in more ways than one. My worth was so tightly tied to their opinions of me and their love for me, and as both those things have withered, so has the way in which I view my worth. It’s somewhat comforting to know that I am loved by my Heavenly Father and that His love never fails.
• Romans 12:1-2 reminds us to offer ourselves as a sacrifice to God and to not conform to the patterns of this world, but to rather be transformed by the renewal of our minds. To offer myself would be to surrender to Jesus, to humbly fall at His feet and give my entire being to Him along with all my baggage. The only problem is that I can’t seem to move past the guilt and shame, as many times as I’ve been reassured, I still can’t imagine a world in which the God whom created me would want me in His presence. By not surrendering, I fall into the trap of conforming to the patterns of this world. I give into the depression and I allow myself to be weakly swayed by the world and the desires of the world. I don’t know about you, but I could totally go for transformation by the renewal of my mind because I’ll tell you now, my mind has passed it’s due date. I want to be renewed and transformed in Jesus Christ but I don’t know how to take the first step.
• “It’s important to have kingdom people in your life who call you out on your mistakes, who push you higher and challenge you to grow in your faith, nearer to Jesus”. There’s so much truth in this and I recognise that, however at the same time it makes me feel more alone. My inability to be vulnerable with people, my inability to form relationship and put myself out there, has prevented me from having ‘kingdom people’ in my life. I have people. I have J, and B has been trying so hard to get through to me but I feel so guilty and I feel like a burden because I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be around me or put up with me during this season.
• 2 Corinthians 5:10, tells us to “take every thought captive, to make them obedient to Christ”. My initial reaction was that I’d be sitting there forever if I were to write out each thought, take it captive, submit it to Jesus and replace it with His truths. I mean, wouldn’t we all be sitting there forever?
Living according to this command is daunting and I don’t understand how it’s possible. Amidst a season of deep depression, negative thoughts just appear as part of the package. They’re constant, always hovering around my mind, sometimes at the forefront and sometimes subconsciously but they’re nevertheless always there.
You’re not good enough, no one could ever love you, how could anyone accept the broken mess you’ve become, you don’t deserve life, so much is wasted on your existence, you’re disgusting and everyone would be better off without you .. These are only to name a few and honestly, even just writing them hurts.
It’s been said that as humans our thoughts either align with Gods truths or they align with the enemies lies. In all honesty, I know that mine don’t align with Gods truths. They don’t align with what God says about me. I’ve allowed my thoughts to reign and rule, I’ve allowed them to take me over. They’ve dictated how I feel, how I interact with people, how I behave and how I view myself. They’ve dictated every aspect of my life and it’s scary to thing that I’ve allowed them so much power.
• Philippians 4:7-8 instructs us to think about things that are true, honourable, just, pure, lovely and gracious. I’m screaming at myself right now! Is thinking about killing myself in-line with any of those things? Is tearing down my, worth, value and self esteem in-line with those things? Is fixating on self hatred and self harm in-line with those things? No. The answer is no, they’re not. Nothing that goes through my mind on a daily basis is in-line with what God instructs me to think about.
I need to realise that the things I focus on are the things that will rule and reign in my life. At the moment that’s depression, bulimia and everything else. How awful am I?! I should be putting all my time and energy into focussing on Jesus, the gospel, my relationship with my Heavenly Father. If I devoted even a fraction of my thoughts and focus into Jesus, I’m sure I’d begin to see change. However over the last few months I’ve found myself trapped and enclosed in a repetitive cycle of defeat. I’ve reached the point where I’m sitting here crying as I type this because I know I need Jesus. I need Jesus. I need an encounter with Him. I need Him to meet me here and I need Him to transform me.
It’s now almost 8pm and I can barely keep my eyes open. I spent the rest of today reading ‘captivating’, watching sad movies and I am still yet to study. After spending 30min over the toilet bowl this evening, my body was on fire. The intense pain was impossible to describe but it was then that I decided something needed to be done. I can’t keep anything down, the bulimia worsened and the vomiting has shifted from self inflicted to now almost involuntary. Eating has become something only done with the intention of purging afterward. My entire mindset is disgusting and the self hatred have taken me over. I hopped online and filled out an analysis report, one that a lady from the Butterfly Foundation sent me and I’m supposed to take it to a GP if I were to see one. The report took about 15min to create and when I read through the final results, I wished I never went through with it. There’s nothing worse than feeling bad about yourself and then being told how bad you actually are. I downloaded the report to my files, I have no intentions of seeing a GP but subconsciously I think I downloaded it for ‘just in case’ I decided to go down that pathway.
I went for a drive to the foreshore late this evening, it was raining heavily and I wasn’t in a healthy frame of mind. I scared myself.
I’ve written a list of things I’d like to work towards learning, amongst the list are goals such as; learning how to be whole in Jesus, learning to love myself and proactively practice self care and learning to accept/believe Gods truths about me. Each goal on my list will take time, I know that but they’ll also take energy, discipline and self control. I can’t achieve them on my own, I need Jesus.
I am alone, I am safe but I don’t like the direction in which tonight is heading and I can only pray that He meets me here before it’s too late.
– c x