I used to hate people, and now I don’t – this has caused me some issues.
A few years ago, my life took a turn for the better. I met God, a best friend/boyfriend in Jordan, got out of my depression, and a better handle on my anxiety. I moved permanently into my dad’s house, ending the strain of back and forth joint custody, and started making money at a restaurant (which I promptly blew on school supplies, because I really, REALLY love pens).
While I’ve weathered some ups and downs, and life definitely will never be easy, I am very blessed. I’m privileged, and I know that – I do my best not to take it for granted. But, as I’ve started at college and the strain of school, work, and other responsibilities have created stress and exhaustion once more, the end of the semester just these past few weeks have brought about something I really didn’t expect.
In short, I’ve got issues. Whether you want to label them abandonment, jealousy, anger, or mommy issues, they’re there, and this past semester’s weight on my mental, emotional, and physical health have brought them all up in a giant mess of frustration and pain.
Here’s part of a post I dramatically slapped on my Facebook feed after a breakdown:
“This past week has been one of the lowest since I was saved two years ago, and since I began healing from a difficult time in my life. This entire week has been one thing after another – combined with a struggle to balance work, church, and school, I was left feeling raw, vulnerable, and exhausted. It opened up my mind to an onslaught of intrusive thoughts, lies, and panic attacks. I spent an entire day in bed, didn’t eat, and therefore accidentally made myself sick. I locked myself in a stall at work and cried in the corner while everyone else took a break. I couldn’t breathe while closing another night and my chest pains increased throughout the week.
On top of the physical and mental stress, I’ve just felt broken and worthless.
“You’re so annoying.”
“It’s your fault the friendship feels distant – you did something. “
“Honestly, stop wearing those jeans. You’ve gained too much weight for them.”
“Your acne and blackheads are absolutely noticeable – avoid mirrors.”
“Your depression is back, and no day this week is going to feel like it should.”
“Don’t talk to anyone about this. You sound dramatic, and you’ve already dumped a lot on them this month. You’re coping by bottling it up – keep going.”
These are the thoughts that have fueled me this week. I walked dangerously close to reverting to a person I never want to be again.”
-pause to cringe at the drama-
I’ve come to realize that due to circumstances in the past I tend to bottle up, I crave connection like nothing else. For years I isolated myself to the point of toxicity, and the aftermath of me has left my heart raw, vulnerable, and eager to meet with anyone I can. Even somewhat knowing this, it didn’t dawn on me when I grew anxious as high school pushed some of my friends a little further away. It didn’t hit me as college began and I found myself having breakdowns in a dirty, department store bathroom over the stress of drama fueled by the idea that in a few months I wouldn’t see my friend anymore. My mind didn’t connect the dots, even as I felt the people I always classified as “not being like those friendships” began to grow the same distance as the people I hadn’t spoken to since I graduated.
I come off a little strong, apparently.
But the thing is, I really do. I’m constantly looking for soulmate connection – I look for a new best friend in every person I meet, new family, new matches for my heart. In turn, I pour my whole self into any new friendship, any new person, if they let me get close enough – and it doesn’t take much for me to perceive something as close.
It’s why I’ve seen ended friendships as a betrayals. It’s why I hold people up to expectations they aren’t aware of, and feel hurt when they don’t meet them. It’s the cause of so many things – and yet only one thing is the cause of it.
I am afraid. I’m afraid of people leaving, and I’m so afraid to be alone. I’m afraid of the silence that accompanies it. I’m afraid of being abandoned, and it’s taken me a few years shy of a decade to understand what the fear even is, or where it originates from. But, by a miracle, it’s only taken the past couple of days following the aftermath of realization to know where it DOESN’T originate from.
Fear doesn’t come from God. It doesn’t come from the fact that I first found myself in Him. It doesn’t come from the Truth that I don’t find my worth, my joy, my peace, in my friends, past, present, or future. It means when friends leave, God doesn’t. It means when my heart breaks, God is holding it. It means when I want to be everyone around me, shift my skin like a chameleon just so maybe, maybe they’ll like me, I’ll feel wanted, loved – God is there in the failure of that to show me just how stunning I am as His Child, and no other.
I’ll say it again, because it feels good to. I love typing it – I love writing it. I wanna scream it from the rooftops and scare the heck out of the German Shepard behind the fence next door. I want to scream it so loud, dance so wildly, that the people around me that can’t settle into their God-given peace, their identity, will be slammed into it. I want to see people released from the bondage that fear creates; from the Hell it unleashes in your mind, heart, and body. And the best part isn’t that I want that – it’s that God wants it for you too.
a poem I wrote on a very bad day:
i don’t know how to handle
the silence of my own house
i don’t know how to handle
the ache in my heart
i hate goodbyes without a goodbye
and goodnights with no reply
and it’s not their fault, they’re tired
and I’m off crying, hurting, wailing
at walls that just don’t care
i have God and I know He’s here
i know You’re here, God
and I’m sure there’s some way to fix this
if I stopped crying long enough to listen
but all I’ve ever known is bottling up this mess
that my heart is
and I don’t know how to deal with the explosion when it happens
i never have
i’m not sure if I ever will
i want to bury my head in a book
but I’m scared of the hurt when I close it
i want to go about my normal routine and be strong
but my legs feel so weak and in any case, I can’t stop crying
not long enough to get anything done
i just want him back and it’s so ridiculous, so selfish
he’ll be able to talk in a few days, be back in my arms in 9
and I just can’t wait for these next few days to be over because
this silence is crushing
i’m too attached to people and their absence takes a part of me
i don’t know who I am when I’m not with those I love
i don’t know how to function when I don’t get a goodbye,
and the minutes they’ve been inactive are my only comfort as to what happened
i wrote this far in a span of two or three minutes,
fingers tapping the keys quickly, almost violently
because if I don’t get this out the explosion gets bigger
and I don’t know what I’d do
if it did
but there’s more if I can hold out
there’s a peace found in what God can bring
and the way He creates such delicate balance
a time to dance, laugh, and be joyous
and a time to learn one’s own weaknesses
and face one’s demons
lucky for me, my demons kill quietly
you can’t see the blood as it finds its way to the corner of my eye
or as my skull deteriorates into a battlefield I don’t recognize
but in the pain
and the definite belief that I can’t do this
comes His belief
that I don’t have to