Sometimes you just feel destroyed. Sometimes you can’t think straight because you’ve got a million different fucking theologies flying around in your head and you just can’t process it. Sometimes it sounds nice to have a nice professional blog but the only time I can seem to write is when my life is falling apart. A nice professional blog I will most likely never have. I’m going to art school and I don’t even feel okay about it because I’m riddled with ridiculous guilt from an angry, tyrannical god. I want to fly, to make art, to put it in a perfect portfolio and have everything listed out on a webpage but most likely, it won’t be. Most likely I will drop out after three semesters at best and have all my artwork saved in random folders on my computer and shuffled into random spots around my house. I can’t fucking do anything right. I’m sick of all the cliches and tips stuffed into my fucking head. I knew how to live a normal life before Christianity and now I feel as though 45 full sized millstones were hung about my neck and I’m drowning. Just drowning because I don’t pray right, I don’t have discipline, my house is a disaster. And that one girl from bible school is posting about how we’re too obsessed with “messy culture.” Well excuse us for trying to push back against the legalism. God forgive us if we admit this life is hard, God forgive me if I admit I don’t want to be a stay at home mom, don’t feel like birthing children will make me feel complete, forgive me if I struggle hard with my bisexuality and what that means and who I am and my calling to be a Pastor but that’s WRONG so NEVERMIND! I feel like I have no feet planted on the ground and I’m just fucking floating away, seeing pictures of old friends getting Christianmarried and wishing them good luck because I’m sitting at my kitchen table bawling for the first time in weeks because I’ve been too shut down to shed a freaking tear, because marriage is so fucking hard and I literally cannot keep my head up I literally cannot keep my head up I literally will drown if someone does not help me I am literally going to die. Because I want to jump on the train of my favorite slam poet Emily Joy from Moody Bible Institute who actually does things FOR THE KINGDOM that I believe ACTUALLY MATTER and I wish to disassociate myself from John Piper and Franklin Graham and other conservative Christian things as much as possible, but those I love and respect more than anyone else believe the same way they do, including my mother. I need to write more because there’s really no one in my life that can feel my pain, who will sit with me in it, who is open to thinking that maybe the Bible isn’t saying what we think it is? It’s easy for the cute housewife to affirm things that make me want to vomit out my own soul. I’ve contemplated suicide, but I don’t have the nerve. As we speak I can feel God’s presence in the air and I appreciate it. I like it. That’s all I know is that I feel God’s presence all around me in this FUCKING mess and I like it. I don’t even know anything else, fuck it.
How the hell does anyone function with this? I was laying outside yesterday with my husband in lovely sunny downtown Jackson on a big baptist church’s steps. Sounds romantic, but it wasn’t. I had to stop walking after I couldn’t get myself to go any father because a feeling beyond feeling was making it hard to do anything, including move or hold a conversation.
“What do you want to do?” he asks.
“Nothing,” my answer.
Which people say all the time but I meant, Nate, I literally don’t want to sleep or eat, or watch TV, or drink beer or walk around or have sex in a hot air balloon or fly to the moon. I don’t want to draw, play, write or read. I could possibly eat pizza, but that’s it, and I’d probably be worse afterwards anyway.
The moments that most devastatingly clarify my depression are ones like these.
Let me explain – when I was in my Senior year of high school I started feeling this feeling that I had never felt before – the familiar frienemy I now label “depression.” And of course, anyone who has struggled with depression knows that this thing – this monster – goes far beyond feeling. It’s heinous in it’s inability to be explained. It sneaks around at first and bugs your mind with little emotional traps – not enough for you to get a clue, but enough to break you down slowly. And by the time you’re broken down, you’re on Prozac and it’s all over.
Pictures and comparisons are almost always necessary to explain my depression, and even then most people don’t “get” it. So when I began to be sucked into the enduring silent vortex that is the deadlock of a word with no synonyms; the black gruesome monster who was simultaneously consuming more and more of my friends and family as he silently did me; affecting my mind, body and soul, I questioned everything. I questioned what this was because it wasn’t sadness – Sadness is sadness. Depression is collapsing headfirst into a rabbit hole you never saw coming, looking around and realizing that you have landed in a different dimension that is the same as your own, except it has lost it’s flavor. It’s color. It is more distant than before, more gray, and less exciting. People act the same but are more exhausting and more terrifying. You grasp the fact that there is something off and wrong, but you’re never able to fully grab hold of the entirety of it. That’s depression.
That’s what I felt for the very first time sitting in Finance class, and realizing that I felt worse than I had in my entire life, but not knowing how to fix myself. Not knowing anything anymore. That was my depression.
Naturally, I got a therapist, and the therapist put me on Prozac. Great choice, therapist. After months of cutting, smoking myself silly, and absolutely draining the life out of everyone around me, the Prozac kicked in, yay! Does Prozac actually work for anyone? UGH.
So Prozac made me want to kill myself. I made this discovery when I went to go for a run. Running was the one thing I had that would without fail calm my mind and get some of my tired endorphins to move. That is, if I could get myself to actually go. I started, taking the usual path that I always took, and dead stopped after less than 400 meters.
Shit. I don’t want to run, I realized. I don’t want to run, and I should want to run. Running makes me happy, and it’s not.
And then for the first time ever I wanted to die. Because why live at that point, really.
So when I was laying next to Nate yesterday, feeling the sun on my face – the sun that I had begged God for for months, that I said I would be so much happier when I could feel – the sun that promised Summer and adventure and road-trips, the sun that warmed me all over, my favorite feeling in the world, I tried to choose to feel happy. I tried to convince myself that this was a great moment and I should just choose to feel happy about it.
But I couldn’t. Because I’m depressed. It’s like eating a donut, expecting to taste a donut, and instead tasting sand. But everyone around you tries it and is confused because it tastes like a donut, why don’t you just taste the donut, Sam? No matter how fabulous that moment was, it wasn’t going to break through the jail cell that is this icy cold prison where I, and so many others, live all the time.
I hated my life yesterday. I questioned God extensively yesterday. And I remembered that familiar feeling of not being able to run yesterday. I wished I didn’t have to exist anymore yesterday. And I had no resolution yesterday. It only got worse and bled into today.
I love how the Psalms are so honest, and always end with a bit of hope about God. Even if the whole thing is a cry of total despair, the writer always chooses to end with hope.
As much as I like that, I don’t have a whole lot of hope or faith right now. So maybe, hopefully, this isn’t the end of the story. But right now I’m in a prison and God has the key. And for some reason He won’t hand it over, which really pisses me off.