Let Me Be Honest

When darkness hits, I am rendered emotionally paralyzed. Motionless. I am consumed by shadows of regret. They dance around my living room and crawl underneath my sheets. I don’t know why I get like this, a walking zombie, a useless corpse.

My unintentional thoughts like to tell me I’m not worth the fight, that I’m not worth standing up for. That it’s not worth trying to get better. So I sneak off into my own world, shrink into the depressive state, and not let anyone in. It’s what I’m best at; hiding, running away. I am just a mixture of negative thinking and blurred lines.

What I am trying to tell you is that, if you ever feel this way, you are not alone. You are the farthest thing from alone. Be honest with yourself, be open to the ways that you are feeling. Don’t let the unintentional thoughts that ravage your mind and terrorize your soul  become the very thing that you are. 
Don’t be ashamed that sometimes you  are weak. Our weaknesses are the very things that make us strong. 

Our Own Worst Enemy

The past was terrible. It was lonely and painful. The past filled you with memories that dance around you like shadows. It has made you feel crazy and chaotic, broken and weak. Maybe your family gave up on you because of it, or maybe you gave up on yourself. Maybe you look into the mirror and you hate the body that you live in. You hate your body, all the way down to every vein that twists and turns inside of you, keeping your heart beating. Perhaps it’s because you see the person you used to be in that glass reflection. Perhaps it’s because the person you became is nowhere near your heightened expectations.

We are all full of different perceptions, different perspectives. The ways in which we see the world, the ways we view the people living and breathing around us, is what makes us who we are. Including the way that we see ourselves. 

Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. We build walls around our souls, burn bridges and break our own hearts. We become the monsters that we constantly tell ourselves we are. But that’s not how it always has to be.

We can be strong and brave despite our mistakes and imperfections. We can be great and mighty regardless of the people we were before. We can kill off the old versions of ourselves, make them exist only in places that make us better.

We can be better. We just have to allow ourselves.

There is a Girl

There is a girl who lives in the forest. Every morning, she wakes up to the cacophony of birdsong outside her bedroom windows and the rays of sunlight that pour in from behind the canopy of trees. She makes a pot of coffee and stares outside to see the beauty that surrounds her. The trees stand spirit-like, observing the girl’s house that looms above and around them. When she opens her kitchen windows to the wooded air, she can almost smell the coppery scent of the river that lies within the heart of the forest. She closes her eyes and breathes in. Her nose fills with the sweet smell that radiates off the beds of pine needles covering the forest floor.

It smells like home, she thinks.

The man she loves comes up behind her and wraps her up in his embrace, kissing her neck and playing gently with her hair. She spins around and flashes him a smile, digging her head into his shoulder. Her children are still asleep.

This girl has lived here for quite some time, her soul craving serenity and her thoughts seeking retreat. Closing my eyes, I can see her. Freckles mark her face in patterns. Pale skin stretches over bones worn from experience yet blossoming with strength. Eyes filled with the reflections of her memories.

This girl exists only inside the crevices of my mind, just beyond my eyelids, in between thoughts that rage and fly across membranes. She is a part of me, in a way, and she lives a life I’ve never known but always wanted to experience. Her heart beats the same rhythm as mine, and her soul is filled with the same hurt as me.  I am like her but, at the same time, I am not. She is better than I am, full of more grace and patience. Full of more strength. Full of all the things I’ve always wanted to be.

I believe that I created her at times when loneliness consumed me and thoughts of a better life would not leave me alone. I think that she began to exist because I could no longer stand myself, because I needed to feel like there was more to me than just bouts of sadness and fits of rage.

In some ways, creating her saved me. In others, it did not. Either way, I am no longer alone.

I Am Human.

My past is like a garden inside of me, blooming & growing & giving birth to beautiful things. My thoughts are constellations, whirling around inside the depths of my mind. These bones make up the fortress that holds the very thing that I am & my skin, etched deep with scars, is pulled tightly over it. My organs beat & hum inside me, full of life & sometimes even purpose.

I am the same thing that we all are. I am human. I am flawed & full of painful memories. I am imperfect & yet beautiful.

I am a walking storybook,
& I keep on turning the pages.

God Saved Me

God saved me.

I know that, to some people, that statement sounds incredibly stupid. There are people out there who think that He doesn’t exist, that He could never exist. Then there are the people who believe in Him but hate Him because of the tragedies that they’ve been through in their life, because of the people they’ve lost or the things that they’ve seen. I used to be both of those people. That probably doesn’t make sense because how could I be both people? Well, I was both people, regardless of the logic.

There are two things I used to believe. One was that God didn’t exist & that He was this imaginary friend that desperate people made up because they were searching for something to believe in. He wasn’t there, there was no God, & there couldn’t ever possibly be. I believed that the Bible was created by flawed men, and that it was all lies to control stupid people with. There was no God, there were just people that hoped there was.

My other belief was that God was there, He existed, but that He must absolutely hate humanity. I used to turn on the news and see all of the people dying from natural disasters, diseases, serial killers, mass shootings, etc. I thought of the people (some of which were children) that were laying in hospital beds all over the world riddled with cancer, begging for the pain to stop, begging for it all to end, questioning why they weren’t good enough to be healthy. I saw hurricanes and tornadoes on television that destroyed peoples’ homes, killed animals and children and everything that this God said He loved.

And then I looked in the mirror at myself, track marks on my arms, bags under my eyes. I thought about my life, about how my daughter was going to be taken away from me, that I didn’t have a bed to sleep in, that I had to steal from everyone and anyone. I was infected by a disease, a disease that has no sympathy; addiction. I was full of mental illness. And I knew that I did this to myself, but I wondered why this God wouldn’t help me. I didn’t know that it was going to get that bad in the beginning. I remember thinking that He was sitting up there in Heaven or whatever, staring down at me from His big comfortable throne, and He was laughing at me.

I hated Him. With everything inside of me, I hated Him. 

When I went through my recovery for the third time, though, I was surrounded by people who loved this God. I questioned their beliefs in the beginning. “How could a loving God kill children? How could a loving God allow diseases and terrorism and every horrible thing that has happened to happen?!” I asked people this question, I screamed & shouted it inside of my head. I didn’t get an answer. I went to church with these people, these people who loved God and had a faith that could move mountains. I went to church week after week after week, confusion & doubt nearly drowning me.

And then I felt Him. 

It was an experience like no other, a feeling that is extremely hard to explain. It was as if I could feel God pulling my spirit out from my body & filling it with something I hadn’t felt in so long; hope. For months after this happened, I started getting deeper into the bible and memorizing scripture and studying the passages. I did it partly because it was part of the program & I had to, but also because I craved more of Him. I desperately wanted to be closer to God. 

Experiences similar to the first one started happening more frequently. I constantly heard His voice, I felt Him on a daily basis. He pushed me to stay strong, He comforted me, He told me how much He loved me, how much I was worth. He told me that I was His daughter & I was unique and beautiful and everything was going to be okay. He was by my side throughout my entire recovery. Things started to happen in my life. The relationships with the people that I love were being reconciled, I wasn’t craving heroin anymore, I was becoming…different. When I graduated from the program, I realized that He had been here for me the entire time, I just wasn’t listening. I was doing my own thing, and my own thing led me nearly to death.

I still have questions, I still wonder why the world is in the state that it is in. But I know that He has a reason and that He loves us. I don’t know why I was saved from addiction while thousands of people out there (some of them people that I love) died from it. I also don’t think that I will ever get the answers to any of it, that I will never know any of the reasons, but I think that I have to have faith regardless.

So, yeah. God saved me. And He can save you, too. You just have to listen.