I see the fire in the sky, see it all around me. I said the past is dead, the life I had is gone.
Hold me know, til the fear is leaving. I am barely breathing.'
- Hold me Now by Red
It's been 15 years since I decided to completely change my life. I mean.....completely. I have no regrets. Life is better now. Life was not good for a long time. And, now it is.
For the last few months, I've been down, though. Not necessarily depressed, but low. And, no matter how much time I spend with my absolutely wonderful array of friends, my sweet little girls and my totally wonderful husband.......I've still been a touch lonely.
Yesterday, I worked out with a great friend of mine. And in the middle of panting and sweating, we somehow got on the topic of how I've been feeling. I'm not sure how it came up, but it did. And I started to cry. What?? I generally do not cry in front of anyone but my husband and my dog. It just doesn't happen. No one wants to deal with that and I don't want to make them. But....my friend is so wonderful and wise. And in the course of our conversation and even after, I realized what it is I'm missing. Why I feel lost. Why I'm just a little alone.
When I say I changed my life, I mean one day, I decided that if this whole God thing is real, I need to investigate it and live accordingly. I investigated, I believed it and it changed everything about me. Slowly.
I previously lived a doctor medicated and self-medicated life. For years on end, I was the most miserable person I knew. I took matters into my own hands and did things my way to keep fear, pain and loneliness at bay. The more methods I tried, the worse I felt, the deeper I sank, the more lonely I became. And then one day I knew.....things had to change or I simply could not go on living.
The change in my heart came quickly and beautifully. But the change in my mind.....well.....that's different. I struggled with trying to self-medicate again. I struggled with falling back on what I knew so well. They say miserable people are only happy when they are miserable. But, really.....there is safety in what you know. Change hurts. It's frightening. And when you've spent most of your life hiding and desperately seeking for anything to kill the constant ache inside you.....you run to what you know works, even if it only works for an hour or two. Sometimes an hour or two of relief is more relief than you've felt in months and you need it. So, you take it.
So......in time, many things changed. It was slow and painstaking.....but they changed.
I live with a dull ache. It's an ache to be known. A longing to know someone who truly knows what I've been through because they've taken that path, too. Someone who understands what I've struggled with and how it affects every waking day......because they've seen the same nasty stuff. No, not just seen it......but been in the thick of it and lived it and after so much agony.....also made a change.
I have such an amazing group of friends. I love them and they love me.
But.....I don't talk much about my past because unless you've been there.....you'd have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. There's a darkness there that I can't quite explain. A darkness that stays with you a little no matter how far you get away from it. You have to live it and come out of it to understand it. You have to have had not only your big toe in the fire but your whole body in the flames. And sometimes you miss the flames. But not enough to go back. You could never go back in a million years. You just wish someone could talk with you about it.....so you know you're not alone. So you know there's hope for people like you. So you know that just because you didn't 'change' in Sunday school when you were 8 years old and instead chose a life of toxicity for a time.......there's nothing wrong with you.
There's nothing wrong with me. My path was just.....different.. And it was the only path that would have gotten me where I am today. To the light.
And that is where my achy loneliness comes in. I don't know many people who took my path. And so, I don't believe anyone could truly know me. Sigh.....
I know this is a confusing post. But, I think I can explain better this way:
Today an elderly gentleman was having trouble at an ATM and asked if I could help him. So I walked him through everything and took care of checking his balance, making a withdrawal for him and pushing all the right buttons. When it came time for him to put in his pin number, He jumped in and pushed the buttons, himself, with gusto. He looked at me and said, 'I could never forget those numbers. They are my identity numbers from when I fought in the war. 1943. Italy. I'm nearly 89 years old." He seemed a little sad when he said it but then again.....so proud.
And I immediately thought.....that's it! Those who have been to war can talk to one another about it because they've seen a horrible side of life that so few others have. They have a bond. Even if they didn't fight together or in the same war. They understand each other. They've lived through something awful and came out on the other side. They are able to see inside of each other and recognize what is there. It doesn't frighten them like it would other people. It's almost comforting.
I know it sounds silly.....but, I feel like I've lived through a kind of war. And it's hard not being able to share that experience with someone who truly knows what the heck you are talking about.
It's just plain hard. But.....such is life.
'Waking up and letting go to the sound of angels. Am I alive or just a ghost haunted by my sorrows.
Crying out, these tired wings are falling.
Hold me now, til the fear is leaving. I am barely breathing.'
-Hold me now by Red.