Saving Yourself

I apologize for the long span between posts.  Between moving, work, and school I have found little desire to do much else. Which is really what led me to this current post. I’ve been in a dark place the last few months, and it’s not something I expect most people to notice.  I try , and I feel like I succeed, in covering it up.  Thoughts and feelings can sometimes make you feel inferior or strange compared to your peers, and I don’t want anyone to pity me.   But these last few days I’ve been thinking, maybe what we really need is more people to be honest about their feelings.  I know there HAS to be other people who understand how I feel, and maybe explaining my experiences can help someone else. So here it goes:

I’ve been depressed for months.  No, I haven’t gone to see anyone, but I know what depression is.  I think most of us do.   I’m exhausted, lonely, and have no motivation to do the things I love.  I’m stressed out, and my anxiety is at an all time high.  I have panic attacks almost every day, and let me explain something that I think a lot of people don’t understand.  A panic attack isn’t a silly little feeling of anxiety.  It’s full blown fight or flight response for no reason.  It’s feeling like you can’t breathe, you can’t swallow, you can barely THINK.  Your thoughts feel alien to you. Life no longer makes sense. You’re stuck in a never ending spiral of fear and you start think maybe this is what death feels like.  But how do you explain that feeling to someone else without sounding out of your mind?  The answer is: you don’t.  So many people keep that to themselves.  They wait the 30 to 45 minutes to calm down, and then continue on as if nothing happened.

For me, my panic attacks and fear usually stem from my own mortality.  The thought of death will terrify and consume me.  My rational thoughts will try to prove the existence of a higher power, while simultaneously telling me there can’t be. I struggle to find peace in my own mind.  The positive side to this is that it has caused me to look for God.  I haven’t been to mass in years, aside from funerals, and I genuinely detest my Roman Catholic faith.  Mass is never enlightening or hopeful, and almost everything they stand for is corrupt nonsense.  I’ve been on the hunt for somewhere else to go to seek God. Someone who isn’t going to give me some lame explanations, and try to pass them off as facts.  I’ve turned to some unlikely places.  I’ve read numerous books of people recounting near death experiences, or their experiences with God. I’ve read books on the paranormal, and watched movies like God’s Not Dead.  And for a moment, I feel safe in my beliefs.  I feel like there MUST be something more to life than just death, but the feeling never lasts.  My doubts always creep back in and consume me.  But how do you save yourself?  How do you pull yourself out of the hole you’ve dug?  Maybe, the answer is you don’t.  Maybe you don’t save yourself.  Maybe our society puts all of our values on independence, but we’re wrong.  Maybe, we are MEANT to save each other; to lift each other up; to show each other what happens when you have FAITH.

That’s the problem for me sometimes. That word, faith.  Faith requires you to stop thinking about what you know, about what you see, and only follow what you feel; what you believe. It’s hard in a world where you have been conditioned to believe that everything is either true or it’s false.  That there are either scientific facts or opinions, but faith lies somewhere in the middle. How do you get there?  I’m not really sure honestly.  I think it’s one of those things you take a day at a time.  Some days will be better than others, but that’s okay.  Maybe it’s okay to doubt your faith sometimes because it requires you to dig deeper. I don’t really know, but what I do know is that there are people out there who think and feel the things that I do, and I want you to know you’re not alone.

I want to leave everyone with this; it’s my favorite part of the movie God’s Not Dead:

“You’ve prayed and believed your entire life, never done anything wrong, and you’re the nicest person I know. You have dementia. I am the meanest, and my life is perfect. Explain that.”

“Sometimes the devil let’s people live a life for their trouble. Cause he doesn’t want them turning to God. Your sin is like a jail cell except it’s so nice and comfy you don’t see any reason to leave.”

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