I was relieved to be off work today. It was cold. It was dreary. And, lets face it… I just wanted to go home. Revel in a good book, some pajamas and sleepy tea. What an exciting adventure that would be. Or, at least that was my sentiments. I had put on this smile today, and had a name tag that read HELLO MY NAME IS JOY but generically I was feeling chronically down. I just wanted to go home and be kindled with the hubby. Why, why was it that I couldn’t bring that attitude home with me. Why was I barely functioning? How could I make this “moanday monday” just stop. Why was the most simple and mundane moment eliciting such a monumental response of self affliction?
That was me, a year or so ago. I couldn’t make heads or tails of happiness. Don’t think I actually wanted to. I found I was in this deep dark pit of despair and tears. I actually didn’t think it was possible to find my way out. I wasn’t setting a good example for my husband. My children. My friends. In fact, she had begged numerous times for me just to come out and play. Our key word for meet me at the park. But, I couldn’t. I couldn’t begin to fathom pulling my head from under the covers, much less putting in clothes, and going to the park where the sun was shining and kids were laughing. That would have been symmetrical to the way that I truly felt. I was broken deep inside. I knew it, they knew it, and so did He.
I had shrugged off this pain for years now. Pretty much since 2006 or 2007. I think I had seemingly lost track of the year. I tried to put on a brave new face as I explored the world but somewhere deep down I had ran like a little kid. Running from the monster Under my bed or the red eyes in the closet. I didn’t want to answer questions. I just wanted to questions answered. I became the epitome of the mannequin challenge. I was living. I was breathing. But sadly, I wasn’t alive. I don’t know if I ever would have been. I got wrapped up in this deep numbness that I wanted to chase. I wanted to hide from all fears and wane any chance of freedom from the chains that was choking me. Because, honestly I thought that was the only answer or response that would work for me. I don’t want to change. I didn’t want to come out of hiding. I just wanted to remain numb. No more heart ache, no more pain, no more tears, no more self loathing. Just numb.
It is now looking back into those lost years of my life. The ones chasing neverland that I realized I was becoming everything that I said I wouldn’t. I was telling lies in place of the truth. I was generating the scenario as I saw fit. I was creating a realist approach to an abstract situation. I was trying to walk across a stage with a diploma when in fact it was merely elementary and I couldn’t even recite the ABC’s anymore. You know. ACCEPT DIFFERENCE. BE KIND. COUNT YOUR BLESSING. DREAM. I had truly shook the foundational elements of my life. And, truthfully warm cookies and cold milk couldn’t fix this one. But, I knew who could.
Yea, I knew who could, but did I believe. Did I have that kind of hope and faith in me. Did I believe that somewhere deep inside me still rested that child who believed in all things good and that even in the saddest of moments, there could be a ray of hope. Sure. You bet your bottom dollar I did. I fought everyday to get back to her. I refused to give up. When living the life of an addict, it is something of a darken day that when you stand in front of a mirror the reality of it all gets closer while the dream of it all evaporates into the year after. The year after you first used. The year after you lost everything. The year you decided to quit fighting, but you couldn’t defeat yourself. I would go toe to toe with anyone I met back then. However, when you placed me in front of a mirror and said FIGHT!! I would cower and run the other way. I was a disappointment to even myself. Not to mention the slew of others around me. And, they didn’t make no beef about telling me my faults. Which, irrevocably Drove me deeper and deeper into the hands of a demon I wasn’t prepared to face.
I fought this battle for the last ten or so years of my life. I would always make excuses as why I could never find time to be clean. I would make excuses as to why I wasn’t an addict and give you the mile long resource of what an addict was. I lost some great years in those down times. Things I can never get back. Moments that I wish I could go back in time and rehash, but I can’t. I lost myself too, with my Mammaw and Pappah who sadly passed away without seeing my sobriety. I wasted the first five years of my marriage trying to stay sober let alone to get clean. I have brought myself to some deep dark corners of a past that I must reconcile. Hurts that I had forgotten because for so long I had placed them under an umbrella of mental morphine. I didn’t want to face these problems much like I don’t want to face them now. The difference being now that because of running from them I made them domicile; and they grew and pondered, they rooted and they hurt. And now, sadly I have a lot of work cut out for me ahead.
It was November 7th, 2015 that I thought I was crazy. I thought I had really done it this time. I thought that I had numbed myself for the final time. In, that moment of silence, the whole world faded from my eyes, and I had to relive ever single painful thing that I had so long ran from. It was then I looked over my bed side covered in puke and a burnt out cigarette that I saw my husband, my best friend of twenty years had fell asleep with tears in his eyes. He had never gave up on me, even being I had gave him every single complacent reason to do just that. But, in his sleep a tear rolled down his cheek and he had fell asleep next to a picture of us. One of the few where I was sober, and then I heard get up Crystall. Get up and get out. Give it up and live to see a better day. Fight for what you know is truth and just stop running. I will be here to catch you when you fall but you will not fail. I love you, you are my child, but you have to get up. And, that was the day that I started fighting myself and the self-inflicted demons I had created.
It was always about my will I have learned over the course of this last year. Will I do it? Will I fight? Will I fail? Will I believe? Will I move on? Will I let go and let God? Where once I questioned answers I would now answer questions. I would fight to survive this man made hell that is so easy to fall into. But, somewhere along the way God saw me and saw in me what I never could allow to see in myself. He sent me angels along the way, I just wasn’t responsive to what they had to tell me. It came down to the fact that he had to visit me for Himself to get me to understand.
And, I did. I made it to my one year check point. And, now I am working on two. Then will come three, five, ten, twenty, a lifetime. Everyday comes equipped with its own fair share of battles. Ones that I never have faced. And, then some old recurring ones. But, the fact is that it is God where I gain my strength and if He be with me who or what can come against me. Because with God all things are possible. Even turning a life of addiction around and becoming a God fearing, virtue loving, tongue talking, pew walking, Jesus believing Apostolic woman of God. I’m in it for kingdom business, I am in it for Gods business. And, I love to tell about it through the glory of God. My pastor gave a sermon last weekend and in it he said something that has resonating inside of me since: you don’t carry the ark, the ark carries you!!
And, honestly I don’t think that I could send it out or say it better than that. There have been times when I have wondered how or when, why or who, but honestly I believe I always knew. I knew who was walking with me. I understood the one that was talking to me. I just had to stop running for once in my life and just take rest in the one who cared enough about me to cuddle me in my darkness. But more than that, He was willing to come to the form of a man to feel ever pain and ever stripe of passion that was dealt out for you and me. And, that to me in the most unconditional form of love that one could ever desire. And, in that is the one reason that I gave up running. I gave up the ultimate game of hide and seek. So, I insist if your tired then stop. If you are hungry then eat and always, always take life with a good ole glass of sweet tea and a slice of faith.
Courtesy of daily prompt Elicit