Taking a beat

It used to make perfect sense to me when I heard of people who had taken their own lives.

Duh, life is unbearable, I would think to myself. Why are people surprised?

There are those days that you are utterly convinced that it will always be dark. That no matter what you do to improve your lot, you don’t have what it takes to succeed. Heck, not even to get by.

But at some point I started to wonder what effect this outlook was having on me. And especially on those I loved and was responsible for. Surely with a mind full of such darkness, despair was bound to colour my decisions, choices, and overall attitude. No wonder I was constantly exhausted! If a long life was on the cards for me, it would be a pretty awful one.

I reached out for help. The doctor wrote a prescription and after a while the meds I was given started to work. And I begun to see another way.

Yes, many times I felt that darkness again. Thought it may never lift. That since my circumstances were definitely heading me six feet under, I may as well cut short the pain and get there quicker.

But slowly I noticed a change.

Now, when I feel the worst, I let the pain and hopelessness hit me. Then I take deep breaths. I sit still. A different type of thought starts to appear. The memories of times like this that have come and gone. Words from scripture, poetry and song. That this too shall pass.

And so I let these other thoughts crowd in, let them present options, hope, let them provoke my curiosity. I allow them to let me wonder what else might happen, apart from the catastrophes I expect. Let me find out if I can actually do this. Let me seek God’s strengthening arm, holding me as I hand over my uncertainty and fear to Him.

My prayer is that my mind will get used to waiting just a little longer for hope. That the meds will give me time to create new neural grooves, new openings for these different types of thought to flow through and get comfortable. To let in beams of light that will forever be easier to switch on.


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