Self talk – building protective walls around yourself against those who’ve seen you at your worst ❤
I talk about my battle with depression a whole lot (at least I think so scratching head). Anyway in my experience of talking about this mental illness with others, I have observed that it’s not viewed as a very serious sickness by those who’ve never suffered from it. Simply because you are unaffected physically, it is only your unseen emotional and mental well being that is frail and incapacitated.
I unfortunately found depression waiting for me on the other side of my development as a child, puberty welcoming me with a sickness I didn’t know I had until my early 20’s. Depression took years and years from me. My life disappearing in unlived chunks crippled with social anxiety; missing weeks of schools, failing grades, and also accompanied by a suicide attempt. And then adulthood kinda forced me into many efforts at building the life others wanted for me. Their expectations still couldn’t stop me from staying in bed most days crying, engulfed with immeasurable sadness.
My peers would always be years ahead while I was still finding my feet trying to catch up. With every attempt there’s always been an audience to watch or even applaud my efforts. I feel my constant stumbles were always held against me. Even though it was never said out loud, I always heard the quiet disappointment at my silly fumbles at being normal. I secretly hoped they would eventually get used to my endless cycle of going nowhere slowly because their unmet expectations only fueled my anxiety. I helplessly watched depression isolate me even from a family I was born into and friends that looked up to me. I could always hear the fullness of my life beckoning me towards it. But each time I tried reaching out, it always felt out of grasp. Eventually I became too exhausted to care, even with the choir of many voices trying hard to mend me.
Am I ungrateful for everyone who stood and spoke up for me when I couldn’t?
No, I am not.
The answer is always NO…
Without each and every one of them, I wouldn’t have found my own strength. But now that I’ve been in this space for about 2+ years where my life demands a solo act. Why is my past still haunting me through those who love me the most? Why am I still being taunted with reminders of my failures? Why are my aspirations still audited and misfit opinions given, without me even asking? I am torn between understanding their unforgiving ways but also angry that they all refuse to let go of the past they were once acquainted with.
I’ve seriously run out of energy trying to prove myself. My life demands to be lived out loud without needing my hand to be held. The time to be answering silly prying questions has passed.
Then last night I remembered something my pastor once taught us in a youth service ‘David sinned and God forgave him but the consequences of his sins were still waiting for him on the other side of forgiveness.’ As the memory of that sermon flashed through my mind, I realized I carry the burden of a consequence too -an unforgiving audience of my filthy unforgivable past-. Those I share my life with are still fearful for every baby step I take into a beautiful future but I am determined to do it anyway. So I have re-established to make peace with the fact that I cannot erase their memories of my ugliest and lowest moments, even long after God has healed me, long after depression no longer knows my life as its home address, and long after every successful leap. Through God-given strength I dug myself out of a deep dark hole, when all along I was being aided to survive in one. I deserve a little credit, I think I know what I’m doing fam…
Cover Photo By: Sipho Biyam
What have been your challenges with having a filthy unforgivable past?