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Dear Diary... it hurts

It's our 3rd date which means... it is time to get more intimate. Right? Isn't that the rule when dating? I really don't know. In fact, the first man I ever dated, I married, so I am not that well versed in dating rules.

My diary knows all about my dating life, or lack thereof. If you are anything like me, you have a collection of journals and diaries, most of them still empty, that you use to get your feelings out. I have always been told that journaling is a good way to release the thoughts and feelings you can't handle, just get them on paper and they can't haunt you anymore. I never had much success with that. Yeah, my feelings and thoughts are written out, but they still haunt me. They still cripple me. They still play over and over in my head like a broken record. Eventually, I just stop writing them down. It doesn't work, so what is the point? I have a shelf full of journals that I started to write in and then abandoned.

As you can probably guess, all these dark, haunting emotions with no relief has led to a very deep case of depression. I've had depression for more than half my life. Sometimes it is there and manageable, other times it is an all consuming fire, torching everything in my life. Still, there is never a time it isn't there with me. Occasionally, there are the horrible thoughts that the world would be better without me in it. When you feel like a burden your whole life and view every contribution you try to make as a failure, it becomes easy to think that everyone's life would be better if you weren't around anymore.

Have you ever believed something you thought was true and then later found out you were mistaken? I did. You see, I used to believe that if you killed yourself, you wouldn't go to heaven. I always thought suicide was the ultimate sin, a slap in the face to God for throwing away the life he gave you. I thought it was the unforgivable sin. This mistaken thought saved my life more than once. Every time I thought about killing myself, I remembered that I wanted to go to heaven, and if I killed myself that wouldn't happen. I eventually got into my bible more and realized that there was only one unforgivable sin, and suicide wasn't it. It clicked that if you accepted Jesus as your savior, nothing could take you from God. My thought process had been wrong for so many years, but I am grateful that I was allowed to believe it for so long. I probably wouldn't be here right now if I had known the truth.

My depression level rises and falls, but never goes away, and to be honest, it hurts. It hurts so much that I can't look in the mirror and see someone worthy of love. It hurts that I feel like I am failing God by not being filled with joy. It hurts that I am too afraid to get close to someone because I know I will eventually let them down. It is a pain so deep that my medications will never be able to numb it. Finally, it hurts that I have become so good at hiding it from others, that it no longer feels like I am lying to them.

If you were to come up to me and ask me how I am doing, I would say, "I'm fine, how are you?". I wouldn't even have to think twice about it, that is automatically what comes out when asked that question. Sometimes, I don't even realize I said it until a few seconds afterward. It is my autopilot answer. But the truth is, I am not alright. I haven't been for years. The tears are always so close to the surface that if anyone were to challenge my answer, if someone were to look at me and say "Really?, I would have a total meltdown. I am not fine, at all. Now, if you are someone I see in person, please don't use this against me. Please don't come up to me in a crowded room and challenge my autopilot answer. Just know, that when I say I am okay, I am really saying that I am an emotional, barely functioning mess, constantly on the verge of a breakdown.

We all have one moment or another where we feel like God has given us more than our fair share of misery. Sometimes I thin I am being punished for not being a better Christian. I know that isn't how God works, but it doesn't stop the thought from entering my head every so often. My mom died in 2018, a few months before I got married. It is hard enough entering a marriage, it is even harder when your mom isn't there to help guide you. When I found out she had died, I cried for about 30 minutes. That is it. That was my grieving. Then something far more disturbing happened. I felt jealous. I was so jealous of my mom. She was in heaven with Jesus and I was still stuck down here dealing with my mess of a life. She had peace and understanding, I had heartache and confusion. Since then, I have found it hard to be sad when someone passes. I am mostly consumed with jealousy, asking God why that person was given relief, and I was still being punished. I don't know if you are familiar with depression, but that is really deep. And alarming. My doctor immediately prescribed medication after I told him that. But I don't know how to feel any different.

Philippians 4:7 says "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I thought this meant that after I accepted Jesus as my savior that I would have this peace every moment for the rest of my life. But, I have never felt the peace that this verse talks about. For the longest time I thought I was a bad Christion. I experience anxiety and depression on a daily basis, even though God tells us not to worry and to be filled with peace. Many times I wondered if I was even saved, or if I had been fooling myself. If I was saved, if my name was in the book of life, then why was I constantly depressed and anxious? I didn't understand it. I still don't understand it. I haven't cracked the code that leads to a peace that surpasses everything. It is frustrating.

Right now, I am going through another suicidal phase. I am struggling to be a good wife. I am struggling to get a job. I am struggling to get bills paid. I am struggling to start a family and become a mom. My whole life, I have wanted to be a mom. I was adopted and I have always felt this desire to look at someone and see myself in them, so see that we are part of each other. I have tried for almost 3 years off and on to have a baby. Nothing has worked. I have always thought my purpose in life was to be a mom. If I can't have a child, what is my purpose? If I don't have a purpose, then why is God keeping me down here? Why doesn't he want me back home with him?

I don't know the answers to these questions. I don't know why. I don't know why I am full of pain, why God hasn't called me to him, why I have to navigate marriage without my mom, I don't know anything. Except, God is in control. Years ago, it was a misconception about sin that kept me from killing myself. Now, it is that knowledge that God is in control and his plans are never bad, but always for good. So don't worry, I won't be taking that final action. The feelings are there, but not the desire. I will be here to make more posts. I don't see myself going home anytime soon. I don't know why God wants me down here, but it is clear he isn't finished with me yet. If you feel alone, depressed, suicidal, just know that you aren't alone. There are so many people, like me, who appear fine on the outside but are constantly battling on the inside. Just know that God loves you and Jesus died for you. If that isn't intimate, I don't know what is.

*If you or a loved one is seriously considering suicide please call the suicide hotline. The number is 1-800-273-8255.

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