The First Time *Trigger Warning*

Our stories have no beginning or end but here is my beginning

Today I was reminded of the first time. The first time I wanted to kill myself. It was on a slide- a metal one that was part of a homemade tree fort. I said it out loud to my two friends out of anger. “Fine I’ll just go kill myself.” I really felt it and was not just using it as an expression. This was when I was in 4th or 5th grade.

A few years later I said it again. This time to a friend while I was at a camp. We had been crying about everything there is to cry about, and I let it out.

The other times are a little blurry. Except for the first time I sort of acted on those dark thoughts. It should not have happened. Life was going fairly great. Living in Honduras was like a dream! Teaching others about Jesus filled my life with happiness. How was it possible to be happy and be filled with such utter despair. I wanted to do it but I knew better. I still had some reason left. I only took two extra pills. I knew it would only make me sleep long. Hopefully I would wake up and the thick darkness would be lifted. I woke up on the bathroom floor. Of course I covered up what was really going on when my friends found me lying there.

Covering it up can be the easy part. Making up a reason to it all. Putting on more than a happy face. Having a happy life. Its not that hard to do when life really is going well. Everyone has their struggles but I don’t feel like I’ve had anything happen to me that would cause such debilitating sadness. It’s easy for people to believe that all is well when the part of the iceberg they see looks so ordinary. Plus its not like the black is always present.

Sometimes I trick myself into believing that its gone. The darkness is at bay and never will return. I know its a lie. As soon as I allow myself to truly feel the warmth of joy the reality of what is soon to come enters into my mind. The darkness will return, it always does. Never knowing when it will come or what it will bring, I try to hold onto the joy as long it will allow.

Within the last few years some of the truth started to come out. There is only person that I can’t completely mask the dark abyss that I’m trying to walk through. My husband. The first time some of the dark leaked out was in the car. We were driving that night-a dark car driving through towns is the best time to be vulnerable anyone. The person driving can’t see your face enough to see all the truth in your eyes. He was devastated to hear it. Knowing that I caused him any pain stung. Those were the first tears I had seen him shed. Along with the sting of seeing his pain was relief. I didn’t have to hide as much. Of course I would still hide but having a little more truth out felt soothing. It was a beginning. A beginning to letting the darkness out. Today, now, writing this. It’s another beginning. People don’t know my darkness. I don’t want them to know, yet I do. Letting the darkness escape is….Well, I don’t know yet. Maybe it will help me. Maybe it will help someone else. I do believe that the challenges we are given have a divine purpose. I left wondering many times whats the purpose to mine?

Maybe you are reading this as a family member, a friend, a stranger. Maybe you have struggled with this darkness. Or perhaps someone you know has confided in you. There is most likely someone in your life that is afflicted with this ugly darkness known as depression. As I open up my closet of secrets and let you peer into the deepest parts of me, I hope you are able to gain some understanding for yourself or for someone else. Its terrifying to relinquish control of this part of my life to anyone who happens to read this. But- I feel like I need to and for some reason that it will be worth it.

The Me Under the Water

We are all icebergs floating along in the sea of life. Only part of us is visible. My visible iceberg: wife, mother of 2, daughter, sister, aunt, granddaughter, niece, runner, teacher, friend. But what about the me that is under the water? Hidden far below the surface is an entirely different world. A world that can be filled with darkness that I dare not let escape. Now is the time. The time to let it escape. Time to drain the sea and allow my iceberg to come into full view. This is me.