I’ve been hesitant to write these past weeks, using every excuse not to face this page. That I was out of the country and then came home to a crashed computer sounded like solid reasons for silence. But I am deeply uncomfortable with even small deceits.
My reason for silence is that the subject is uncomfortable for me. I’m used to posting uplifting material. But I’ve had to face an uncomfortable truth. The me, who could always find the light no matter how difficult the problem no matter how bad the pain, had left.
It happened while on vacation. The details don’t really matter unless you count them. There were too many .. too many blows, too many let downs, too many depressingly sunny mornings, long hopeless afternoons, and pain filled lonely nights. And hardest of all there were too many happy people around me.
I was sick and scared and in constant pain. It wasn’t that I didn’t try to help myself. I reached for help from every person I thought I could count on. I meditated. I prayed. I looked for the good and I saw a lot of it. But the pain was persistent and fierce and left me not a moment to breathe. And I broke.
Why could not one person help me? Why were none of my back up techniques working? I doubled over with great choking sobs. I begged The Creator to tell me what I was supposed to be learning from so many years of suffering with each crisis coming ever closer to the last. What was I doing wrong? I pleaded, “I’m not getting it, whatever you are trying to teach me, I’m missing it. Tell me, tell me, please, in a way that humans can understand because I Can Not See The Signs!”
It felt like the tears would never stop but, of course, they did. And, no, I did not receive any answers. The fear and pain remained. The last few days of our vacation were hard as I worked to keep up a good front so that at least my husband could enjoy the time we had left. It’s not that he was unaware that I was ill. In fact he tried to help every way he knew. (I am so blessed.)
I am better now … in less pain. In fact, I’ve started a very new form of therapy that I feel is going to make a huge difference in my quality of life. Yet I am still haunted by that dark place. I feel as though I have not escaped …. that at least part of me is still there.
It’s not that I’ve haven’t experienced seriously frightening and painful periods. But never before had there been no one I could call in the next hour or even the next day who could help me. Never before had I felt completely abandoned by God/The Creator/The Universe. In the past, even during the worst of times, I always “knew” that He/She had my back.
I have not lost my faith but I remain shaken. I had assumed that I was on the right path, being the best me I could be, helping others as I went along. Now, I don’t know. Are there signs right in front of me that I refuse to see? How many have I missed over the years? Is there some great lesson I have yet to learn?
Just writing this makes me feel as if energetic tentacles are pulling me back to the edge of that black hole. What scares me the most is that I may find myself there again … terrified, in pain, and alone.
So what is the lesson? Maybe the experience was to help me empathize with others. But haven’t I been through enough these past 20 years to have nearly infinite empathy?
Maybe there is no lesson. Maybe there is just the experience. I wish I could leave you with something positive and profound. All that is coming to me is that it’s okay. It is okay to have been in that dark place. There is nothing wrong with me or anyone else for having gone there.
(This is not about clinical depression. If you feel deep sadness for more than a couple of weeks, do seek professional help from a counselor or therapist. )
I know that many of you have likely experienced the dark place. How has it affected your life? Is there something you have learned? Are you at peace with yourself now? I eagerly await your comments.
Chris: As I said on FB, thank you for courage and eloquence in sharing this.
The pain you’ve had to deal with is something beyond my experience, perhaps even my understanding. The Dark Places I have to deal with are more zones of discomfort: persistent, sometimes; debilitating, sometimes; terrifying, sometimes. But I have no doubt they’re not as Dark as what you’ve had to go through, not so capable so frequently of totally dismantling one’s reserves to cope with them, of sending one away from one’s prayer center so disappointed so often. Anxiety is not the same sort of pain or darkness, not at all. To put it in the phraseology of a David Wilcox song, quite often, I’m just Down Inside Myself.
In the end, I think the similarity I’m seeing is that I too am not satisfied, not even nearly so, with the results of my searching for deliverance from my own demons, deliverance out of my own Dark Places. And in the end, I blame myself for a lot of that lack of satisfaction: If I were only more disciplined; if I had only chosen this instead of that path; if only I could get over myself! Useless thoughts, one and all.
I am sad that your Cancun trip did not deliver you from more of this suffering than it did; I am glad you are feeling somewhat better now; I do know that sometimes when it has gotten really bad (again, my “really bad” has been so different), it’s hard not to carry it with you afterward… impossible, even. And I know you have indicated that writing this was difficult. I want to thank you again for doing so.
You’ve spoken of your demons before and have just done so again eloquently. They are something I would never want to battle. I wish you could be easier on yourself. I think that you have no idea how many lives you’ve touched, eased, uplifted. Mine is one. Keep being the perfect you that you are.
As above, it takes great courage to share this. Thank you.
Your brave to share all of this and we all have our dark moments of complete helplessness and wondering to the purpose of everything its beyond hard at times it strips us to the baee bones. Travel is hard too it taxes our bodies, takes us away from our comfort zone and routine for rest etc so your brave taking it on x