“How are you?”
Lately, when I’m asked this question, I want to roll my eyes and mutter, how much time do you have? I think if I really answered the question honestly, they’d never ask again. But I slap on a smile and say, “Just fine, how are you?” Because that’s how you answer that question. It’s how I’ve always answered it and no doubt how I will continue to answer it.
Getting real in person has never been my forte. Funny that, because I have no problem spilling blood on the page. It’s easier somehow, to rant or wail or simply voice something so heavy you don’t dare say it loud incase someone actually hears you…I can shoot off on Facebook or Twitter in my usual passive aggressive style and people think it’s kind of funny. Sometimes they don’t. But by then it’s too late. My faulty filter strikes again.
I’m looking forward to seeing the back end of a year that’s possibly been one of the most difficult times I’ve had to walk through. Emotionally, spiritually, for a myriad of reasons. Oh, no, you wouldn’t know it. Well, some will. I have my confidants and thank God for them too because they talk me off the ledges and call me out on the crazy. But then there’ve been times when there is simply nothing to say. And I’m right back down in that pit again.
It doesn’t really matter who or what shoved me down there. What matters is I went. I gave in and quit fighting and said to hell with it, I can’t do this anymore. And the fall didn’t hurt one bit. I didn’t curl up my nose at the dank, musty smell or squint through the darkness. I swallowed acrid air and settled in on hard cold ground and thought, I deserve this. This is where I should be.
The problem with pits is once you’re in them, you forget how to get out. And so you get comfortable. And pretty soon nothing makes sense and all you can hear is your own voice whispering loser, loser, loser.
Know what I mean? Ever felt like a complete waste of space? Thought everyone would be much better off without you because all you do is cause grief and pain and conflict? Yeah. That’s pretty much what being in the pit feels like. It doesn’t matter if it’s dark, because you can’t see through the tears anyway.
But pretty soon, you just get tired. You miss life the way it used to be. You miss the good. The laughter. The peace. You want to break the chains. You want out but you don’t know how to get there. Sometimes you don’t even know how to take that first step.
For me, it happens like a push. I make that final mistake, the decision that just wrecks it all, and suddenly the lights come on. And then comes the guilt, the shame, the mortification and the God, no, not again, can’t you just fix me already…
Sure. I guess He can. But I have to want Him to. I have to decide to let Him. And then I have to work with Him and not against Him.
I have to get out of the pit.
Because the view from the mountaintop is pretty sweet. I’ve seen it. I remember it. Today, the vision is hazy, but I know it’s there. And I know I’ll get there again. SoI’m going to fight my battles, stand up to my demons and tell them to go back where they came from. I don’t feel strong enough. Not right now. In this moment.
But I will be.
Because I’m not doing this again. Somehow, I have to find the courage to believe that I am worth more than this.
And that’s hard. You know?
But maybe my sharing, bleeding a little on the page, is that first step. Maybe you’re there too, scrabbling in damp dirt and darkness, wondering how to get out.
Maybe you need a hand to pull you up. I know I do. I just have to ask.
Maybe we need to find that courage. To hold on to that faith. To feel a little grace and know that somehow, we’re gonna make it.
Maybe we can make that climb together. Because I think it’s time.