Have You Seen Her?

WANTED: Attractive, ambitious, stylish, generous, passionate woman filled with grace and class and confidence and humility. She’s patient and poised, witty and bewildering. Full of life, she lives in the moment and loves into eternity. Her lips are glossed with the praises of her Lord and her eyes smile with loving-kindness. She’s brilliant. Bold. Comfortably imperfect. Fabulous. She was my best friend and she’s missing. Have you seen her?

We lost touch a while ago. Seems life pulled us into opposing directions. I tried to keep up, but as life beat me down, my pace waned in defeat. Some days I see her face so clearly; most days she’s a distant memory, blurred from my consciousness. I’ve tried reaching out to her, tried catching up with her, but she’s too far gone. I’m too far gone. Lost. I fear she couldn’t take me anymore so she slipped away. She ran away. She’s so far gone. Have you seen her?

I used to see her at church. We would sing, and dance, and lift our hands in worship. It was good to me. Life and love, and God, and church… it was all so good to me. But one storm after another… one pain too plenty… one heartbreak too many… and I gave up. I shied away from church ’cause the spiritual attacks only grew worse the closer I got to God. And I got sick of hearing the preacher talk about “praising my way out” and “just believe and receive your deliverance.” Is my faith somehow defective? I have fasted, and prayed, and repented, and where is my deliverance? Am I doing something wrong? I stopped going to church ’cause the Saints made me feel crazy. Besides, I didn’t want anyone to see me like this… just a mess of the former me… the better me… the healthier me. The weight of the world was on my shoulders and I couldn’t let them see me like this. Felt like I was being punished. I miss the old me. Have you seen her?

Oh, but why bother to search? I’m sure if you cared you would have shown me. You would have called or wrote or prayed without trying to be all up in my business. You would have listened to my heart without judgement. You would have reached out to help me when you saw me slipping into the quicksand of my mental abyss, drowning in the blood of my own tears. You would have found a piece of her inside of me. You would have taken the time to show me there is hope. Wouldn’t you? You would have fought for me. Am I not worth fighting for? She would have fought for me but she’s long gone. Have you seen her?

Surely by now you would have seen me knocked down. This didn’t happen over night. It was the steady, gradual blows that did me in. I’m too tired to fight on my own. Worn out. Overwhelmed. Fatigued. My passion lies in the comfort of my bed. I’m safe here. I don’t want to get up. Don’t want to get out. It’s too cold outside. There’s no risk in laying still. I can evade disappointment. I am the soul of sorrow. I feel so worthless. Ugly even. But every now and then I think of her smile. I’d give anything to see her smile again. I wonder if she’ll ever come back to me. Have you seen her?

I can’t do this anymore. I can’t pretend that I don’t believe I’m not worthy of peace. I can’t laugh to keep from crying. Hurts too much. My face is scarred with tears and you’re own selfishness blinds your reality of me. Am I invisible to you? I wanted to talk. I wanted to open up but I lost my voice in the volume of your needs. I have given all that I have to help everyone else and it’s left me nothing but loneliness. Just can’t do this any more. I was the encourager. Who’s gonna encourage me? This pain is unbearable. You’re dismissive words are like daggers to my soul… “You’re strong. Don’t worry. You’ll be alright.” “Just pray about it.” I’m all prayed out. Can’t pray for anything other than the end of me. I’m just so empty. Disconnected. And no, I’m not strong. If being strong means I lie about my pain just to ease your mind, then I don’t ever want to be strong again. It’s not worth my sanity. I miss my saner self. WANTED: My saner self. She was beautiful. Tell me, have you seen her?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wrote this in observance of October 10th… World Mental Health Day. Depression is not rational and it doesn’t lead to rational decisions. One in 10 adults suffers from depression. How many of them do you know? Have you overlooked their cries for help? You can’t heal them but you can help them find hope. If either you or someone you care about is suffering from depression or any other type of mental illness, there is plenty of hope to be had! Click here for tips on how to make a difference. To speak with a trained counselor, call A Place of Hope at 1-888-771-5166. 

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4 thoughts on “Have You Seen Her?

  1. This completely describes my feelings when I’m in the midst of depression. So often I hear the dismissive words from the church like “pray it out”–making me feel like my faith is not enough. Yet, what they do not realize is that my faith is the reason I’m still alive–that I have not chosen to end it all.

    Thank you for acknowledging mental health day. Its by posts such as yours that we will break down the stigma associated with depression and other mental illnesses.

    • Thanks so much for your response. Yes, there is a huge stigma associated with depression. As a result, most people don’t know how to productively respond to a loved one who suffers from it. The church is a hospital of hope… it is where anyone should be able to go to find encouragement, strength, and peace. We (the Church as a whole) just have to do a better job of effectively ministering to those in need of mental/emotional healing. I pray that my words have somehow helped someone to better understand the torment of depression and I pray that you have taken some comfort in knowing that you are a part of a body of Believers who is neither forgotten, invisible, nor insignificant. You are loved and valuable to the Kingdom of God. You are not alone, sis. You matter. Thanks so much for sharing. I appreciate you!

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