A couple days ago, I learned a former co-worker had taken her own life. Today, I completely understood why. I understood because the thought crossed my mind as I was driving down the freeway.
I had been fighting to not have an attack for a week. Every morning, I woke up and sat at the edge of my bed. Thinking. Contemplating. Trying to figure things out. All day, I battled between fear and faith. Trying to convince myself that everything is going to be OK. I constantly repeated, “God’s got this. God will take care of you.”
Then something would remind me of the very real and dire situation I’m in.
“I’m not supposed to be here. I shouldn’t be here. I’m smarter than this. I’m better than this.”
This leads to more despair and more questions.
“Did I miss something? What did I do wrong? How did I mess up so bad?” Because the reality is, I’m here because I left things to Him. I’m trying to do things God’s way and there have been no results.
I had been able to fight these questions for years. And yes, I know. The battle is not yours. It’s the Lord’s. And you should let God fight your battles. We’ve all heard the verses and church platitudes. But, when you are in the midst of a situation, those old sayings seem to be part of the walls that are closing in on you. Suddenly, I felt guilty for not having enough faith. I found myself screaming through tears, “I’m sorry. I’m trying to believe. I’m trying really hard to trust you.”
Enter- more despair.
This morning, I woke up and the week’s routine started again. I sat at the edge of my bed, thinking. Contemplating. The plan for today was a simple task. Read a book while my car is being washed. I would get something off my to do list and get a few minutes of much needed leisure time. As I drove to the car wash, I began to hear noises, inside and outside, that were reminders, again.
“You don’t have enough.”
“You are not enough.”
I tried to block them but circumstances validated the noise. The store didn’t give cash back. This store gave cash but when I got to the car wash, the price was higher than expected. I couldn’t find a parking space to just pull over, think and get my bearings. Now I’m just wasting gas. I can’t see straight. I can’t think straight. The noise got louder and louder.
I had to get off the road. I decided to just go back to my apartment. As I was driving, my former co-worker popped in my head. We were college students when we met at work. We only knew each other for about a year. She would give me rides back to the dorm after late hotel shifts. I remembered how beautiful she was. More than a decade later, we reconnected through Facebook. She was still beautiful. Now, a wife and mother of two, she seemed to have acquired the life every woman seeks. She had the big, beautiful home, fancy car and lovely family.
A few Monday mornings ago, she said goodbye to that lovely family, walked out of that big, beautiful home and took her fancy car to Lake Wylie near the borders of North & South Carolina.
The Facebook post, that informed me of her death, flashed in my mind. Her face flashed before my eyes. She seemed to have it all and still could not deal. I have nothing close to what she had. Wouldn’t I be justified?
There’s no lake around to drift away from life, as she did. How easy would it be to just drive off the overpass? I could wrap this car around a pole. I could try pills again. My first attempt at 17, was unsuccessful. “Now, I’m older,” I thought, as I pulled into my apartment parking spot. This time I’d know exactly how to do it. Even better, there would be no one to find me. Right? I mean, only one person has visited me in my apartment since 2019 came in. No one checks on me. No one checks on the smart one. No one checks on the strong one. Because, if anyone is good, it’s me. Right?
Then, I remembered that I heard my phone text alert in the car before getting home. I dug my phone out of my purse. I fully expected to see a message about work today or possibly a bill collector. Instead, it was this.
My first thought was to ignore the text. My next thought was to give the same old response. “Fine.” Then I realized, I was in a battle…and I needed help. I was too weak to fight this spiritual battle alone. Another soldier had been sent to cover me. So, I responded with a desperate request for prayer. No details necessary. Just pray.
I made it through the day and am happy to write.
To be continued…