Someday You Will Understand (from the other side of depression)

someday you will understand

I have not forgotten what depression feels like. I have not forgotten what it feels like to feel stuck and lost and trapped. I have not forgotten what it feels like to feel like a complete failure, beyond recovery…I have not forgotten how it feels to feel unloved and unlovable…and I have not forgotten what it feels like to feel utterly forgotten. I can still taste it….

forgotten

A few days ago, I was standing on a mountain with my husband and some of our friends….in the wilderness with a huge campfire roaring next to us. One of our friends was playing the bagpipes and it was echoing through the trees, it was right at sundown so the sun was orange and yellow and filtering through the forest.  I looked over at my husband and he looked at me…and I had this moment of utter bliss thinking about how far we have come, an the hell we have walked through to get here.

Melody at the campfire

So…the last few weeks, I have had to stop and wonder how on earth life could feel so good, so peaceful, so happy, so fun and so on track. Because….it hasn’t always been like this…in fact…I’m not sure I have EVER felt this at peace…and good. And it has lasted long enough that I finally trust that it’s not just a little phase I am going through.

I just want to share with you HOW I got to this good place…especially if you are stuck somewhere like I was….

if you are stuck because you are so tired of fighting all the time to just survive…
if you are so tired from years of feeling trapped doing things that make your heart feel bad….
if you don’t really even remember what you wanted at one time because you are so far off track from who you really are, what you really love, and what you feel like your purpose was at one time.
if you have no idea what you want so you just take whatever comes…and then you don’t even feel worthy of that.

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I just want to share with you what I have learned…because I KNOW that you can be as happy and at peace as I am feeling…(finally)….and if you are willing to do the work…there’s this amazing life waiting for you….a life that was always intended for you, because I know for sure that we were not created to feel bad…we were created to live a joyful life. I am so happy for the things I have finally learned. (and the cool thing is…it is based on simple things…not EASY things, but very simple things).

sweetie everything really is going to work out

I had a long stretch of time (years long) feeling a deep down anger that I didn’t know how to express. I have only now realized that the root of my feeling horrible, hopeless and lost was anger, an anger that was rooted in fear. I am not naturally an angry person…..but I think anger is a human part of us that has messages that just want to be heard. I was not listening or accepting my anger.  I just kept stuffing it deeper and deeper and dealing with it by over-working, over-exercising and pretending like I really wasn’t angry at all. I felt like if I did “ENOUGH”…achieving, producing, working….that maybe I would feel better. I didn’t know that it was anger that was fueling the way I felt STUCK, TRAPPED and HOPELESS. I felt used up….like my best years were over….I felt like things were so far gone that I could never recover what I felt had been lost. I was too tired to fight anymore…because my life felt like it just turned into one big long stretched out lump of time where the #1 goal was to survive the day, then the long & tortured night….day after day after day and night after night after night. That is the only goal I had for those years….to survive.

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fear is a bully

That is no way to live….but that is what happens when you have lost hope and forgotten your dreams…and life has beaten you to a pulp…and the blaming, accusing, mean lies have invaded and destroyed everything in your heart and soul that you thought you knew….and when you have forgotten the truth of WHO YOU ARE and WHAT IS POSSIBLE…and WHAT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED for your life.

So many of us forget. We MUST do what it takes to remember. Do you hear me, friends? PLEASE. Please don’t believe that life always has to be this way…that this is the best it is going to get…that your best years are over.

you will be ok

What I want you to know is that I was angry during that time because I believe in God. I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and I believe that He truly truly truly wants every single one of us to be happy. I don’t talk a lot about God, because I want everyone to feel comfortable and understood and respected. I think truth is truth is truth in the world…and love and beauty are truth and that’s usually what I stick to…..and I sincerely apologize if I am making you uncomfortable or offending you…because I also have great respect for all beliefs, religions and ways of being in the world. But from my heart, what I know to be true is that there is a very loving God who knows each of us, cell by cell, moment by moment…He knows our personalities, our desires, He knows about our mistakes…He knows about our pain. He knows what we are each individually capable of what we are working toward. He knows and has a plan….and He just wants us to trust Him.

Well, I tell you this because I want you to understand the anger I spoke of above. My anger was directed at God for the most part. I was very very very very very angry at God. For years…and years and years and years and years….I was angry that my life could be in such a horrible state and that He could allow that to keep happening….I was angry and confused and felt forgotten…and I never stopped believing in Him…I just spent a lot of time in my closet, car, garage….in hotel rooms on business trips…anywhere I found myself alone….crying LOUD and pleading, pleading, pleading….sometimes yelling…always through lots of tears and gritted teeth…sometimes looking straight up into the sky and screaming…..telling Him I thought He was mean and cruel…..telling Him that He had the power to fix the things that were terrorizing me, hurting me and devastating my life and my family. All along the way, no matter how angry I was, no matter how loud I yelled…the answer I always got back in my heart was “STAY WITH ME….someday this will all make sense.” Of course, that would make me even angrier. I would cry and scream “HOW COULD ANY OF THIS EVER HAVE ANY GOOD PURPOSE…EVER?????”

you really are brave enough to take this flight

I had not intended to get this personal….but some things you can just not leave out……and this part, I can not leave out…because I KNOW there are women out there who are angry from the deepest part of their beautiful hearts. ANGER from not understanding how life could be so cruel, and beat us up so much….and pile more and more and more and more of it onto us………..and even if things are better…we are left so tired, ragged and without an ounce of confidence, drive or memory of our dreams. We are stuck. YOU are who I am talking to….

you are worth fighting for

My life burned to ashes a few years back. It was slow and painful and much of it seemed very cruel to me as I said above. When all was said and done, all that was left were the few people who had been there all along….and the stories and the lessons that were learned along the way. This was painful, I didn’t think I could survive it………but man it was so good, too.

What it gave me was the opportunity to start over and really decide what kind of life I really wanted to live….how I wanted to spend my minutes….how I wanted to feel….what I wanted to accomplish….what I wanted to learn….what I was willing to sacrifice…what I was NOT willing to sacrifice. What kind of people I wanted to spend time with, and what kind of people I needed to avoid spending time with……….what I wanted to live for, what I wanted to be known for….how I wanted to give in the world, WHAT I wanted to give in the world…..the kind of place I wanted to live….what I wanted to spend my time thinking about…..what I wanted to see and experience…..how I wanted to love others….how I wanted to take care of my body….what I wanted to allow into my life….how I could protect myself from everything I didn’t want to ever be in my life again….

New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings

What kind of life did I REALLY WANT…even though I was so far away from it?

AS SOON AS I REMEMBERED that I have a choice about ALL of those things….everything started to change. I stopped settling for what life handed me and I started deciding what I wanted life to be. And again….once I REALLY asked my heart…it was lots of little things…simple things……..sadly, I had spent so much time chasing after all of the big things that I really didn’t even want.

you get to choose

My friends. I love my life. I LOVE IT. I. LOVE. IT. A few years ago, I never ever ever ever ever thought I would say that again. Things were too hard, too bleak. We were in so far over our heads and there were just too many scars that weren’t healing. Things still didn’t make any kind of sense….and I was still too angry.

I am not angry anymore….but it took a lot of years to get here. I AM BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND that I could never ever ever be where I am NOW had I not traveled through the places that I had to travel to get here. I could have stayed stuck in those places and not had the hope to move forward……and I did for a LONG TIME. I chose to stay stuck because I did not have the strength or energy to try to remember where I wanted to go, what I wanted, what would bring the most peace to me and to my family….I just let life keep happening.

do not go where the path may lead

That is not what God wanted for me or for my family…..He wanted me to remember that I get to decide….that YOU get to decide…that we all get to decide….but that we HAVE TO DECIDE……or life WILL keep happening to us.

As I type this out, I can hear clanking dishes and laughter in the background. My friends are here packing up our rental house so that we can move across town into the exact kind of home that our family wants to live in. I wrote it all out a while back…..still at the time feeling that it was not possible because our life was in such a deep hole……but here we are…..and by tonight I will be sleeping in a home that is surrounded by trees, private and near water……..a simple beautiful house that is what WE want…..we just had to decide and do the work to get there.

I am TRULY TRULY TRULY living the life I want to live. Funny thing is…I thought it would take 5 years to get here from the time I started writing stuff down…every day I get closer and closer and closer…..and I say NO to things that don’t fit in with what I want, and I say YES to things that scare me but will get me closer to what I do want….what I want for myself, what I want for my family…AND…the very life that has always been intended for me. 

I am starting to understand the pain, the struggle…what felt like a cruel joke for so long…and how it has gotten me exactly where I needed/wanted/was supposed to be. I’m so glad I stuck with it.

I just want this for YOU….more than anything in the world. I want you to feel this peace, this feeling of being on track…this OKness with exactly who I am, how I want to live my life, who I want to be around, what I want to do and how I want to feel.

I WANT YOU TO FEEL EMPOWERED ENOUGH TO DECIDE.

Do what it takes.  It will be worth it.  And I promise, promise, PROMISE you that someday all this pain and discomfort and hurt will all make sense.

your story is not over yet.

Comments

  1. Kim A. says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this Melody. I was nodding yes the entire time I was reading it. I have honestly felt it was me and my failure/inability to feel different or better. Always blaming myself, thinking I do not deserve more than bare survival day after day. I am just recently starting to remember what I truly want and just starting to believe again, have to believe, that God intended a joyful and fulfilling life for me. I don’t want to be stuck anymore and it does feel like cruel joke for too many years. I have been so angry and I am so tired of being angry and scared, lost and empty. I’m ready but still a bit lost in how or where to start so I decided to take it a day at a time and go with my heart. xo

  2. Lora says:

    Thank you Melody. I am crying and reading this and thinking – how does she know my life? I am so happy you made it to the other side of depression. I hope I will too and your story will serve as a reminder that it can be done.

  3. Elayne says:

    Thank you. I am just now trying to clear the fog and remember, I am fighting to remember because the only other option at this point is to give up and become numb to living …empty. For far to long I have been drowning, screaming for help as I feel like everyone else climbs on my head , pushing me under so that they can get a breath. I have started saving in hopes of coming to a retreat next year…or the year after…because even just having something in the future that would be just for me…is somehow healing. I too know God is real, I am a pastor’s wife in fact, and I am trying very hard to remember that He knows & loves me. Thank you.

  4. Monica says:

    It is as if you are speaking about me, right now. I am in a rut, beat up (not literally) emotionally, mentally, etc., etc. I feel I am washed up and God doesn’t like me. I believe there is a God and angels and heavenly being, however and for some reason, I am to be punished and ignored. I am reading my story, but without the happy ending. I am 63 years old and have survived my whole life……….. I have not lived or felt real joy or peace, just survived.

    I have read all the books, gone to seminars, meditated, on and on and I can’t seem to break the code of changing it all around. I am not a Brave Girl University member and I read you posts and emails daily. I am taking your courses and I hope I can break through.

    Thank you for being so candid. You hit the marks, and it’s good.

    Wish me luck.