Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rotting in Your Prison

Tonight feels important. 

Not for me, perhaps.... but maybe for you? 
I've been told often that one of the things people find refreshing about me is my honesty. I'd probably be lying if I told you I was always 100% honest with you. No, I don't blatantly lie... but, I know that I don't lay it all out there for you. I'm always honest enough to get by. Always honest enough to where people are thankful for my willingness to go 'there', but, in reality, I know that I haven't gone quite as far as I could have. This time, I don't feel like my honesty is as important. 

Tonight I read someone else's honesty though. It is inspiring, but it also reminds me that sometimes my life is quite trivial. While I've known pain, I don't know if I've known it to the degree that many of you have. While I've experienced tragedy, I don't think it quite measures up to the despair some continue to feel on a daily basis. While I've screwed up plenty of times, nothing really feels 'unfixable'. 

Comparing our crap to each other to see who comes out in worse condition isn't the point here. I think I was just reminded that while I can casually be living life, there can be a world of hurt surrounding me that I'm oblivious to. 

I feel like the last few years, especially, have introduced me to territory that I'm absolutely unfamiliar with... and it's stuff I don't always understand or know how to relate to. But it's stuff that's real and stuff that people who are dear to me have struggled with (or are struggling with). Stuff like self-destruction- both in the form of suicidal thoughts and cutting. Stuff like eating disorders. Stuff like sexual addiction. Stuff like affairs and unfaithfulness. Stuff like drug and alcohol addictions. There's more. There's always more. 

I don't always understand the severity of these things. I want to... but there's a part of me that ignorantly thinks that if this is something you don't want to do, then don't do it. It seems like a simple, easy solution. Only... I know that it's not. I know it's more complicated because, as much as we don't want to do things, we simultaneously want to. 

So, there's instant war within. People begin fighting, what probably feels like, an endless battle and they're unsure of who the victor currently is. They are struggling and they are desperate for a way out...they are desperate for freedom. And because sometimes the freedom and victory feel too far off to ever possibly seize, they hang their heads in defeat and immerse themselves back into the pits of despair, into the claws of addiction and self-deprecating thoughts. They stay with what they know, because what they know is...known. There are no surprises here, no need to live up to anyone else's expectations. In some twisted way, our own prisons have become safe. 

There's often a lashing out at God...whether it's to question His existence at all, or to merely throw insults His way, or, more than likely, doubt His goodness as you pull yourself back up again from rock bottom. Is He there? Does He hear your prayers? Does He care? If He's there, if He hears, if He cares...then why is all this the way that it is? 

You want answers. 
You demand answers.
And when you don't get them, you feel your faith being chipped away a little at a time. Some of you have already gotten to the 'Screw You' point... you've dropped your cross and you are no longer following. Some of you are hanging on by a thread, dragging each foot in some direction...hoping that just once God will come through, that He'll prove you wrong. Some of you just don't care anymore...and you're just doing whatever numbs the pain. 

I don't necessarily have answers. 
I feel like I could spit a mouthful of words at you've already heard before and it typically doesn't do much good until you're ready to hear.

I'm sorry you're hurting. 
I want to offer you hope.
I want to offer you freedom from the walls of your prison and assure you that it can be different for you. I want to tell you the stories of those who are living, breathing, changed lives...people who have found hope, who have found redemption, who have found out that the chains that bind can truly be broken. Are you ready to hear? 

There is more for you than this. 
I'd love to talk to you further about it, too. 
Your heartache, your addiction, your abuse, your despair... it doesn't have to be yours to bear alone. And if you don't want to talk to me, I really urge you to talk to someone

Stop whatever it is that you're fighting against and talk to someone. No matter how ashamed you are, no matter how worthless you feel, no matter how much you tell yourself that no one else cares... you must take this first step. 

This is a blog about second chances.
I wouldn't be here if I didn't fully believe in such a thing. 
They aren't just for me.

There is hope.
Break the chains. 
Do you hear me? 
* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous


  1. Debbie, I love this so much. I'm tearing up. Not because this relates to me right now but because some of my dearest friends are there right now. Thanks for this, for sharing your heart once again.

  2. I'm just at asking for healing. That's all I want. Healing. Thanks Debs.

  3. The hard part is talking about my personal "stuff" I'd rather help others than
    talk about my own prison. I don't want to be judged. It's hard exposing my
    darkness to light. Is there any easy way to bring up this not so easy topic?? Im
    afraid that others won't care/ judge me and if they do care I'm not too sure i
    know how to respond. If He listens, cares, loves and/or with me than why am I
    still fighting these dragons?! I'm hanging by a thread but want to know and
    experience this hope and change, but how long of wait is to long! It all seems impossible. How do I find hope and stop doubting?? I'm lost and I'm not sure how to get out or if ill get out.

    1. I don't know if there is an easy way, honestly. I think that's just how exposure to light works...especially when you're in complete darkness. It's why we all groan when the teacher turns on the light unexpectedly after watching a movie in class. It's painful... we haven't adjusted yet... it takes a little time.
      I think the metaphor is true for our every day lives, especially the longer we live in darkness. You'll always run the risk of being judged and others not caring, unfortunately. Sometimes they will judge, and sometimes they won't care. I don't think the point of talking to others is that they hold all of our secrets... the point is bringing in the light so that healing can start to begin. Try it.
      Keep fighting.
      Keep clinging to any shred of hope you have. I think you'll see Him prove Himself faithful.

    2. Thank you for your reply--I've been prauying/begging/trying to trust God will heal me--for so long. It just isn't happening. I feel abandoned. Fighting seems pointless. Why is it that I'm losing? I can put on a mask of peace or happiness but inside I'm waiting wanting to feel okay again. How long must I wait before its okay to give up and accept that there is no hope? How can I find this hope again?

    3. In not knowing anything about you, it's hard to know what you're needing healing from and how to address your questions from there. I'd love to talk to you more in depth about it if you want to email me or keep talking anonymously on here.
      Things can be much more complicated and steps may need to be taken in specific directions for healing, but without knowing specifically what's going on, it's hard to encourage you to take specific steps!
      There IS hope, though. I can assure you of that.

  4. I've been battling an eating disorders (1.5 years) and mild depression (it has come and
    gone for 2 years) I'd rather talk anonymously, fear of being judged or laughed
    at-I know you won't but this fear is rooted deep, because it has happened
    before. I feel so powerless because these things seem stronger than what I can
    handle. Somedays it is hard to motivate myself to get out of bed because no matter how hard I fight, it's never enough...Where is the hope?

    1. This is a reply to your previous comment, Debs. *made a mistake and didn't type a reply but an extra comment. My bad.

    2. have you talked to anyone about it that knows you?
      when you fight, what are you fighting for?

    3. I used to talk to a couple of people who I know but I stopped a long while back
      because I feel like a failure when I update them about it or ask for prayer, I still struggle with an ED and depression, am I doing something wrong?-Why is this still in my life. No matter how much prayer or how hard I try, nothing rids me of my pain.
      Hm, interesting question, this one took me awhile:I fight for freedom, I fight for the day I will no longer worry about food, the consequences of food or how to get out of eating another meal, I fight for a day where my happy mask is no longer a facade but reality, I fight in order to find strength to live for tomorrow.

    4. what does fighting look like for you?
      what are you praying for, when you pray?

    5. Fighting looks like remembering not to skip meals no matter if I want to eat or not, continuing to be social even though I might want to be alone, continuing to volunteer and go to church even when I am exhausted. I try to fight, sometimes I just don't how.
      Hm, I pray for God to help me believe in my disbelief, to give me strength in this battle, for my future, to put people in my path to encourage me and remind me of HIS power, to get rid of these things if it be His will, to make me be a witness for Him.

    6. I really think that one of your steps towards healing is going to be involving people in your life that know you and care about you and letting them know what's REALLY going on with you. It's going to involve humility, putting aside your pride, and admitting that you don't have it all together. It's going to be a hard step, but I think it's necessary. The longer you put up a facade of acting like you have it all together, the more you are going to lose the battle you're fighting.
      If you're unwilling to talk to people who know you, I'd strongly encourage you to see someone who you feel like you can be completely honest with, away from the anonymity that you feel most comfortable hiding behind.
      You can do this. I promise.