You Are Not Alone

“Life is slippery. Here, take my hand.”  

-H. Jackson Brown Jr.

*I feel like I’ve written this before. Have I? I have, haven’t I. Welp, even if I have, it feels timely to hit this up again.*

Hitting rock bottom hurts. Have you ever been there? How many times? Am I the only one who seems to carry a frequent flier card to this destination?

I wish we could pull our feet up under us and sit staring at each other across a couch and have this conversation. Face to face. There are so many of us. There have to be.

I refuse to believe that I’m the only one who sits in a pit so often.

Time can drag on, too, until I remember the only way out is up. Then again, I can wallow at the bottom like I was born to.

Tell me I’m not alone. Because I can confidently state that you are not. Alone.

And when the pit is deep, it can feel bleak. And when it feels dark and disheartening, I can get numb.

I don’t know about you, but once numbness creeps in on me, even music hits different. If I can even hear the music at all. The worst is when the music stops altogether. Sadness slides in. Depression deepens. And sometimes, the music just stops making its way to my ears.

Or worse, to my heart.

If I sit with the pain and the hopelessness of it all and allow myself to just feel all those feelings, one of two things happen. Positively, I will eventually, once again, realize rock bottom is not where I’m meant to stay. Negatively, I burrow down into the angst and allow it to snuff out joy.

When you feel like you are hovering with one step hanging right over the edge of that rock-bottom pit, what do you do? Especially this hot minute as routines have gone haywire and security seems out of reach.

I’m no therapist.

But, I have been fortunate enough to interact with a few amazing ones over the last two decades. Here’s a little something to work with when you feel like you haven’t got squat to work with. It’s a little of what has helped me in the past and is helping me right now:

  • Find something, anything,to be grateful for. Anything. Say out loud to anyone, or no one, what that thing is and how grateful you are for it. (The other day, for me, it was the ability cry. Seriously. I just needed to know I could still feel. And the crying felt cathartic. And I was grateful.)
  •  Look, really look, for something to laugh at or about. Anywhere. Then do it. Laugh. Whether it’s for 5 seconds or five minutes. (I was able to search through my phone for memes that made me laugh. Once I got started, I was able to feel like climbing a step or two up from the bottom of my latest.)
  • Tell yourself that you are not alone in this. Anytime. Say it. “I am not alone in this.” (I had to repeat this to myself a couple dozen times in the shower this past week.)
  • Call, or text, someone. Anyone. It doesn’t have to be someone you are related to or even close to. Just connect with a human to let them know you aren’t doing okay. And if you have no one to call, please call a hotline. Here’s one: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
    Here is another one: SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) National Helpline, 1-9-800-662-4357.

Most importantly, know that there are so many of us struggling. Isolation is the worst thing for a pit dweller. We struggle to keep hope near.

Please! Please remember…

You are not alone.

You are valuable. To me. To others you may not even know. To The One Who Created You.

You are worthy. Of love. And time. And attention.

You are able. To keep struggling. To climb up. To find joy.

You have help. From professionals and volunteers. From family, or friends, or even acquaintances.

You are not alone.

 

 

Ten Second Grace Period

Ten seconds seem like a sweet forever when you want something Other than what you need.

As any recovering addict can tell you, every second that you are able to stay away from the thing that you crave is a second of victory. And any God-loving addict will also tell you that every second you move closer to Him and away from That Thing That Beckons is a gift of grace.

I pray for a ten second grace period, often, throughout my day. Indeed, there have been 24-hour stretches, around here, where I probably spent more time begging God to provide those seconds than I did anything else.

Some days, you need a whole heckuva lot more than a few extra seconds to get your act in gear. Other days, it only takes a split second to make the better choice.

Or, not.

In her new book, The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst says you “steer where you stare”.

Today, God, grace me with a few extra seconds to fix my gaze on You. Tweet that!

I don’t know what you specifically need a grace period for, but I know that we humans? We all need one for something.  I pray you get that, today, my friend.

Oh, how I do!

31days_of_grace_button_missindeedy

This post is day 10 in the Write 31 Days challenge.

If you’re just tuning in now, click here to go to the page that has the link to the previous 9 days.

 

Stilled Sails On Alert

Sailboat_Creationswap_TroyM_Missindeedy

You are about to embark on an adventure.  Your sails are all puffed up with determination and your boat is all gassed up and ready to go. You have charts and maps and emergency plans and contingency plans and plans for your plans.

In the days leading up to this great journey, you dive into the cool refreshing waters of some serious quiet time. It is needed. With all of the planning you’ve been doing, you have neglected to nourish yourself on the inside.

So you do.

You crack open The Good Book and your eyes instantly light on a verse like “We make our own plans, but the Lord decides where we will go.” (Proverbs 16:9).

Your journal stares at you from the tabletop and begs to be touched and opened and written in.  You do. And your eyes are drawn to your last entry where you wrote of “wanting Adonia to make you aware of anything in your heart that is not of Him.”   He does.

And because that was not enough to avert your gaze from your All Important Goal, you finally hit the alarm the morning of Go Time, stumble from your bed, and find that your boat has suffered damage. You cannot set off as you had hoped to, determined to, planned to.

There is violence done to your prideful ego as it becomes clear to you that your plan wasn’t His plan.  Not for now, anyway.

Humility sets in.

For just the eleventy-hundreth time in your life.

You realize, for what you hope will be at least close to the final time, that all of your striving and goal-setting and planning and preparing is for naught, if The Wind wills your sails to be still.

And so they will be.

Humbled, yet again, I accept that my sails will not even flutter until they are willed otherwise. And, not by me, but by the only One who can put proper wind into them.

My job, until then, is to stay alert and be prepared.

And so I will be.