"I just wanted you to know that I have been keeping up with your blog. I really appreciate it and how open you are with everyone. I found it interesting that you keep the bullet hole where you can see it. I have scars from cutting and I was so ashamed. I beat myself up for it. But, at the same time, I still wanted to cut because it was my way of punishing myself for my failures. I honestly did not want to stop cutting, but through reading your blogs, I realized that God helped me out of that. So, now those scars are a reminder of the miracles that God has planned for my life. I am so grateful. He can fix anything."
I have been pretty honest about my struggles with addiction, depression and suicide. Telling my truth has been a huge part of my continued progress. Obviously, the truth is always best. And, just as God's word promises, it has "set me free"! Yet, there are some things that are best shared with only a few. In other words, I do have some secrets. Some may eventually find their way to print. But, there are some things that are better left alone. I know the difference. And, trust me, the whole truth is pretty ugly. I will share as I deem essential and beneficial. For you and me!
Early on, I asked myself what my purpose was for sharing and blogging. Why do it? Why is it necessary to be so open, transparent and real? To be writing about my life "out loud"? And, for so many? It was simple. I still struggle. Although, not nearly as much. And, I continue to learn more about myself, and the nature of addiction, anxiety and depression through my writings. As I have shared in earlier posts, I want to use anything that happened to me if even to help, just one.....You see, It helps me to help you. I want to show what God has done to me and for me! I pray that I will always be growing and maturing. If you are like me, you can acknowledge that we are all "works in progress". I really have no need for those that think they have it all figured out. Those, "Perfect People"! (I LOVE that song! Natalie Grant! Got the track! Gonna sing it!) By the way, there are none!
It was not until this past Winter that my story really became public. I posted my first Facebook "note", outing myself. Then, Philip, our Minister of Music, asked me to be a part of the "cardboard testimonies" at church. And, our Pastor asked Mark to speak about how prayer helped him through our difficult times. Doors keep opening! And, I am constantly humbled.
So, as my truth is being told, I continue to learn what to share and what not to share. Right now, I'm hearing Jack Nicholson yelling in, "A Few Good Men"..."You can't handle the truth!!!!!". Oh boy! So, yes, there are morsels of my story that will stay in the vault! With that said, I would like to share something my therapist, Annabel, helped me with. She gave me many books to read during my stay at Brookhaven. One dealt specifically on the subject of secrets. In, "The Secret Life of Families", Evan Ember Black writes:
"Opening secrets to regain our integrity involves a recognition that opening the secret is just the beginning, and a commitment to deal honestly with all of the issues that arise once a secret opens.- DO I WANT TO OPEN THE SECRET BECAUSE I TRULY BELIEVE THE INFORMATION BELONGS TO ANOTHER PERSON OR WILL ENHANCE ANOTHER PERSON'S LIFE?".
Yes!! That's it! That's me! By telling you my "dirty little secrets", I am being restored! Amends are being made! And, I pray that you too, might be set free! Get enhanced by what had me entranced! (clever, huh!) Ha! I am ready, willing, and more importantly, able to deal with the issues that may arise. I want my secrets to empower you to get real. Or help someone that you love, get real! Look at me and see the beauty of a life redeemed from the truest of hellish pits! By hearing my story, I hope you find yourself yearning to be more open. Transparent. It really is freeing! Now hear this! Stop! Look! And, listen! (No need to drop and roll...Ha!) I am not saying that you need to broadcast your stuff like this! No! (It comes with a small price to put yourself out there! But, worth every bit, I say!) This is not for everyone. Some secrets should be kept. But, if you are holding on to your devastations. Overwhelmed with any desperation.... Seek out a trustworthy soul. They are out there. Find someone, and share.
After publishing my blog, there has been a constant stream of well wishes, prayer requests and cries for help. I recently received the message at the top of this post. ( Don't worry! I asked for their permission!) My heart breaks as I read and hear these stories of pain and desperation. So many people are struggling. Most of them, silently. I am not a therapist. And, I will not counsel. But, I can listen. And, I will always pray. I am just a woman that has done some things that she is not particularly proud of... But, grateful to be alive. And, living that life with integrity...finally!
So, to my precious "friend" that wrote me. I do look at that physical reminder, almost daily. I remember that very moment that I turned the gun to my head. I remember feeling the weight of all my failures. The thoughts that I would be better off dead. I remember the feeling of complete shock as the gun went off...And, with that, I understand that desperation that (you) succumb to, that causes you to cut. Sometimes, I see it, like a dark cloud coming over my horizon. But, I never let it get too close. I am equipped with a fiery passion for my Heavenly Father, that beckons me to stay fixated on all things good. It is not always easy. Also, I've got an army on my side! I am rejoicing that you have turned this over to God! One day you, too, will share...I know it!
I love what Paul writes:
"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ."
I am the better for having walked through this mess. It has made me a stronger, more focused and happier person. Yes! I have some shady stuff that I shall keep to myself. But, He has "created in me, a clean heart. And, renewed a right spirit within me" . Psalm 51:10. And, I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning! Whew! Thank you, Lord!
Because I told my truth. Because I shared of some of my secrets...there are others out there who are letting go. And, they are letting God heal them. He will. He is. He does.
As I begin this new year, I find myself in a new place. Content. Amazed. Peaceful. And, I like it!
Get Real in 2011!! Let me know your stories!