The brilliant sun is rising over the snow capped mountains that I create in my minds eye. On this day, I feel nothing but total and complete immaculate joy. A new day is mine to keep. The brilliant morning is a hope for me where I know I am a queen sitting on the throne of possibility, of rejoice and peace. My sunlit bedroom is filled with promise and purpose as I rise with magnificence for the day that is ahead of me. I grab my crown and flood the door to awake the newness of this amazing day that I will indeed seize.
The sun is setting over the sparkling mountains I create in my minds eye and it looks like a shadow over the land that makes me shiver in fear that it is hunting me down to drown me out in its darkness. My heart races and my body is overcome with a heat that burns deep bleakness into my soul. How can I escape this fear, this doom? Frantically, I look in nature and it seems like the naked trees are reaching out to steal my soul, my joy. They pierce my flesh like a sword through my heart leaving me bleeding all over the pristine white snow. Feeling like a bloody dark mess I try to pick up the broken pieces of my heart ruining all of the beauty the day first possessed.
I stammer through the door of my safe home and gasp at the black that invites me into its own. My beautiful family must not be home yet as I sit alone in my large house that seems to envelop me into its own. I gasp as I drag myself to the soft couch that catches my fall. My breath catches its cadence and calms as I count to ten. Lifting my hand to harness my heart I remind myself that the fear inside my head isn’t real, it’s simply a facade, a lie. But the truth that I feel screams inside my body that it has no other truth to believe that what I’m feeling is fact my truth.
A soft voice lifts me from my own nightmare saying, “Hi Mommy! I missed you today.” His tender ten year old face appears as I open my eyes from the confines of the death I’ve feel I‘ve just experienced. He touches my cheek with fear in his eyes that mirror my own. I calm myself and hug him deep letting him know that I am in fact okay. For him, I tell myself that I am as hopeful as the day began. Seconds later she runs into my arms screaming that she learned how to read a new book today. My spirit lifts taking her into my breast, holding her tighter than she’d like. “I love you baby.” I whisper into her ear. For in that moment the world stops spinning and I’m brought back to reality. The sun comes back and the diamonds on the mountains return from the sun that has left, but I make myself see. The day is new again and I am lifted up knowing that my young children need me as I escape my own mind and get up to start it all over again.
I’ve been told it’s called what I would tag as the ugliest, most sickening term known to man. Mental illness. Isn’t that what they call people who shoot up schools or are locked up in dark caverns of steel gray rooms with no hope for a future? How can they give me that title when I smile most of the time and have lived one of the most charismatic lives known? I’ve made my dreams come true, I’ve written words I had no idea existed inside me. I’ve skated on crystal clear ice that met my skates blade like a canvas welcomes an artist. I have lived an extraordinary life that so many people have told me to embrace and forget the past. Yet, the darkness and the demons that chase me despite the Power I have also asked to take me past the chasms of defeat into the body of grace still haunt me still hunt me down.
Peace and Love have blanketed me as I gave my life to God. He silenced my fear, and made me new despite my darkest moments. I have literally lied in a deathbed and have seen a bleakness that lights up black, and a light that forgets all pain and has silenced all my inner villains. So, why. Why, do I still have the rage inside me that gives in to the moments when I feel like I can’t breathe and have no power over my impulses to give in to it? I often feel like I give it all up because I’m too weak to not be mentally ill. That statement makes me want to fall into a forever sleep on its own. I mean, if I’m “that” than what am I, the weakest of the most pathetic of terms? I’m told I’m strong, yet, I tell myself I’m weak. Faces smile when they see me and I want to yell back, you have no idea what lives deep inside my head. I want to say you all have no clue the demons that I face on a daily basis. I am wrecked beyond repair and apparently according to professionals I will fight this war for however I’m left on this stunning yet dark world.
I smile, I cry. I rejoice and I bellow at the sight of another day. The sunlight awakens me and I sit in a deep sea of the regret of my choices. I swallow hard the vapors into my lungs that tell me that I’m not enough and choke on the truth that I am. I swallow potions that only make me feel okay in the moment and those that tell I can’t take another dull moment of truth that I am in fact sick. I try to accept hugs around my neck that tell me I’m beautiful when all I see reflecting back at me is the truth; that I am an ugly portrait of a beautiful woman who could be all I’m called to be if only…I believed. If I prayed more, I wept less and shook with fear that I am dissolving into the fact that I am in fact a term that makes the cringe with rage and sorrow.
I wake up and smell in the cold winters rage, yet beauty calls out to its power to freeze the land inside my own mind that makes me turn away from my own beauty. To run towards the Power that can take away my fear, oh winter’s morn make me lift up my own eyes and realize that heaven is closer than I know. With all its beauty I hope for a newness that a fresh day brings that I won’t feel the next emotion that enters my mind that can take it away into a world of darkness. Can’t I just overcome it all? I tremble at the fact that I am stuck here, in this mind that has no clue what will come next. The sun dissipates and darkness fades into blackness and I hope today will not bring the shadows that make me want to disappear. I beg for the soft voice in my ear of my child who sees only the best version of me. A husband who feeds my soul with love, hope and more happiness that I can always return to after a particularly bad day.
The stigma has to die. Peace has to overcome the odds that I face and the words that I just need to get over it have to cease if I’m going to find my true purpose. I have to embrace a God who has beautifully made me into a woman worth believing I am much more than a clinical term that screams a lifelong term that I hate. Breathing in His life and taking my strength back I have to know that those days are going to come where I question if I’m going to be able to stand in the face of the disease I guess I have to accept.
Your name is light forever lifted high.
Jesus, Jesus You make the darkness tremble.
Your name is life that the shadows can’t deny.
Peace bring it all to peace. Still, call the sea to still, the rage in me to still.
~The words to a song I cling to, words that I bury deep in my soul.
Call me sick. Put on me a stigma that apparently is mine to own, but I will not allow the fear in me to win, to wage its victory over me that I am left for dead when I already feel it creeping in toward me like a battle that is in the history books. One that I can chose to lose, one that I can overwhelmingly defeat.. Because, I deeply believe that despite the name I have plastered all over my medical history book, I am a victory story. I am a living hope that no matter how hard it is, no matter how dizzying emotions can leave me breathless, that I am an odds that are destined to overcome. For me, for my family, but mostly for me I have to scream from the crystal covered snow capped mountain tops that I declare a goodness of humanity~the ownership that we all have inside us that we can be a living hope.
I will wake up tomorrow and refuse to grapple with the depth of darkness that this fight can bring. It can be an uphill battle, but I’ve never backed away from a challenge in my life, never ran away from a monster that calls me a name that I despise; a bully that wants to see me reduced to fear and trepidation. I am strong, I am capable and no matter how many times I hear it and don’t believe it, I am a child of God who forgives, and am reaching for the mountains that seem impossible to climb. The battle is won and I am on top of the ultimate hill, sitting in the sun on diamond sparkles that blanket me with a life not a stigma that is mine to keep~a champion of all things that stigmas make you not want to believe about yourself. I am chosen to overcome. Called into a belief that life is hard, but not defeated and that I am a shining piece of gold that embraces the presence of victory over a defeat I am told to embrace. A diagnosis that makes me crumble has to be my greater ability within myself to withstand darkness in the presence of a sun that declares that I am precious. That I am unstoppable despite words spoken over me, I am a newness just like the light of day.
I wake up and see the mountain top glistening in the sun, and I am on top of it all shining a light that will shine everyday even though I have demons, ups and downs and oversights that make me want to sleep. I will overcome, I will climb to the top and make those crystal diamonds my own shining glory all over all the depths of darkness I may face.