Yesterday was the first day of Spring and the light half of the year is finally upon us. For many of us it is like our life’s blood finally starts to flow and warm from the depression and weight of winter’s toll. My heart is broken for there are some who didn’t make it. My dad always told me to “be careful during the dark half of the year”. The mind plays horrible tricks on us in the darkness and when the light is gone sometimes we hear things that aren’t there, sometimes our inner voice tells us untruths, depression settles in like the grim reaper and life doesn’t seem to improve. We can never know what really happens when someone finally has all of the pain they can take much less understand their last decision. This Lenten season I am looking at the cross to see the pain of my Lord and Savior acknowledging that my sin was paid for through His Crucifixion and excruciating pain. My pain on earth is nothing in comparison, but I will never understand why when mere mortals feel so helpless and unable to fight the demons how is it that some reach out and others decide that death is the best option?
I have long wondered if there are some who are born only to suffer, or have pain, or walk in darkness, or live lives that seem so sad? We all know people who have one disaster after another and I wonder is it choices or destiny? I know this; that God loves me and wants me to find happiness in the now, that is my truth, but much if not all of it is my responsibility. I have to be willing to acknowledge the good things with gratitude; not look at what I don’t have but at what I do. I know that finding happiness is much easier when all seems right with the world and the waves of our existence have calmed to a ripple, but it is difficult to see light when the darkness has settled in every corner of my mind. Gratitude is something we teach ourselves to acknowledge, it isn’t necessarily a natural thought! It is easy to look around and compare myself to all of the people experiencing more than I might be, or having what looks like an easier go at life, but how many times do I look outside myself to extend my hand in help?
Yesterday, I got the news that an old friend had decided that fighting the demons was too much and too painful. I had spoken a couple of times recently via Instagram and in the back of my mind I actually wondered if they were OK…. I watched Facebook posts and could read the depression and overwhelmed feelings in the posts, but I didn’t inquire because I didn’t want to cross the line or offend. We have known each other our entire lives, but life got in the way and we hadn’t spoken face to face in years and years. Who was I to ask “Hey are you alright? Is there something I can do to help?” I should have. I should have said “Can I help you?” I don’t know that I could’ve changed anything, but I would feel like I didn’t leave someone hanging by the thread and I more than likely wouldn’t have offended him. I am absolutely heartbroken for those left to mourn who will live with all of the questions. Their lives stopped on the first day of Spring 2019 and are forever changed. Life is gone and the opportunity to repair anything was taken with it. There is no more pain for him, no more demons to slay, no more hurt; but there is no more of the good things on earth either…..no family time, no walking in the rain, no baby giggles, no hugs from loved ones, no one saying “I love you” and seeing the look in their eyes. This world is incredibly difficult to navigate and for those of us who struggle every single day with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, life is especially difficult during the dark half of the year. I jokingly said that I don’t thaw out until July, that from October to July I am frozen. It isn’t a joke. The darkness freezes everything….I am ready for the light half of the year. This coming Beltane I will tie another ribbon of sadness to the tree of life… how I wish I would have said something, one thing, anything….God be with all who are hurting.
Until then….take your medicine, reach out, wait with glorious anticipation for the days of heat and sun….