Can’t help but wonder. Why am I at this place in my life? How did I get here? Into this situation? This unplanned, undesirable situation?
More importantly, how do I get out? Because I have to tell you the truth…this is NOT who I wanted to be or where I wanted to live or where I wanted to be at this point in my journey. This is not at all what I wanted or expected from life.
So what now? I’ve done everything I can think to do to change the outcome. And still, I’m trapped in a nightmare, unable to escape.
I’ve tried to distract myself with projects, reading, research, even sorting, cleaning and organizing. I’ve attempted to stay busy, to occupy my mind with productive, healthy thoughts. I’ve recited scripture. I’ve sought counseling, both individual and group. I’ve tried every approach I can think of, from Celebrate Recovery to prayer to cognitive behavioral therapy to immersing myself in church to journaling…even to trying to kill myself. Yes, I tried to kill myself. And failed. I’ve tried to feel and I’ve tried to ignore what I feel. I’ve given to and helped others, which is supposed to keep my mind off my own needs and the dark holes in my soul. I’ve tried to channel my thoughts and told myself I can do anything with Christ by my side. I’ve disassociated, fantasized, analyzed, worn the mask, faked it till I could make it, pretended, denied, commanded it, spoke scripture to it (whatever “it” might be), you name it, I’ve done it. I’ve tried every anti-depressant on the market in various combinations and at unbelievable doses with no effect other than severe vertigo and withdrawal symptoms. I’ve worked hard, been responsible, been focused and given it my all. The only things I can think of that I haven’t tried (yet) are electroshock therapy and EMDR therapy. I was researching EMDR therapy when I lost my last job. If I ever get another job that offers good medical insurance, I will still consider it. Shock therapy will be reserved for the day I give up. Really. That will be the very last thing I consider. The “there is absolutely, positively no hope and I cannot go on” option.
But the pressing question of the moment is…now what? Are there other options I haven’t yet considered or that I haven’t heard of? Is there any hope at this point? Or is it finally time to give up? And let them fry my brain.
What do you do when you have done everything you can conceive of doing, that you can afford, and nothing helps? Where do you turn when you have tapped God, psychologists, counselors, therapists, nutritionists, doctors, pastors, groups, teachers and friends, all without finding healing, wholeness and hope? Who do you cry out to for help when even God doesn’t respond to your cries? What professional offers an option that will finally make a difference if God doesn’t even seem to have answers to offer to me?
When you’ve pretty much done it all, where do you turn? Who do you call when God too seems to turn a deaf ear?
I’ve gone to Christian counselors and non-Christian counselors, church sponsored groups, organization sponsored groups, hospital sponsored groups, secular, professional led groups…every kind of group and resource I can think of. And I’ve gone the individual route as well. The not-so-good and the talented individual counselor or therapist. I went to the talented one for years, persisting when there didn’t seem to be any reason to keep trying. During that time, I’ve been self-medicated, doctor medicated, doctor over-medicated, and psychiatrist way-over-medicated. I really think something miraculous should have happened by now, given the odds and the effort. But though I have seen a small amount of improvement in…well, in me…it’s relatively insignificant when you assess the overall level of damage and my current state of being.
So, what’s next?
I’ll admit, I’m discouraged. I’m tired of trying. I’ve disappointed too many people, including myself. Especially myself. And I’m feeling fairly hopeless. I mean, seriously, what does it take??? What will it take to make a difference??? To be different????
Other people find answers. Other people find their way. Why haven’t I been able to free myself from the debris and damage of my past?
When I started the “healing” processes…all of them…I truly believed I would find answers and wholeness. I thought I would find relief, enlightenment, release, healing. I knew it would probably take time because I knew I was very broken. Childhood sexual abuse – thanks dad – really does a number on a kid. Has a lasting impact. The gift that never stops giving.
Now that the package, the “gift” my father gave me, has been opened and the damage has been done, what can I do to repair and rebuild myself from the foundation up? How do I find wholeness? Purpose? Value? What can I do to restore myself?
Having tried everything, what else can I try?
Is healing possible? Honestly, is it? And if it is, what now? What can I do now, at this late point in life, to change my course?
I have no answers. I have no idea what might be next. If anything is next. Other than death.
That seems to be the only option ahead of me. And death isn’t a very exciting option. Never has been. But it may be the only path that is left. Because it doesn’t seem as if there is anything else to pursue. It doesn’t seem as if there is another answer.
It doesn’t seem there is hope. Not at this stage.
So, what now? Are there any options? What, if anything, comes next?
I’m still hanging on to the hope that there is another step or two left for me to take. And that there just might be a reason for me to be alive. But it may only be wishful thinking on my part.
I thought I could win. But I may have been wrong. There may not be a next step. Other than to step out and let go of the life I have been clinging to with all of my might.