Wow! It is hard to believe this was 17 months ago. I wanted to repost it to encourage others to not give up. It is a slow, long process to get from where I was to where I am. Take small steps each day. If you take a step back, do not beat yourself up, give yourself grace. One of the biggest things I have learned is YOU have to do the work. God can tell you what you need to do, your therapist/counselor can tell you what to do, but until YOU do the work, you will not heal and live the way you are meant to live. If God or someone told you to be entirely healed, no more depression, anxiety, self doubt, not liking yourself, etc. you must walk 12 hours a day for the next 7 days, I am betting there are not many people that would do that work, even though they know after 7 days they will be healed.
It is up to you and you are stronger than your storm, braver than the battles you fight, and you are worth it. Believe it!!
Since early September, I’ve been seeing a therapist
Thought I’d knock some things off my list
I knew I had one or two, no more than three
But inside of my head is a scary place to be
The monsters in my head
Have been fed and fed
I found things I forgot I lost
Buried deep, but at a cost
Didn’t want to talk but I spilled my guts
Didn’t know I was this messed up
Often putting myself in solitary
To find out I’m my own worst adversary
I’ve had walls built so high
I forgot what was locked inside
They say scars make you stronger but they hurt like hell
I never knew I had so many stories to tell
Didn’t know I was broken until those words were spoken
Here I am standing on the ledge hopin’
Someone, anyone will pull me back
But I don’t think I know anyone like that
Can you hear me shout?
My silence is so loud
Slowly we’ve been tearing some of those walls down
A little hope but, at times, I felt as if I would drown
We all grieve in our own way
I kept throwing things in an open grave
Tossing my feelings and emotions inside
Always looking for a place to hide
No fears, no tears for too many years
All the while, collecting a lot of souvenirs
But those souvenirs were really just debris
Weighing me down, keeping me from being me
Little did I know they were tearing my world apart
All those things that were hidden in the dark
I’m starting to see in a new light
I know my life’s worth the fight
I still don’t know what’s on the other side of the door
But I’ll take the next step forward to be healthier than before
Citizen Soldier is one of my favorite bands and most of their songs I feel like they were inside my head when they wrote them so here are some of their songs.
Charlie was just a young puppy when he chased his first car. Charlie loved the thrill of chasing cars. Charlie wondered what would happen when he caught one.
Charlie grew bigger and faster. Charlie ran every day to build up his strength to catch a car. Charlie didn’t have time to play with other dogs. Any dog that tried to get close to Charlie, Charlie would run over on his way to try to catch another car.
Then one day, Charlie was chasing a car when he saw Bella. The world stopped for Charlie. Charlie didn’t think about chasing cars as much.
Charlie and Bella fell in love. Charlie and Bella started having puppies. Charlie and Bella were happy. Charlie started to worry about how he could provide for them.
Charlie started chasing cars again. Charlie ran and ran. Charlie would stay out late chasing cars.
Charlie and Bella started to fight. Bella was left all alone while Charlie chased cars. Charlie’s kids wanted him to be home more. Charlie’s kids wanted to spend time with their dad.
Charlie kept chasing cars.
Then one day it happened. Charlie caught a car. Charlie was so happy. Charlie thought I finally did it. But in that same moment, Charlie had another thought.
Charlie realized he had made it to the top but that he had destroyed his life. Charlie had no friends. Charlie and Bella didn’t talk anymore. Charlie didn’t know what his kids were like.
Charlie was miserable at the top. All the long hours, all the sacrifices, all the birthdays he missed to get there.
Charlie wished he didn’t want to chase cars. Charlie wished he could do things differently. Charlie wondered if they would ever forgive him.
This is one I first posted in 2018, reposted in 2020 and for some reason, I keep getting a pull to repost it so here it is. Over the years it has been one of my most viewed so maybe the pull I am feeling is that someone will read it that needs forgiveness or needs to give forgiveness, that needs to heal. (And I realize that maybe, just maybe, the pull is for myself to grow, forgive, and heal.)
Your Rose Garden
I watched you for what seemed like hours as you tended to your rose garden. I never understood why you would want to have so many roses and why you would want to spend so much time out there. You would always say you loved the way the dirt smelled. You would spend countless summer days bent over the garden, sweat dripping from your brow, pulling the weeds and pruning the roses. You would come inside sweaty, dirty, and looking exhausted but you always had a smile on your face.
I don’t get it, I would say. You would reply, what’s their to get. It’s my time to do what I love and it’s my time I spend all alone with God. You should hear the conversations we have. I would always reply I don’t know if I want to and we would laugh.
Even in the dark cold days of winter you would get bundled up and go outside to walk the path through your garden. Talking to them, touching their dead branches. Of course, I didn’t get that either. Why on earth? You would always say that they aren’t dead. There is life inside of them. They are like a lot of people in this world. Walking dead but there is life in them. It’s up to us to bring that life out. Waiting patiently, for today they may appear dead but with tomorrow there is always hope that kindness, love, and compassion will give them life.
You were like that. You had a natural beauty that I was instantly attracted to but it was your inner beauty that would light up my heart. You could walk into a dark room and it would be like someone turned on the lights.
It is the type of person you were.
Until one day you were taken from me. A teenager was texting and driving and ran into you. Neither of you survived. God needed his angel back and I had to pay the price. At your funeral the pastor recited your favorite bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Forget you God. If this is your plan then I don’t want any part of it. I looked out the back window and saw your rose garden. In my grief, I ran outside and I pulled and broke and cut every rose bush. I screamed and hollered your name. I screamed at God.
Out of breath, cut, scratched, and bleeding from the thorns, I dropped to my knees and let my tears water the lifeless dirt.
Summer turned to winter and, like the days , my heart grew darker and colder. I didn’t know how to live without you. I didn’t want to live without you. God should’ve taken me with you. My pain was too much to bear.
I looked out the window and saw the bare garden. I finally understood what you meant. Even if they appeared dead, at least they were still there. Now there was nothing but bare dirt. I grieved more as I recalled that day I destroyed what you loved.
As seasons go, winter turned to spring. We had an early spring this year. I looked out the window and could not believe my eyes. Somehow in the very back of the garden, barely visible from where I stood, a rose bush had survived and now had two roses blooming.
I ran outside as fast as I could. I had to touch them to see if they were real. As I did, I could swear I caught a faint scent of you. Then in the spring breeze I could swear I heard your laughter. I immediately dropped to my knees and grabbed a handful of dirt. It smelled so full of life.
In that moment, I felt my heart start to beat again.
I went out and bought as many rose bushes as I could find. There had to be at least a hundred of them and I was going to fix what I destroyed.
I was going to fix your rose garden.
I labored for hours that first day. I went to bed exhausted, sore and smelling like dirt but I woke up refreshed, ready to start again.
But, I realized I could not do it on my own.
I looked at my phone, hesitant to dial their number. I dialed anyway. I called the teenagers parents and they came over to help.
I think all of us healed a little bit that day.
I watched every day as your garden came back to life. I spent hours out there talking to you. I slowly learned to talk to God again.
Summer rolled around and I was in the garden every day. Sweat rolling off every inch of my body but it was okay. I stood up to take a break and I swear I felt your hand touch mine. I closed my eyes remembering what your touch felt like. I looked down at my hand, but yours was not there. I started to lift it up when a beautiful butterfly landed in my palm. Then a sliver of light fell right on it, giving it its own spotlight. I smiled, then the butterfly fluttered toward my face and touched my cheek, as if giving me a kiss. Then it flew to a nearby rose and I did something I hadn’t done in a long time.
I said your name out loud.
Then a summer breeze picked up and I swear I heard it carry your laughter. Tears fell down my face but I smiled.
In your rose garden I found life again. I found you again. I found God again.
I miss you every minute of every day but it was right there and then that I knew I would never be alone.