Sunday, April 14, 2013

In That Happy Place

I hear day in and day out from the internet alone that while you are alive you should be doing things that make you happy. You should stop wasting time on people who don't care. You should be forget those who've hurt you and move on with your life.
To the world, this life is all about being in a happy place.
It's all about enjoying life and living to the fullest.
It has been burned into even our minds that we need to be in a happy place to live to the fullest.
Which is complete and utter crap.

There's so much wrong with that perspective on life.
For a first:
If I were to take the world's advice, I'd stop praying for all the people on my heart. I'd grow bitter and harsh towards the people who've done me wrong over the years. I'd forget all of the imperfect relationships I have with people. I'd forget all of the people whose memory burns alive in the worst of memories. I'd become all the more selfish and become a monster towards anyone who had problems with me.
In the world's view, I'd have to let go of anything that has even made me sad.

And not only is that perspective intertwined with selfishness, but it's also combined with the lie that the only way to live to the fullest is to be happy in life.
There have been plenty of saints who have been bright lights for Christ and have lived to their fullest, even though they lived in a very dark time. There have been many a Christians in great discomfort over sicknesses and pains who have proven to be happier when their trials were darkest.
Having the house you want, with your dream job, with your dream spouse, in your dream state doesn't always mean you will be happy and live to your fullest.
You don't have to be in a happy place, where everything is perfect to live your fullest.
While I agree that in life, we should live our fullest, to the greatest capacity, I don't think think this life is about finding that happy place where everything is fine.
Our greatest moments of joy are often found in our greatest trials.

And while I wish to see my friend's in a "happy" place, I don't say it in terms of having no strife. Because without trials we will have no reason to cling onto Jesus. And with no need for Jesus who is the core of our joy in life; we have nothing at all. So I wish my friends well and that they will live to the fullest, through their Saviour Jesus Christ.

In summary I suppose what I am trying to say is that while the world glorifies this "happy place" of the perfect life, with no sickness or pain, it is not always the best life where you will live to the fullest.
Often it is in our darkest times that we are happiest of all.

God Bless,

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Relapses and Recovery

My life feels like a series of relapses and recoveries.
Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
Life was okay up until 2008 shook my world from it's very roots and God saved me.
A year later I was slipping into addiction and didn't even know it. And from that addiction, my struggle with depression began.
In 2010 my health began going down when my chronic pain started.
For all these years I've been battling addiction, depression, and my health.
And finally, as I sit here writing this blog post in 2013, I've been totally freed from my chains of addiction, and on the very slow road to recovery physically.
My depression has been on and off over the last few years. But it's waves have gotten stronger and darker as time's gone by.
And though my addiction is gone, I still suffer from the mental and emotional scars it leaves, that still require years and years of healing. I am still recovering from that dark time, and haven't suffered any relapses from that, by the Grace of God.
But my health on the other hand has suffered through many relapses. Relapses in which I am most vulnerable to depression.
For the longest time I thought depression was just something I'd outgrow. And perhaps the depressing and suicidal thoughts will vanish entirely, but there are still traces of them here and there.
I was doing okay, keeping afloat until last summer hit and my health went the worst it ever had been and stayed that way. Depression hit again in a tidal wave and everything stopped.
My writing stopped. My close ties with friends seemed to whither. My reading stopped. To me, that was everything my life consisted of. All seemed to stop but work.
All because of my poor health and the depression I had sunk in.
Since then my health has had a lot of ups and downs. Many relapses on the road to recovery. And the depression has been on and off.
I've not gotten back to normal yet. Reading and writing haven't been the same.

All this to say is that my life seems to be made up with recoveries and relapses. It seems like there is no end. That there is no "outgrowing" my depressions. That there is no getting to be feeling 100 percent physically like most people I know.
I know that there are some things that will always leave scars on your life, emotionally or spiritually. There are some things that will follow you to the grave.
My health may never be 100%, and that could very well follow me to the grave. The bad perspectives and emotional scars that my addiction left behind might follow me for the rest of my life. The dark waves of depression might follow me to my death bed.
It is weird to think of my life in terms of relapses and recovery.
But perhaps that is what it's always going to be.
I know my life will never be the way it was before. I know there will always be scars.
And deep inside I think I know there will always be relapses on this long road to recovery.
And you know what?
That's okay.

God Bless,