Tonight, I have been thinking about that deep, dark pit and the moments of my life when I was at the very bottom, nowhere lower to go and my head too heavy to look up. I have been thinking about the things and places that remind me of those times.
You might guess that it was those months after college graduation, when I would wander from the laundry room to look over the balcony to the pool area two floors below and think about what would happen if I let myself fall.
Or maybe that it would be one of those evenings when I was wild-eyed and manic, scream-weeping in the bathroom while my roommate sat outside the door and prayed.
But when I think of myself at my lowest, I always picture myself in the Caribou Coffee in Long Lake, Minnesota. I’d arrived to town too early to visit Orono High School, and so I stopped into Caribou off of Highway 12 (which has since been re-routed), ordered hot cocoa, and sat alone at a table. In my car I had been listening to “Spirit” by the band Switchfoot, letting the chorus hammer into me that all I wanted was Jesus … exactly whom I believed I could not have.
Interestingly, the emotion that I seemed to feel the most was this odd, lonely marvel. Don’t get me wrong– it was not good, as marvel usually is. It was this dark, lost, inconceivable wonder that I could be so damned and that there was nothing I could do about it. I sipped at my cocoa, thinking how there was no joy left available to me, no rescue coming, no prayer I could whisper to make things okay again. A marvel and a sort of understanding washing over me that this was my reality and there was no way out.
For years, I could not listen to that song (which truly is a lovely one!) without feeling a stale depression steal over me. To this day, when I drive by that Caribou, I think to that dark day. Nothing impressive or strange or particularly triggering had occurred, but it is my lowest, loneliest moment of my life.
I could not have pulled myself out of that pit. I didn’t even have the strength to lift my eyes.
(Oh gosh, I’m going to start being known as That Girl Who Cries in Barnes & Noble, LOL!)
Jesus Christ rescued me. He led me to the right medication and the right therapy and carried me out of the pit himself.
In the past couple of weeks, I have gotten several emails from fellow obsessive-compulsives who are in that same pit. I write this post to say that there is hope– and it’s not in ourselves.