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.
Jackie, my heart aches at the thought of you at such a low point. I know how that feels, and I hate to think of anyone else going through that. I know people do, though, and I’m with you: there is hope, there is help.
I couldn’t pray or go to Church because of my OCD. Every time I did it, I got intrusive thoughts, I was afraid of praying for things I didn’t want to happen so I was neutralizing these thoughts and used avoidance in order not to experience anxiety. Now, 9 years later, I’m going to Church again and I’m so glad I made this decision! I have occasional intrusive thoughts, but I want to leave them behind (it can be considered as a sort of “exposure”) and I’m looking forward to see that day!
I’m so sorry things were so bad for you, Jackie…….so glad you are where you are now.
Pingback: Resurgence: When OCD Attacks a Freed Mind | lightsallaround
This touches my heart. I remember one many such moments but one sticks out, and you were there. It’s hard to look back on those days and not feel the same feelings you did back then. I remember being at the point that I had no reasons to live. And you told me that I was wrong. I can think about those moments now to remind me how far I’ve come, and how much I do not want to go back there.
Pingback: It could be the smiling person next to you. | Lights All Around