There is this place
With shiny, cold floors
Thick, rusted bars
Rough, concrete walls
And a ceiling so high
There’s an echo when I yell
The sound will bounce around
Until it’s just a jumble of noise
There is this place
Where I find myself

I sat in a prison for so many years.  How can I ever explain to you what it was like to live in that space for so many years?  I would flit between numb nothingness to a sometimes seething rage to a desperate clinging.  At my worst, suicidal thoughts were a constant in my mind. Sometimes days. Sometimes long months on end.  And as I did all the normal things: eating breakfast, walking to teachers college, going to church, teaching my students, spending time with family or friends . . . there they were – a constant low humming, sometimes a deafening roar – in my mind.  My soul. My body. Every part of me. It was utterly exhausting.

Self medicating by self-harming.  And the ensuing guilt only compounded the heaviness that was suffocating me.

My journey of healing from depression has been just that.  A journey. If you asked me to pinpoint at which moment I realised I was no longer living under that dark shadow, I couldn’t tell you.  Was there one pivotal moment when I broke free? No. But there was my husband. And scriptures. And counsellors. And writing. My faith. And mentors. My kids. So many prayers and tears and wrestlings, conversations and choices.  These were small but significant steps; victories, when I could feel the cords that bound me so tightly, loosening somewhat. And with each of these small victories, my lungs began to expand with greater ease and capacity until one day I found myself inhaling deeply and more freely.  

Life is wonder and awe and monotony and pain and beauty and disappointment and grieving and joy and fear and anger and love.  And hope.
Life is all these things.

But life is no longer a prison.  I’m no longer bound by hopelessness and despair.  And yet. It’s still a journey. There are seasons.  There are walls to pass through. But I’m on this journey to wholeness and freedom.  And I walk with a lighter step these days. There is hope. Where there is life there is hope.