Defining moments are those which come into our lives and suddenly happen.
They are a stopping point. A lapse in time in which everything combusts and crashes. 2015 had a moment like that for me. It was the year in which I awakened to a shattered reality, the most painful state of the human soul. Disconcerted I asked myself, “how did I get here?”
In my book, a memoir about reclaiming identity and finding hope in God’s love, I tell the story of a chapter in my life where I survived a nervous breakdown.
Lost in the moment I tried to end my life.
In this level of pain and darkness, it is the mind that collapses first. When all schemes fail and it feels cornered, it turns against itself, betraying the human heart and its right to live. Some people think that suicide is a cowardly choice; but it takes bravery to face a demon so powerful that not all its victims escape and live to tell.
I lived it, the void is real, its cold and it drags a wounded and abandoned heart to the depths of complete loss. A moment devoid of all hope.
Pain choked out my life. I had failed to attain the one thing that could never be bought. The one thing that is freely and willingly given by the One who is love; God.
And since I did not know what love was, I settled for a counterfeit idea of it; conditional love.
Trying to make people love me was something I strived for continuously. That was the lie that informed my identity, “love is earned”.
I couldn’t see past the moment so ending my life seemed like the only option left…but was it? After my failed attempt I needed to find a way to live again.
My journey through recovery was about reclaiming that which was lost or stolen; ME. Reclaiming my true identity was a slow conquest.
Throughout my life, I had tried to earn love.
I was so focused on what people thought of me, I would do anything to be accepted.
I call this behavioral phenomenon “twirling”. Yes, you read right, “twirling.” Have you ever seen those jewelry boxes that have a mechanical ballerina attached inside?
As you open it the music plays and the ballerina twirls in front of the mirror. She dances to please those who catch a glimpse. Just like the mechanical ballerina I loved to twirl. I had it down to an art.
With every effort, I’d get the applause, the affirmation which was my sure fix of self-worth. The outcomes of these behavior patterns were the quicksand in which I had anchored my hope.
When my so-called life collapsed, I discovered that true hope can only be found in a person who is steady, faithful and true.
Not only that but He doesn’t demand any performing on my part; That person is Jesus.
He was the only one who stood by my side when everyone else left. Through the journey of recovery, I found out who I truly am. I discovered true love, not the kind that we see in the movies.
No, I mean a love so real, so pure and intense that it can be easily perceived and felt if we’re willing to seek it. I began discovering the truth about myself and God.
I found out who I was not. Dismantling my false identity was the only way I could become free. My freedom to exist is the most valuable thing I have.
But choosing to stay with God and not run has been an act of falling in love.
A dance that persuades me with the truth. A hope that presently breathes life into me, and I think I finally found it! Unshakable hope found in God’s love.
I hope you journey with me, and allow yourself to know who you truly are. There are things I want to share which I know will help you become free and full of hope.