I started this post a while ago and abandoned it to the drafts folder. Then tried to write it yesterday and lost half of it. 3rd time’s the charm?
“I hit the wall” is a running (or any other endurance sport) term, but this isn’t about a run. And really, I’ve been metaphorically hitting the wall for a while now. I really have way more on my plate than I can handle, and have had for some time. And got “called out” for it during vacation by one of my cousins as I fought having a meltdown in her kitchen.
Back in March before the Tobacco Road, Karyn vowed to drag me across the finish line if I got to where I couldn’t even crawl to it. I think that is where I am at now, metaphorically. I am done. Spent. Enough so that I did something that I didn’t think I could get myself to do. I went to an Al-Anon meeting. Alone. The introvert who really just wants to blend in the background. And you can’t go to one of those types of meetings and stay completely silent. You have to at a minimum introduce yourself. It was just “Hi, I’m Martha,” but yeah, that was tough. But not nearly as tough as parking the car and actually getting my butt up out of the car and walking into the building.
I went to Al-Anon because I went to an open AA meeting last week. That wasn’t my first AA meeting (my second, actually), but it had a profound effect on me this time. Enough to put my social anxiety aside to give Al-Anon a chance. And dang if it wasn’t just like an AA meeting, so at least I was able to blend in somewhat.
I’m no stranger to depression. High stress –> panic attacks –> depression. Depression is when I’ve hit the wall. I understand how people become suicidal. (I’m not. Just sayin’.) But when you are deep in the pit, sometimes you just can’t see that the circumstances that got you there are temporary. The dark is too crushing and feels more real than the truth.
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6, ESV)
The near constant struggle for days against the onslaught of unwanted angry, bitter, vengeful thoughts has left me battle weary. I still have the thoughts from time to time, but at least it’s not a barrage. So there is some respite in the pit. Even during the onslaught, I could see how past trials were preparing for this one, but all I could think was “What’s next?” Each trial is worse than the last.
How broken do I have to be?
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, ESV)
There is always purpose in the pain.