The Struggle to Re-find Myself

If you came to find a positive post today, let me for warn you, although the destination positive, it will journey through some of the dark places I seem to have found myself during my everyday struggle forward.  This mental space happens to many of us at some point in our lives, whether we choose to share it, or keep it private is solely our discretion.  I am hoping that through sharing that is will give me a firm patchwork of where I am, how I got here, and how to get out; and at the same time maybe add some relief to many of you out there that you are not alone during those trying times, even when it feels like you are, someone has ventured there before you.

Today I found myself in a bit of a mental conundrum.  Much of this isn’t something that happened over night, but over many years.

For the most part I have spent most of my life doing things for others.  I have always found great joy in attempting to improve the lives of those around me, so much that I rarely have ever taken time for myself.  Typically I would use vacation days, not for vacation, but to do something for someone else, whether it was a simple as volunteering for the FD, my years as a Franciscan, helping out in Honduras to spending two years working in the woods (with a work schedule that would run 5-22 days, 24 hours a day) to now working a schedule that takes up the typical hours that most people are getting together.

In most instances this would usually lift me up and would feel great about myself; but it seems the past two years have been a steady decline.  It all started when I moved across the country to get married.  I had sold my motorcycle to pay for the engagement ring, as well as many of my other belongings in order to pay the cost for rent and the trip across country.  I was first met with the issue of not being able to find work, on top of which the room I rented was owned by a woman who ended up pulling a knife on me, and threatened to break all my belongings.  I ended up spending the next month living in a motel in Culver City, all while at the same time my relationship was disintegrating at a rapid rate.  Down to my last few hundred dollars I moved to Denver.  Thanks to my sister, I had a place to stay until I found work, and could get a place of my own.  Somewhere in those 3 months in LA I feel like I seriously lost something deep inside.  The first of this was my faith, in Man, as well as any faith in God.  Life became empty.  I found myself spending most of my time working, and when not working completely withdrawn.  Most, if not all of my days off were in my apartment, alone.  It was odd, it’s been almost 2 years here, and it wasn’t until the other day that I actually had my first visitor, to my apartment, the void.  No furniture, plastic wear for dishes (much of this was donated to Goodwill when I left Asheville).  I just spent the holidays working.  I have pretty much lost touch with the world, that is until the Olympics.

The Olympics have always been something about perseverance, giving your all in the face of adversity, and here I was… lost.  Physically I have been feeling sick for the past few months, my creativity has been on a huge decline as well, but today was the first time after spending a few days off that my mind pushed back.  It completely embraced hopelessness, and I felt so disconnected from everything.  I realized how much I missed believing in something, I missed holding someone in my arms, I missed seeing the things I did bear fruit, I missed making a a real difference, for the first time in my life I TRULY felt alone.

So while many of you are giving up things for Lent, I think I am going to spend this time struggling to find myself again. With this, there are definitely some things I will be giving up, they are not helping me, but actually starting to tear me down now.  I need to make some changes socially.  I need to find something to be involved in, with people, and purpose.  I need to take a vacation for myself as soon as I am able.  So while all of you give up something for Lent, I am going to struggle to take something back…my life, my health, and my happiness.

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