Real Happy

Have you ever thought about what makes you happy? Have you ever thought about where your joy comes from?

Is it your Lord?  Is it your children, love interest, family, friend, or all the above?  A multi combination of who, what, when, and where.  Maybe it’s the universe or maybe it’s the earth.  Wherever your “real happy” comes from, you know it sometimes, a lot of sometimes, takes a lot of work. 

Yes, there are days you just can’t get out of bed and sleep is the only desire you have.  The day becomes night and the night becomes day.  You missed out on life and life missed out on you.  It’s a weight of another kind of unknown power that will not allow you to show your presence anywhere. 

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What actually happened?  You just can’t explain!  Could it be that yesterday beat you down so bad that it sucked the breath right out of you?  You were doing so well with your progress to find “real happy” but it took those hateful, abusive, heart crushing words to push you two steps back.  The people around that never hurt you just don’t understand why you lock them out.  This hurt was there before your husband or kids came along.  It comes from years of hearing “those words”, the yelling, the threats, and the many times your heart was stomped on that steals your “real happy”. 

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Why is it that it didn’t affect you so many times before but now, now it just sneaks up on you and won’t go away?  You know it’s that one person, thing, demon that gets you every time!  It shows up or calls you just to cuss you out or threaten to “straighten” you out with violence.   It’s, “Do as I say or else!”  You know what actually takes away your “real happy”.  Oh, you know alright so you avoid it, them, or you lock them out of your head but somehow it, “them” finds you and pounds on your heart like the many, many times before! 

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Yes, you know you will recover because you must…you must…you always do!  Whether you do it for those around you that can’t understand or you do it for you…you must.  Your “real happy” will peek out again and again if you keep pulling from your God, Universe, family, or friends.  You know you must!

So you lay there in the darkness and silence.  Maybe you pray.  Maybe you listen to music. Maybe you just sleep cause let’s face it…sleep shuts off “those words” that repeat over and over in your head.  You want to explain but can’t, you tried, but just can’t explain why today you can’t get out of bed and struggle for your “real happy”! Yet, you know you will, maybe not today but maybe tomorrow. You have strong caring people around you, a husband, a son, a daughter, and a best friend that will not leave your side until you are “you” again!

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610 Loop

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Soon after I received my driver’s license, I started my (Houston) 610 Loop sessions.  The first time I drove on this amazing interstate of connected cement was just to familiarize myself where it would take me.  It fascinated me to know I could start at any on-ramp and end up back in the same location once I made the complete loop.  I was hooked! 

There were no interruptions, no masking, no conversations, no yelling, no drama, and no expectations while the radio was blasting!  What I accomplished in these 2 hour sessions at least once a month was life saving for me.  It was a comfy blanket that would wrap me up in peace and rock me back to the strong woman I needed to be to protect me from that dark demon(self destruction).

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This 610 Loop helped me become an awesome driver, of course, but more importantly it helped me through childhood glimpse of nightmares, move on from breakups, write songs, pray, get closer to God, make life changing decisions, get a grip on my brothers death, calm down and just relax me from a stressful day.  Oh, this 610 Loop was my escape and my nudge in the right direction (no pun intended). 

The sessions became far apart since my first 610 Loop intervention almost 20 years ago but every now and then, instead of driving to get a grip, I take this amazing 610 Loop when life is good, I take myself on a session of thankfulness, recollection, and heart searching.  It takes much longer than 2 hours now but it’s still worth it…for different reasons now but so worth it!

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Masking Depression

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There’s a whisper in the darkness that overwhelmed me with fear.  It called out to me softly, often, only I could hear.  I prayed, “Oh, Lord please help me, please!” These flashes of yesterdays are consuming me!

This large family of mine kept me busy, the dramas, birthdays, holidays, barbques, church, gospel music (another day, another blog), all the many many events that kept me so busy, helped me wear a mask.  This mask I wore for over 10 yrs had many layers and I wore it well!  

My weekend “gospel singing” mask had broken to pieces when I made the choice to really put God first and stop pretending that behind the stage there wasn’t raging chaos.  My “keep all secrets” mask was weighing me down so I pushed my family away.  My “strong sister” mask fell off when my brother died suddenly 2 weeks before Christmas and a piece of me just died with him.  So the hard, thick layers of my mask was thinning.  

It wasn’t until a very hurtful argument with one of my siblings that completely broke off my last layer of my mask.
In the roller coaster ride of emotions on the way home with my husband, I tried to pray but words escaped me.  I tried to hold back the demon that was forcing his way out.  Soon it all came pouring out of me.  The many childhood nightmares, the secrets I kept for others, my young single adult life regrets, my anger, my hatred toward those that taught me how to mask.  I had to make it to my bed that helped me cover up this monster roaring inside me!

I fell to the floor of my bedroom that knew my demon well.  My husband did all he could to comfort me in his arms and hold me up.  It was too late, the dark fog was here to stay this time because this time my mask was thinner and I was weak.  There was no one hiding!

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I, uncontrollably screamed in agony and shouted out what was locked away for so long.  Every reason for my anger, hurt, and sleepless nights. This demon of depression stepped in quick before I could backup and tuck it away.  It was out there and it was gonna stay. It unveiled my hidden demon, the mask was gone! 

The fear of being alone was overwhelming and I was so far from “myself”.  My breath was leaving me and I didnt want to wake no more.  Sorrow was now my church.

It wasn’t until weeks later and full blown depression had set in, that it started to turn for me.   I was laying on my couch, alone and on my last thread of hope, when Pastor Steven Furtick of The Elevation church in NC
http://stevenfurtick.org
sent me a private Facebook message.  He said the spirit of God moved him to write me.  This was unbelievable that a Pastor of over 17,000 members and miles away, that I only heard of months before because he preached once in my home church, would be moved to save my life and I mean, save my life!  His words were right on with what I was feeling and his encouragement was so uplifting! I have since heard all his sermons online. 

Through Pastor Furtick’s teaching series such as “Crash the Chatterbox”, I was freed of this demon of depression that was choking my soul and everything around me! 

I have begun a jounrney to find myself in this empty nest which if you haven’t figured out yet doesn’t mean an empty home but means my heart, mind, and true self free from the chains of depression.

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Please seek help if you are struggling with depression. Depression is not something you can “just get over”. There are many people that wear the same shoes as you do and understand the darkness it locks you in. I know all to well how depression forces you to push friends and family away. You are not alone!