Lonely and Alone

This one is tough guys. This one is hard to write. Last week, much to my amazement, I heard myself saying, “I’ve changed this year. I feel much lighter.” It was strange but I’ve never thought much beyond the changes that I had felt in my gut needed to be made. Neither did I examine the emotional reasoning behind logical actions such as leaving my former church. I guess you could say that in that moment, examining the situation too closely would have revealed truths I was in no way ready to handle. It was time for a self-discovery.

As I thought back on last year, I could clearly hear myself questioning the reason why I had so many people around me but only few realized I was stressed and unhappy. A lot were quite happy to add more drama to my plate. I looked deeper and realized that at that moment in my life, unhappiness was too mild a word, I was depressed.

Acknowledging depression is a hard pill to swallow because when you generally think of depression, the image of the girl with the bright aura and smile doesn’t readily come to mind. Instead, we generally visualize the emos, dressed in black, sullen, and looking for all the world to see “depressed”.

I remember a few years ago, I saw the story of a young woman who was dead in her apartment for two entire years before any noticed. I remember thinking, “How could that situation have happened? Didn’t she have friends, family, neighbors, etc.” I am afraid of getting there. Dying and no one noticing. At the time, I thought to myself, that could never happen to me. I have way too many people around me.

Yet, last year, I remember sitting down in church and on the choir, and wondering how could I be surrounded by so many people and still feel so alone. Aren’t these the same people who hugged me on a Sunday and called me “daughter”? Why did I feel so alone?

Why was my phone full of church contacts who, for the most part, only called or messaged me when they needed something? Why these numerous contacts only seemed interested in the wide white smile but none took the time to look beyond and see the sadness in my eyes? These were the persons I prayed with. These were the persons I sang on the choir with. These were the persons I joker around with. These were the persons I spent a large percentage of my free time with. These were the persons I thought of as friends yet when I needed, no one knew me enough to see.

Where were all my friends? Why didn’t my family notice something was off about me?

Honestly, I felt betrayed by God too. Where was He when I was internally screaming loudly? Begging Him for a physical sign that He had heard my cry? Begging Him for someone to speak directly to me, to my feeling during one of the Sunday messages. Where was He? Why didn’t he give me the sign I needed?

I can remember thinking to myself, “So many people but only a handful.” It was amazing that despite me knowing so many persons, only a few thought to check if I was okay when I went MIA. Even fewer thought to push deeper when I gave my regular “I’m okay” to the general polite question, “How are you?”

A part of me recognized that I wasn’t needed. I didn’t want to be in such an environment where everybody looked but few really saw. I recognized I couldn’t stay. My mitigation action was simple. I let go of my “BIG” church and a lot of acquaintances. I chose a smaller church and began focusing my energies on building strong relationships with the few friends who have shown themselves as being worthy of the title. I gave myself the permission to be free of the things I didn’t believe in at heart and focused on ensuring my emotional health. Eventually, I felt lighter.

In retrospect, I wondered how I got to the point of being depressed and yet no one or myself seemed to notice. The answer hit me. I was always the one who could fix it. Most of my acquaintances believed that I always had it together. I didn’t need help, instead, I was the one capable and always willing to offer the assistance. It just didn’t cross their minds that maybe I needed help of a different nature.

Guys, I hope my blubbering makes sense. I want to call you to action. I came close but I escaped from the clutches of depression. Don’t be one of the persons who looks but do not see. Care enough to stop and take the time to see beneath the surface. Care enough to ask deeper questions.

XOXO,
Chañel.

Advertisements

What Letting Go Has Taught Me…

After a long week, I took some time to just reflect on life and where I’ve progressed to since the year began. I realized something about myself. Many of the persons I had started the year with, has disappeared. This made me pause and reflect on how I felt about their disappearance. I realized I was okay.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about keeping persons to your standards. A confession, sometimes I write very good advice but I am generally the last to take it. What do they say about the counsellor? They need the most counseling… For weeks after that post, I would find myself getting annoyed with myself when people walked all over my standards and I kept them around. Frankly I was miserable and I decided to actively do something about it. I must say that once you begin to stand up for yourself, you will be amazed how quickly persons either pulled up their socks or disappeared.

Some of these persons tried to reappear later but I stuck to my mantra and eventually they would leave for good once they realized what I now stood for. I can’t moan about the disappearing acts, frankly, good riddance.

Another thing that changed was that I stopped allowing persons to drag me into their drama. I am a regular Miss-Fix-It. Maybe that is why I make such a good Project Manager… It is simply amazing how much energy it takes to deal with other persons’ drama. What makes it worse is when sometimes, these are the persons who you can never depend on. It made me wonder, what was the use, if these persons were only in your life to drain you. Now, whenever I want to say something or intervene, I beg the Lord to hold my tongue or simply walked away.

My final habit that changed was my “Superwoman mentality”. This on many occasions caused me to burn out and persons often took advantage of my inability to say “no”. I have begun to say “no”. Frankly, it feels good to be able to have time to myself and be able to do the things that I want to do. This meant that a lot of people walked away once they realized I was no longer available to be twisted around their fingers. Frankly, that set leaving was a breath of fresh air.

Friendship, I found, is never about quantity. It’s simply the quality. I would rather have a few good friends who look out for me than an entire army of friends whose actions are a guarantee to my destruction. I prefer to walk into my peace. Don’t you agree? Let me know your thoughts on the subject in the comments area below.

XOXO,
Chañel.

First Crushes and Loves

Today, at lunch, a conversation about giving the bird and the bees talk turned into our outrageous actions done in the name of primary school crushes. I found myself fondly remembering my first crush.

I was a nine-year old who had just moved to a new area. Moving meant leaving all my friends behind and starting a new school after sitting out almost half the school year at grade two. I remember feeling really awkward and missing my friends terribly on my first day as a grade three student in a new school.

It was around the time when I was getting really familiar with the school that I noticed M. There shouldn’t have been anything special about him. He was just an ordinary boy from a different class. An ordinary boy who did one thing. He made my heart pound just a bit faster. Out of principle, I took to avoiding him because frankly I didn’t like anything that I couldn’t understand. I certainly didn’t understand my reaction to him!

Continue reading

A man after God’s own heart

image

I don’t know about you guys but this summer seems to be the engagement season! I turn my back for a few seconds and by the time I turn around, I hear that another friend or acquaintance is married! Okay, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but you get the point.

In recent times, I’ve not been really concerned about marriage but this season have found me giving the entire institution some thought. This is due primarily to the fact that persons have suddenly seen it fit to constantly remind me that I am now nearer to 25 than 20 and thus, I needed to get cracking.

As I knelt praying, early Monday morning, I found myself thinking about how my perception of my perfect guy has changed over the years. When I first discovered guys, I envisioned my ideal husband to be all looks and no substance. I had it all planned and nothing else mattered as long as we both looked good. As I grew older, I started to realize that the substance mattered and my prayer changed to focus not so much on looks but more on his substance and character. By this point it was all about WHAT I WANTED.

Continue reading

It Was Your Eyes

image

Lonely.
All alone in a crowded world.
Two orbs meet two.
No words spoken,
Conversation beholden,
Crinkles greet,
Face red heat.
I’m lost and held
In a moment
I see,
In a sea.
A sea that was your eyes.


XOXO
Chañel

It is time to leave your comfort zone

image

A year ago, I reached a place where I felt like I wasn’t growing. I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I felt stagnant. I had dreams and visions in mind but I saw no fit manner to achieve them. I was doing so much but I felt as though what I was reaching for was always just outside my reach and no matter how far I stretched, my aim always eluded me. I had grown stagnant in my professional, personal and spiritual life and this stagnancy sucked me in almost as though I was standing in quicksand.

It is strange but have you ever noticed that when you have worn out a plot of land, you have to leave it for another plot and give it time to recuperate? It is the same with life. Sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone, what is familiar to us, and move afar from the shore. I was just reading of how the disciples of Jesus left their comfort to pursue a ministry that was hard and it is for this that they are remembered, for this that they gained the greatest prize of all, salvation.

Continue reading

The Subject of Crying

Maybe no one told you that there was strength in your tears. – Kelly Clarkson

I used to be one of those females who believed that crying was a sign of weakness. Well, it should be the flip as crying doesn’t show that you are weak but rather that you have strength. It takes strength to show others that you are vulnerable. One of the things that have really struck me is that although tears show considerable strength, we tend to apologize anytime we become emotional in the presence of a group or others – especially if we don’t know them well. I had to ask myself: ” Why do we do that?  Why is it not okay to become emotional whenever we want?”

Here are a few reasons why tears, whether in public or private, are okay.

  1. Tears enable us to get in touch with our deepest feelings. Unless you’re putting on a really good act, eating onions, or acting in a movie scene, tears express the rawest emotions within. We have all had moments when a really amazing gift or gesture had brought tears to our eyes. We cry when we share moments of great elation with others. There are many times, I’ve laughed until I began crying. Tears are also an expression of grief at endings or the loss of those who are precious to us.

Continue reading