i was consumed
in the deep abyss of depression.
i had been there before
and had always managed
to dig my way out.
but this time i got lost
in a maze, each turn dragging me further
so many unresolved thoughts plagued
the chasm of my mind.
i wanted to die,
not to **** myself,
for i couldn't be that selfish
to hurt my family in that way.
but i prayed selfishly
to be put out of my misery.
a prayer i felt unanswered
for months on end.
i tried to hide
from those closest to me,
in a defense mechanism sarcastic tone,
i smirked to a friend
that all i really wanted
she encouraged me to pray.
i responded honestly,
"i'm not sure prayer works for me
because i've lost faith."
as if God only answers to those with faith.
she told me
that i might need to see results to believe
but that i should
give it a shot anyway
and stick with it.
i brushed it off.
the next morning,
i woke up with my normal
(worse than normal, at that time)
negative thoughts, you're ugly, fat, unworthy ...
(that's the censored, more kind version of my thoughts)
to which i argued in my head,
silly i know.
then my friend's words resonated
"give it a shot."
so i quickly prayed a simple prayer for peace
in my mind, body and in my soul.
of course, i didn't feel any different at the time,
but i drug my heavy laden body out of bed.
forced myself to workout and went to work.
my first client that day was new to me.
hiding behind my work mask,
i presented myself professional
with my usual introduction.
she returned the favor
with a look of odd fascination.
so i continued with
"have i worked on you before?"
hoping i hadn't absentmindedly
not recognized a former client.
she responded "no, but you are Liz, right?"
i confirmed and proceeded to my room.
after scoping out the surroundings,
she commented on one of my paintings
on the wall, of an Angel.
it's an abstract.
some people don't see it.
then she asked ...
if i was a believer.
caught off guard
i responded "excuse me?"
she said, "do you believe in Jesus?"
not accusatory or even with aggression,
but a simple question, with dancing eyes.
i said, yes, more out of fear,
with my current frame of mind, at the time.
i was fragile and trying desperately
to hold it together.
i left her to ready herself for therapy
and took the opportunity
to regain my composure,
securing my guarded mask.
when i began therapy
she sighed and said
"i felt in my heart
that you were the right therapist for me,
because i can feel your kind heart."
i asked "did someone refer you to me?"
with suspicion, and narrowed eyes.
she responded "no. Jesus gave me your name."
she told me how she relied heavily on prayer
and that brought her to see me.
i **** you not.
i brushed off her words
as any sane
(even in depression)
she was not easy to work
as a large body
that was hard as stone.
but my thoughts began to shift,
i swallowed an emotional lump in my throat.
in that moment, i realized,
i felt privileged to be working on her,
for her to have sought me out
on a quest from Jesus, or so she believed.
a peace i'd never experienced before
washed over me, cleansed me, anointed me.
in that moment, i felt clean, light.
afterward she gave me a huge hug
with an exaggerated pause
and whispered in my ear,
that prayer was the only reason
she was alive.
it felt like no other hug i'd received before,
so tender, sweet and sincere.
so i asked myself
"was this a sign?"
from that day forward,
i found my way back.
navigating the maze.
it didn't happen all at once
but each step, each turn
lead me out of the abyss of darkness
and toward the light of harmony and peace.
and though, i still slip occasionally,
i recall that spiritual experience.
this happened. i don't consider myself and a religious person but i would say i am spiritual. i don't share this experience often because had it not happened to me, i wouldn't believe it. i share it now in hopes that someone who is lost, isolated, hurt, in pain, and in the grips of darkness, might believe it possible to find their way out.