I know, right?!?
It all started when I clicked on a Tweet~link and met Heather.
Having not "known" her before this amazingly open and honest portrait was painted, I could only sit back and take it all in. I sat at my computer and studied her post the way some people study a canvas in an art gallery. You know the ones. They sit on a bench, eyes fixed on a framed rectangle, not moving for what seems an eternity. I know it was her post...her story to tell...but all I saw looking back was my own face...my own voice...my own history screaming out.
Her portrait lodged in my mind and heart, popping up all thru the weekend at odd times. Making me remember...making me think. But I passed it off as the past and I moved on.
Yeah, well "moving on" didn't get me too far.
Yesterday, Kelly hung a portrait next to Heather's.
When I finished her post, I found familiar tears flowing from a long since closed-off pipe as the silence hung heavy in my mind. Not the normal silence that comes when no one else is around, no. Rather the silence that comes when you find yourself face to face with parts of your mind that you don't normally invite out of their holding rooms...the truths about yourself that you normally cover in make-up and a great smile. Heavy...but in a tangible way that grabs you even when you don't have the strength to embrace it back.
I don't show you these posts in a way to lead into the dropping of a mystery egg. I have no massive secrets to share with any of you.
My addiction, while ever the persistent irritant inside my own mind, is at bay...pulled away by the grace of a Love I don't deserve yet fully cling to.
My depression, while like the pesky neighbor always over to gossip on the front stoop, is not ruling my mind...kept at a distance by the patrol of His might that guards my weaknesses.
But I share these two hearts with you today because...they are real...and they aren't alone in their battles, even tho the people that fight along side of them are not physically present at their sides.
Addiction has a face...and most usually, it is not the pot-marked, filthily-clothed, stinky bum that lives in an alley. A lot of the times she is a house-wife: both a mother and devoted wife...and even, more often than not, a Christian woman who at one time gave her life over to Love only to find that her will wasn't strong enough to ward off Hate's embrace.
Depression has a face...and while it is one that is smile-less and heavy...that isn't usually the one it will let you see. It hides in a "I've got it all together because if I don't I will crumble into a million pieces that no one will ever be able to fix or handle" smile and in the "If I laugh they won't know and if they don't know they won't ask and if they don't ask I won't have to cry" laughter of our churches and our homes.
Addiction and Depression have a face...
...and this is one of them.
...and this is one of them.
This is me.
And while it has taken me years to understand, the truth is:
I am not to be labeled an addict,
tho addiction has been mine in horrible ways.
I am not to be labeled depressed,
tho I have sunk lower than you ever would believe.
I am God's child -
His daughter by a blood adoption,
His creation by a loving hand.
My past isn't the most beautiful of paths...but today, I embrace it...as all of that has helped to make me all that I am.
Reach out and love someone today...because under the smile that you know, you might be loving a heart that you don't even realize is hurting. And if you have a moment, reach out and show some love to the two women listed above because they are so very incredibly and beautifully brave!
***Heather and Kelly...
I thank you both for your honesty as it helped me to get honest with myself, once again.
You are both beautiful ladies...and I am praying daily for you both. ***
Looking up as always...