“It would be impossible to estimate how much time and energy we invest in trying to fix, change, and deny our emotions … ” Debbie Ford
Until a friend private messaged that she’d been reading my blog for months, I had no idea how long I’d struggled with depression, denial, and feeling dead. I tried hard to not feel those things for so long, I didn’t know I still did.
Something I wrote prompted her to share with me the difficulties she’d been going through. She tried hard to fix someone else. She was devastated when her efforts failed. We messaged several times before she said, “It’s been a rough 10 years.”
The length of time she admitted to trying hard stunned me. I imagined her troubles spanned the past month or the past few months, not a decade.
Her story reminded me of a friend’s husband, a pastor, who publicly asked for prayer for his depression that had lasted years. One week later, he let the congregation know he was better. If not for the announcement, people would have kept on giving him advice. They suggested books, natural and not-so-natural remedies, exercise regimens, names of Christian counselors, and guidance they should’ve known he already tried, things like “let go and let God” and “trust Him.”
They were sure he’d get better if he tried harder.
My friend and I could have told them otherwise. We wracked up a number of painful years so that you don’t have to.
I had no idea how many, though, until Prophet Jim Reilly said I tried for 18 years.
I panicked when I realized I’d gone eight years beyond “Dead for a Decade.” I kept the original title, though, because “Dead for Eighteen Years” … well, I just couldn’t.
The beauty of realizing how much time I’ve invested into trying hard is that I never have to question again whether it will work. I still have to stop myself from trying hard, but only out of habit, not because I hope that if I try one more time …
In This Together,
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.