End of the Tunnel



Excuse this post for being all over the place. That is just where I am at right now. I have written so many times and deleted it. I have so many things running through my mind constantly and can’t seem to put them into one cohesive thought. So you are going to have to think creatively while you read this. I drove to the Wacissa River to write this on this beautiful morning. I woke up from restless sleep and needed to drive. I feel that way when things are unsettled and right now, that is the definition of my life. I have often said I have no desire to drink and that is still partially true. I don’t want to drink, I want to be numb. I want to turn off my feelings and my thoughts. I feel like I am drowning in them sometimes. Why I come to the Wacissa is for just that reason. My friend Josh drowned in the big spring on this river several years ago. I like to imagine I am closer to him here. I like to think that he left part of himself here, but I know that isn’t true. I know he is in heaven having a great time. He was always more than this world could ever understand.

Josh was one of those people that lit up a room when he walked in. He could make you smile on your worst of days. Which is why I miss him more in my times of sadness. That is when we would call each other, in times of need. We started our friendship that way and I like to think I am continuing it by coming to see him when I feel the worst. Death is a thing beyond understanding. I also think there is a different type of death. A death where relationships die and your way of life dies. I feel that way about my marriage. I am in some ways mourning a death. The life I knew is gone. It will not ever be the way it was. That is not a bad thing, just new. And just like death always does, a birth of something new has to happen. You can choose how you want to be reborn, so the struggle to make it positive is very real. Although, I feel that some people lay down and die with the death that took their love or their normalcy. They never manage to be reborn. They exist, but they don’t live.

Living life is really a choice. Do you want to participate or just be here? Life is going to go on whether you chose to be part of it or not. I don’t just mean showing up physically. I mean showing up mentally and emotionally. I feel like I have been present physically in my marriage, but the mental and emotional part of me trying died years ago.  I believe that some damage takes time for you to even truly grasp. That was true for me when I was raped. Still is happening. It is a daily process of handing it over to God. I almost feel this shame that that one incident still affects me. I think, get over it, Vanessa, but after all these years of counseling there are these lasting affects I still feel. I am clearly a vulnerable and open person, but I also recognize that I sometimes use that as a weapon that I use on myself and on others.

Part of me feels that I deserve what is happening to me, but I know that that really isn’t true. Feelings don’t always have a way of being rational. I think that all these negative things coming my way are because of my past. This past that hangs over me like a dark cloud. I give my past too much credit. My addiction lies to me and tells me I will never be more than my mistakes. My disease says that I do not deserve good things. Sometimes I listen. That is when this deep sadness creeps through my mind. That is my disease working. I know this. I recognize it. I fight it. Over time I have learned how to stop that process. To say that it is difficult is a gross understatement. I understand people who fall back into their addiction or really are pulled back into it. A disease of the mind is so much harder for people to grasp. It is immeasurable. It seems like this mythical creature, beyond reality.

I have been called crazy so much in the past 6 years from the person I love the most that I partially believe it. I do feel crazy sometimes. In fact, maybe I am. We all know the definition of insanity. I definitely do the same dumb things over and over and over. I don’t think I can change my crazy, I only think I can learn how to manage it, direct it into a positive thing. I think that is really the key to growth. You cannot really change who you are at your core, you can learn how to use it. (lol, for good not evil, sorry, had to) I think that that is one of the things I loved about Josh the most. He always saw the good in me when I couldn’t even see it myself. He knew how to spin you around and put you in the right direction. I always wonder what he would say now. I think about how desperately I want him here to tae me out on the boat to talk about fish. I want to go sit at Steak n’ Shake with our milkshakes to discuss how I can change things. What would he say?

I have been using music to really push me through the times I just feel like falling apart. I am falling apart. I am in pieces. I am currently trying to pick up those pieces so that I can keep moving. It feels like very time I get back up I get knocked back down. That is just it though, isn’t it. It isn’t about how many times you fall down, it is about how many times you get back up and if you always get back up, you are never defeated. So I put on some awesome jams and get to picking up my pieces and mending my wounds.

I know this all sounds so sad. I am really not sad. I have more happiness than I ever thought I could. The pastor gave a sermon about happiness the other Sunday and it was exactly my thoughts. Happiness or joy comes from brokenness. When you are broken, you are truly God’s. I felt these tears stream down my face as he spoke about brokenness and the beatitudes. God doesn’t need perfect people, He needs broken people. People who are broken and allow Him to heal them. I truly feel that depth of need for my Savior at my darkest. I think that is why I have this peace and happiness that is beyond explanation. Life is straight up hard right now. Nothing is easy, but none of that matters because my joy does not come from my situation. My joy comes from my rest in His love. That is the difference in the pain I felt 4 years and 5 months ago when my husband left me the first time. I didn’t have that understanding. This separation is mutual, yet somehow just as painful. This time though, I see the good that will come out of the pain. This time I see how God has His hand in it. I am broken and allowing my healing to come from outside of myself.

I write because I know how me surviving this helps others. I write because I know I am not alone. I know that others need to know that, too. Life is not a checklist. It doesn’t always look pretty. There are so many things beyond the social media I wish I could share. That inability to really be transparent is also a test in self-control. Having people talk about you when they don’t even know ¼ of the story is difficult. I want to lay it all out there and say now judge. It doesn’t happen that way. Sure words hurt. Choosing to let them hold you back or change your decisions are when those negative words win. Don’t let them win.There is SO much good in spite of the bad these days. The fact that I can’t share that is also hard, but necessary, for the greater good. All things will be revealed in time. Get back up and keep moving. Just make sure that that light at the end of the tunnel is the other side and not just a train.


3 thoughts on “End of the Tunnel

  1. you are seriously my inspiration. I have not mended my relationship with God since my fathers death and I’m still broken. You’ll never know how much your words mean to a broken person like me.

  2. Hurting for you, hurting for Joshua. It is really not about moving past the events in our lives, it’s about becoming stronger as we move through them. I love (and hate) that you go to the Wacissa to be closer to Josh. So do I.

    • I love you so much, especially for giving the world Josh. I guess I just feel him most when I am on the waters he loved, Jackson too. But his memory is everywhere and always with us.

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