I love Facebook’s On This Day app, which allows you to see all the posts you made or were tagged in on each day of the year, dating back to the time you signed up. I’ve had a chuckle or an outright belly laugh at some of the things I’ve written there, and enjoyed reliving a few memories. I’ve rediscovered a few things about myself, too:
- I’m a joker.
- I love to quote random song lyrics.
- I had a tumultuous public ‘love affair’ with Asafa Powell.
- I’m almost rabid in my support of Team Jamaica at international sporting events.
- I was borderline depressed.
(DISCLAIMER: I say ‘borderline’ because I was never officially diagnosed with depression, and I don’t have the level of knowledge to say whether I actually suffered from the condition.)
I’ve come across some posts I made in my struggle years immediately after college, and some following disappointing or downright harrowing experiences on the job, which have been sobering. There are some of them that make me gasp or tear up at the raw despair I was pouring out for all the world to see. It makes me wonder what would have happened to me had I not had this outlet to vent my frustrations to.
This post from six years ago is one of them:
There was an even more desperate one from a few days earlier that caused me to shake my head as I read it, and give God thanks that I made it through those dark periods of my life without ever attempting to just end it all. After I composed myself, I decided to testify a little. Here’s what I wrote:
In the six years since I wrote this, I have grappled with the same questions over and over. And you know what I’ve come to realise? ‘Deferred’ doesn’t mean ‘denied.’ ‘Too big’ should be my motivation to go for it anyway. People’s opinions don’t matter, and I shouldn’t (and no longer) allow them to speak and project their fears over my life. My dream was given to me for a purpose, and it’s my job to make it happen. I have also since learned that I create my reality, first in the spiritual realm (call that which is not as though it were, committing my plans unto God, etc) and it is so, therefore NOTHING is ‘outside of my reality.’ What a blessing time and Godly wisdom are to me!
I’m almost tempted to say “if I knew then what I know now,” but that would be short-changing the experiences that have become my testimony of how I overcame. My journey can also be helpful to someone who doesn’t know yet, so it wasn’t wasted. And God is a restorer, so my time can certainly be ‘recovered.’ As mi granny used to say, “wah neva happen in a year happen in a day.
The woman I am now hardly recognises the woman who wrote these distressing posts. It sometimes feels like I’m reading someone else’s words. I’m not being dismissive of my experiences, but I’m glad I’m not in that space anymore. I’ve come a long way, by the grace of God. As I’ve grown in my knowledge of Him, and thus myself, I have let go of and moved past a lot of the things that used to keep my permanently mired in this state of mind. I’ve been a Christian for more than half my life, but it’s only been about two years since I’ve started to really ‘get it.’ Thank God for progress!
There are still times when I experience uncertainty, or something doesn’t go the way I wanted it to go, and I might say something about it on social media, but I can guarantee, it’s not the same kind of thought process or outpouring of bitter sadness and even anger.
People often put their entire lives out on front street in the social media realm, and it can be tempting for us to ignore them or block them out if they’re seen as ‘drama queens’ or sad sacks, like I was. I know I was a burden to some folks – someone told me so in no uncertain terms. (We are no longer friends, but that wasn’t the only reason we stopped talking.) However, I want to encourage you all to be mindful of your friends in this sphere. Reach out to them if you see posts or tweets that suggest they are hurting. Venting on social media may be their only therapy and the one thing that’s saving them from doing something drastic.
I’m truly grateful for the community of friends who took the time to encourage and lift me up as I publicly wallowed in grief over the ‘death’ of the image I had of myself that had been battered and bloodied by the winds of life. You guys may have just saved me from myself.