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Friday, December 16, 2011

Hitting the Ceiling, Hitting the Wall, Hitting the Floor...

Hitting the Ceiling. (Dreams die.)

This is the place in life where you start to give up on the things you were shooting for in your youth. You reach a certain age and you find yourself relinquishing diehard desires that “used to” drive you. Life has thrown you some curves and you’ve swung and missed enough times to know that few hit the home run, heck, most don’t even get in the ballpark. You still enjoy your life, you just don’t wish upon a shooting star or expect great things anymore. You settle for normal and simple, which isn’t all bad. Sometimes the best things in life are the little things. However, when you stop striving for the impossible, aiming high, and going for broke, you also kill the very thing that makes us like God, namely, the ability to create things that don’t yet currently exist. Only God can create something out of nothing, but we can create something that exists but has not yet been discovered. Dreams are essential to keeping us motivated to stay curious about what does not yet exist that needs to. God created and then quickly invited man to name the animals. We can’t create animals, but we can create names. But this takes someone who has an imagination and hasn’t stopped dreaming.

Hitting the Wall. (Life dies.)

This is the place in life where you begin to wonder if even the normal, simple things of life are worth pursuing. Things that are basic needs are hard to come by. Friends, Family, Work, Provision, Shelter, Money…it seems like things that are just happening easily for other people take extra/extraordinary effort to pull off. You’ve given up on hoping it will get better tomorrow or next week. Unlike the past, you hit the wall now and you just can’t bounce back. You don’t have any fight left in you. You’ve fought back before only to be in the same place again. Your relationships are tired or tiring. You’re work is paying less and demanding more, if you’re employed at all. There is too much month left at the end of the money. Debtors and Creditors are breathing down your neck. You’re on your 3rd marriage. You’re kids are growing up and with every year they are wising up to the dysfunction and looking at you differently, almost disrespectfully. And why shouldn’t they, you don’t even respect yourself anymore. You sleep more, eat more, and sin more, but you’re still trying to hide it from everybody. The only problem is you can’t hide depression forever and the only one you end up fooling is yourself. It’s starting to get real dark.

Hitting the Floor. (I die.)

This is the place in life where you flirt with the foulest of feelings. You are either angry or anxious or absent. Depression comes in many forms, but at this level it manifests itself in the form of isolation and a complete dearth of motivation. You can’t muster energy, constructive thoughts, or baby steps of progressive movement…breathing is labor at this stage. You have exhausted all options, used every mulligan at work, and cried wolf with all your friends and family. Your mind is telling you that the walls are closing in and that it’s probably best to pull the plug on yourself before someone else does it for you. Thoughts of ending your life take on more specific plots instead of generic and general feelings. In your mind, life is already over, so why not put the period on this “life sentence”. It’s not just exiting the drama for yourself; you begin to feel like you are a burden to everyone that knows you, and that you would be doing them a favor to erase yourself from their lives. There isn’t a darker night of the soul a person could know.

__________________


I mention this progression of depression because I’ve witnessed it first hand as people spiral from the ceiling to the wall to the floor. It must be said that whatever stage a person is at, God is a God of resurrection and restoration. He can reach into the darkest of night and shine his light of life in/on your dead heart.

I don’t know that I’ve ever hit the floor, but I know the ceiling and the wall quite well. Who knows, maybe the phrase, “I just wish I could go to heaven right now. I wish Jesus would just come back.” is a spiritual way of saying you wish this life would end. I know it’s not the same as wanting to end your life, but I think it comes from similar place of wanting out of this broken and messed up world.

No matter who you are, you will hit the wall. It’s important to detect the walls you’re hitting and to get help before you hit the floor. There isn’t any shame in raising your hand and saying, “I need help, for real.” I know people feel a stigma in revealing dysfunction and despair, but it really quite normal to have these feelings. The quicker you go there with someone, the quicker you will find healing and wholeness.

I just had to write this for those shrouded in darkness. Please don’t be afraid to ask for help.

1 comment:

drbeach said...

And all the resurrected shattered hearts shouted, "Amen!"