From Behind The Mask

After posting “Broken” yesterday evening, I instantly regretted it, I felt so guilty about posting something that seemed, in my mind at least, to be a feeble cry for sympathy, not even a cry for help.

I don’t like posting something so negative, I’ve always tried to post the positives of this journey, even when I’ve struggled through I try to be hopeful at least.

Yesterday morning I tried my best to carry on as normal, adopting that I’m alright jack sort of attitude, all the while doing my utmost to bury a feeling that was beginning to get me down.

It really wasn’t until I got out to walk this morning, that I realised that suppressing how I was truly feeling is what put where I am.

If back then almost four years ago had I had been honest with my feelings, my pain and my struggles, maybe I could have avoided the trip down to the bottom of a bottle, maybe, just maybe.

As I slipped deeper and deeper into a slow depression, unable to deal with what was going on around me, hiding behind the curtains of my own home, I sought solitude to indulge in my addictive behaviour and in public, I put on a mask, one with a smile and told the world I was fine.

Truth was obviously I wasn’t, there was so much going wrong, I had no work, no significant income, a dying relationship and a blooming addiction. But those who knew me had no idea what was going on behind my eyes.

It wasn’t until my world crashed down around me, that I learnt if I was to sort myself out I had to be honest about what was going on. When I called Gareth and he asked how I was, I tried to say I was okay, but I became lost for words, the truth was I was making the phone because I was a complete mess, I couldn’t answer him except to break out into tears, I guess I didn’t have to say anything else to him, he knew from that my reaction there was a problem.

Then when I walked into Church, people began to ask why I was there again I chose to be honest, I knew it really was the only way to face my problems and deal with them.

But then as I began to turn it all around and come out the other side of addiction, the journey became that bit easier and praise for what I had achieved was the norm, even described as an inspiration.

It’s that tag “INSPIRATION” that I guess is a big label to live up to.

Don’t get me wrong I want my story to inspire others, I want what I’ve achieved to be something others who are suffering in similar ways to aspire too.

But when I’m struggling with things around me, inside I feel a failure, firstly like I’m letting down everyone who has helped and stood by me over the last sixteen months, they’ve done so much to help me from where I was, that slipping back is in a way an insult to them and the hard work they’ve put in.

Likewise, for those that see me as an inspiration, I feel like I’m failing them too, I feel like a fraud.

As I stood at the back of the hall yesterday, I did all I could to tell myself I was okay, that I had faith in God’s promise for me, that all was going to be okay in the long run. But the more I tried to say I was okay, the weaker I felt. The tears formed and slowly fell, I was at the back with all other eyes forward, nobody could see me and I didn’t want them to.

Slowly more people journeyed forward, I fought the urge once again and the tears became heavier. Then I saw James stand in front of me, I couldn’t hold back any longer, I knew if I went forward James would come follow me, so I walked forward doing my best to wipe the tears from my face.

I’m not sure whether Michael was already at the front praying for others or if he came forward for me, but both he and James laid hands on me and Michael prayed. I continued crying, I felt weak.

I spoke with James before I left, I explained what it was that was troubling me, but still as I stated yesterday it’s not something I wish to disclose on here, only to state it’s not something I’m physically dealing with, just a consequence of my former addictions that’s happening around me.

I tried my best  to hide behind my old mask again yesterday. I tried to smile and say I’m alright jack. I tried to hide in the shadows where no one was looking. But the more I tried the more I felt the feeling inside, that feeling that I was being told to stand and walk forward, to stop hiding, you know it’s okay to be weak because He will be my strength.

I’ve come to the conclusion it takes greater strength to admit you are weak, rather than hide behind a mask with a painted smile.

I did get out and walk this morning before going to work and it was a great walk, it really helped work through things in my mind and offer it all to God, in return I received a very calming feeling and in fact the feeling that it was okay to feel weak at the moment, because he was carrying me for a while, so just put my trust in him.

It’s going to be another busy week this week, with extra hours at work with a stock take at the weekend and more drawing work to do, even today on a Bank Holiday, I worked this morning and then came home to do a further five hours of drawing work, but I’m not going to make excuses this week, I’m determined to get out and walk every morning.

YOU ARE I AM by MERCY ME
I’ve been the one
To shake with fear
And wonder if
You’re even here

I’ve been the one
To doubt Your love
I’ve told myself
You’re not enough

I’ve been the one
To try and say
I’ll overcome
By my own strength

I’ve been the one
To fall apart
And start to question
Who You are

You’re the One who conquers giants
You’re the One who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You’re the One who walks through fire
You take the orphan’s hand
You are the One Messiah
You are I Am

I’ve been the one
Held down in chains
Beneath the weight
Of all my shame

I’ve been the one
To believe
That where I am
You cannot reach

You’re the One who conquers giants
You’re the One who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You’re the One who walks through fire
You take the orphan’s hand
You are the One Messiah
You are I Am
You are I Am

The veil is torn
And now I live
With the Spirit inside
The same One
The very same One
Who brought the Son
Back to life

Hallelujah, He lives in me
Hallelujah, He lives in me
Hallelujah, He lives in me
Hallelujah, He lives in me

You’re the One who conquers giants
You’re the One who calls out kings
You shut the mouths of lions
You tell the dead to breathe
You’re the One who walks through fire
You take the orphan’s hand
You are the One Messiah
You are I Am
(Hallelujah, He lives in me)
You are I Am
(Hallelujah, He lives in me)

3 thoughts on “From Behind The Mask

  1. teri4sure

    I totally understand what you’re saying about feeling as though you have a ‘responsibility’ to those who have helped you, and to those readers you are trying to encourage through your writings. And I can relate to feeling ‘fake’ when I’ve shared something ‘inspirational’, when in my heart I was feeling down. When I was a minister’s wife, I would keep e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g to myself….because I thought I was ‘expected’ to always be strong. Those were the most difficult years of my life! I don’t think it’s necessary to share every detail, but I now know that I missed a lot of great opportunities to help others grow by sharing some of my struggles. Keep looking up! He will see you through.

    Reply
  2. leftnfree

    All I can say is….. Wow! You are moving so well. God is giving you the journey of a thousand steps that still lead to Him.

    2 Corinthians 12:7-10
    “Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me, My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” 2 Cor. 12:7-10 The Message

    Reply
  3. garden2day

    First, I want to say that you have nothing to feel guilt for. Your expectations are high and you want to achieve goals. I hope that doesn’t sound condescending. There comes a time when it is too much pressure (I tend to put a great deal of pressure on myself) so we have to remember that the only one we have to be concerned about is God and God loves us no matter what. We all have sin in our past and will have sin in our future. We just have to live the best we can and give the rest to God. Sounds easy but it isn’t always. Sometimes, we keep hold of things because it is “our” pain. We need to be more gracious to ourselves-not just to others. Lastly, God is the only One we should trust. I know where you are in my own way. It’s a constant battle. Sometimes, I have to unplug and take care of me for awhile. A friend told me the other day that there are time we have to get down (not be on the top of the world all of the time) before we can appreciate where we are so we can get back up to the top. Keep on your journey! Take care! – Amy 😀

    Reply

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