Living With Addiction
Strongholds of Depression
Damage more than the Afflicted
Strongholds of Depression
Damage more than the Afflicted
Today started like any other summer day before my senior year in high school; I took a shower, smoked a joint and cigarette and headed down to the beach to surf and sunbathe. Today was special, though; there was a new boy in town named Scott and tonight was Pablo Cruz’s concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Scott had the hots for me and said he would meet me down at the concert after work.
I scurried about in order to catch a ride on the morning surf and soak up as many sun rays possible needed to obtain that “been-at-the-beach-all-day look” with the peeling red nose and face to contrast and compliment my long, blonde hair! That’s what looked hot and defined us surfer chicks!
Today held the promise of hope and love. After my longstanding feelings of rejection and abandonment with my family, the constant jeers of being laughed at and not fitting in, coupled with bouts of depression unattended to for a couple of years along with the subsequent breakup of a long-term boyfriend; there were glimpses of sunshine peeking through the dark clouds from a dreamy boy who was way out of my league.
Scott had curly brown hair, green eyes, around 21, and even had surfboard racks on top of his BMW. He said I was hot! He made my heart palpitate. My heart was beating again and I felt alive. I couldn’t wait to receive more of his CPR.
After the beach, I showered with intention and detail to look beautiful in my size 3 Jordache jeans that were long enough to compliment my 5’11” frame and wear cowboy boots. I looked hot, just like a supermodel! I jumped into my V.W. Bug feeling beautiful and picked up a couple of girlfriends and headed down to the fairgrounds. We drank some beer and smoked a few joints before we entered the concert.
Upon arrival at the concert, we were fortunate enough to get escorted and seated in Row 3 right smack at center stage. Every band wants a group of screaming teenage girls upfront. The whole time we were talking and laughing, my mind became fixated on the whereabouts of Scott and it interfered with my ability to have fun engaging with my girlfriends. The concert was getting jammed packed full of concertgoers and still no Scott.
The feelings of not being pretty enough and good enough was the perfect environment for the brooding of the storm. Each emotional dagger of rejection were all consuming, turning the gusts of shame and walls of torment into deafening sounds diffusing the emergency warning system of the impending tornado. Being tossed to and fro in the quiet eye of the tornado left no time to hear or acknowledge the warning sounds that this storm was about to implode even though it was louder than thousands of screaming cheers as the concert began.
I started looking at everyone in the concert smiling, singing and dancing. The band was focusing directly on us girls upfront, and I felt a sense of loss and gloom. It wasn’t the spin of the tornado that was making me sick, it was because I felt alone in this crowd and no one could hear my screams for help and panic. I didn’t belong and I didn’t fit in, and I was scared to death. My mind kept focusing on trying to find Scott in the chaos because my heart needed help.
Once the concert was over, we headed over to the restroom. I took one look at myself in the mirror and became horrified. Between the sweat and oil from the heat of the lights and stage, the profusion of sweat from being one sardine amongst a compressed can, I looked horrible. I no longer resembled the perfection of the model I put on beforehand.
The beads of sweat bonded my hair like glue instead of free-flowing locks that could be flicked back and forth. My black mascara resembled more of a tarantula instead of highlighting my green eyes. My peeling red and flaky white nose resembled my white eyebrows stuck to my burned forehead. No wonder Scott stood me up. I felt ugly and not worthy of love. I had to get out of there. I couldn’t let anyone see me like this and I needed to hide.
I told my friends that I wasn’t feeling good, so we needed to go home. Everyone was laughing. They wanted to stay and continue to have fun. They didn’t look gross like me, so they stayed. I walked to my car alone. I felt ashamed because everyone was laughing in large groups and I was alone running to hide. I felt unworthy because of my appearance. Why do we place so much significance on our looks?
I got into my Volkswagen and headed home. I cried the whole way home, but no one was there when I arrived. All the thoughts, emotional daggers and flaming arrows that were penetrating my heart and controlling my mind became desperate.
I drove to my favorite spot, Swami’s Beach, and circled the parking lot a couple of times after finding no one to love on me and snapped. Before I knew it, I was driving through the protective barrier and wall built with steel beams and bars free-flying through the air bouncing off the rocks landing onto the ocean floor. All I remember is seeing a bright light with my life flashing before me.
I wanted out of my cell of hell. People with depression who don’t receive help can get this low. There’s nothing to be ashamed about. I was screaming “help me,” but I could not find a solution to ease the pain except for this final attempted suicide. Thank you, Jesus!
There is no shame in our game; Jesus is His Name!
This is Swami's Beach. Beautiful, isn't it? It's hard to really gauge the cliff's height from this photograph, but I believe it's a little over 350 feet. I wrote this from what I can remember as to what set me over the edge, so to speak, 37 years ago. I want to share that I have been completely healed by God's Divine grace and mercy of depression many years ago. Today I'm living in freedom and flying free of yesterday's guilt, today's fears, and tomorrow's grave. All because God loves me just the way I am!
There is hope for everyone suffering with depression. Please just don’t let it get as far as I did! This was my drug of choice, depression, living with addiction and the generational strongholds that were attached to my life.
Until next time…