Thursday, September 07, 2006

Dirty Hands in the Dark

It's always the same, but it surprises me every time.

I live in the midwest. Michigan. It's a temperate climate with breathtaking season changes. I long to be a Southern California girl. I'm beginning to think a change in place could save my life.

There's always that first cold day. You go outside, maybe to take the kids to school, and the frigid air bites into you. You're shocked to see what in summer would have been dew, frozen all over the car. You have to warm the car up.

That day always surprises me. It's cold here for much of Spring, and it's getting down to the fifties now, early in September. I know every year that cold day will come, and many more will follow, but I'm taken aback every single time.

I know the dark day will come for me. I could be going along, wearing tiaras and enjoying the love of friends and family, and then something shifts on the inside. I try to ignore that unstable something. I listen for it, but I go on, never letting on that I heard it. I felt it move. It's begun.

I start to sleep more in the day time, while my wild mind prowls about in the night devouring information, books, emails, IM's, television, movies. But nothing fills.

And then another shift, but not just a shift. Something falls from a high shelf and shatters to floor in my soul. And I hear it. I feel the force of it crashing to my own grund zero, splittering whatever it is into a million little shards cutting into me.

I don't eat but the bare minimum. And a little something sweet. I lie in bed willing myself to deal with this. To just keep breathing. I don't go anywhere not trusting what I'll want to do. I have to live. I tell myself I will win. I'll still be here in the Spring comes, but it feels like a lie. It's September. The days don't get swallowed hole by night descending before I cook dinner yet. I shouldn't be like this now. It shouldn't have fallen so soon, but it falls earlier every year.

I don't want to be this way. I don't want this suffering every year like clockwork. And don't tell me that I have a demon, or that I don't have faith, or that I'm speaking something negative. I've done more than I will ever tell you about. This is my cross and it doesn't move no matter how many times I ask Jesus to take it from me.

It's like darkness closing all around and I can't see anything. And that darkness is thick and palpable and it feels like God isn't real, only there is this part of me that knows God. This part that knows God does not forsake me. He actually enters the darkness with me. Holds me in it. This is the God who once asked that a particularly bitter cup be removed, and then said never the less, not My will. Your will be done.

I try to take my cue from Him.

I don't know why I tell you this, except that this is my story. I've learned to know God is with me no matter how dark the night. Maybe someone needs to hear simply that. Maybe someone is feeling about the ground for another hand, and just keeps coming up with fists full of dirt.

I'm here with a bit of good news. I promise you that God's hand rest atop yours. No matter how dirty they've become.



Heather Diane Tipton said...

Sweet Mair, I love you so much. And you know I'm praying for you.

lisa said...

Oh, Claudia. I love you!

bobbie said...

here too dear friend!

:-)Ronie said...

Beautiful, Mair, these times are ever so difficult and confusing. Please know that you have friends that you can lean on, who will love you no matter what (yeah, include me in that!!).

Love you, precious lady!!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hey girl! So sorry you go through this. What about the light treatments they have to battle this? I've always heard it was a chemical thing in the body.

When we lived in Europe, I notcied lots of places like the tanning spas we have here. Only they don't do it to get tanned, they do it in the winter to keep balanced since the days get so short. Thought that was very interesting.

My prayer are with you, Mair. I could so feel your struggle in your words. Hey, you must be a writer. LOL! Your faith inspires. Love you!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Oh! Happy Birthday!!!

Joni said...

Oh, dear Mair, my heart, thoughts, and prayers are with you today. I will pray for God to send along lights for your darkness...people, words, "chance" encounters, books...and I'm sure He'll come up with some really creative ways...

Lovin' you from Ohio...

Paige said...

Hi, you dont know me at all and I don't know you either but we both know we are sisters in the Lord. If you are talking about SAD I get the exact same thing. Every year I get afraid that the coming winter will be bad. This year I went out and purchased 4 special lights and stuff called Sunshine in a bottle (full of minerals) I don't know if I will use it because I'm not one to take anything... but last year I felt much better just to embrace the darkness, to tell myself that the dark clouds are like the comforting blanket of grace and to know the Lord is there very close and very intimate in the darkness. Bless you sister... thanks for sharing p.s. I found your blog originally through someones who was listed on emergentcanada (I think)

Paula said...

My precious Sistie. I'm praying. Have I told you lately how much I love and respect you? Thank you for showing us how to keep holding onto Jesus, no matter what.

BTW, been sharing your book with friends. The first one I loaned it to has finished it and she just LOVED it. She couldn't say enough good about it. Thought you'd want to know.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yes, dear mair, I was going to mention the light treatments also! As always I will keep you in prayer that this darkness will lift from you!

Oh, I'm sorry! I don't know where I was, but Belated Happy Birthday!

Kristine said...

I have read this post a few times, unable to respond simply because I know this darkness well - too well. For my sisters it creeps up at the end of September, making October a very dark month of restlessness, dangerous thoughts - depression. I am praying for you. I hope you know the depth in which I say those words, for I understand.
I understand.

shanna said...

yeah...I'm thinkin' a change in latitude would suit you just fine. If you don't move, you may end up writing morose Ibsen-eque novellas with people standing on the shores of Lake Michigan, wrapped in sheets and talking to themselves in Norweigen.

As for me, got my AM/PM supplements all lined up now. A girl's gotta take precautions, ya know?

Angie Poole said...

Claudia Mair, everyone has a dark day which comes for them like Some lo-cal/fat-free/no carb Grim Reaper.

Hang on, ride it out, etc. We love you and will pray you through.

Pray for us too.

Vicki said...

Wow. It helps me to read other's struggles with this since I've been struggling with depression all my adult life. At 50, I've finally learned about my own chemical imbalance and come to accept the cycles. But I can't tell you how many times I've been hurt by folks who don't understand the darkness that envelops a person. Whatever causes it, we absolutely need Jesus. Hang on, Mair. Your life is precious to so many who have come to love you. His grace will carry you through. I'm praying.