Despite

Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee Ludolf Backhuysen, 1695

I post a lot of very positive-sounding stuff on this blog. I do it to reinforce the kinds of thought patterns that I am working towards habitually establishing. It is not something that comes naturally to me just yet, but it will soon enough.

What comes naturally to me tends to be very dark. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with acknowledging that. Certainly it is better to be honest about it than to pretend something else is actually the case.

Here is the long and short of it:

Regardless of what the reasons for it happen to be, I have wrestled with darkness all my life. Suicidal melancholy comes to me as fully and freely as I wish peace and contentment would. A penchant for impulsive behavior, coupled with a tendency to see things in a negative light has not served me well, though it seems to be my trademark disposition, and this is simply the way it’s been. It’s all I’ve ever known, and the most sincerely passionate urgings of well-meaning friends and neighbors have never been able to change that.

But.

Some time ago, I arrived at a place within myself where there was suddenly nothing else left for me to do in this world but to refuse to go on with the flow of these unfortunate propensities any longer. I can’t explain why it took so long, or why there had to be so much damage done before I became so convinced, and wishing that any of it could have happened differently does absolutely no good at all.

Now, all I can do is to undertake what is necessary for progress (impossibly though it may seem, at times.) I don’t mean for the words “all I can do” to indicate a ho-hum sort of quiet resignation. No, what I mean to express is a certain absolute inability to do anything else, and to assert that this inability seems to comprise the basic foundational substance of the energy which underpins my very existence.

I literally can’t lay down and die anymore. I have to stand up and fight. When the syrupy dark of lamentation and woe comes upon me, when the firm hand of oppressive shame grips my by the hair and tries to force me down, down below the waves and into the undercurrent of its whispers and taunts, something won’t let me go along with it anymore. Something makes me fight.

And now, although the pain is very real and unfamiliar is the feel of reason and assurance as they take my hand and lead me on through the confusion of this, the dark night of my soul, someone on the inside wants me to know that I will win this fight.

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