Some say that once you find your voice, once you begin to use it, things become easier. They say it becomes easier to fight back, to stand bravely, and to live without shaking.
That’s not true.
Finding your voice is hard.
Using your voice is harder.
Believing that your voice is being heard, and that it is doing something, is sometimes impossible.
When day in and day out your mind is lying to you, saying that you are unloved, unwanted, unnoticed, undesirable, it is hard to believe anything contrary. Even if someone says
“I love you”
“I want you in my life”
“I notice you, I see you are struggling”
“I desire your presence and your friendship”
you do not believe any of it.
You cannot believe any of it because your monsters are attacking you. Anxiety is roaring, trying to drown out your reason. Depression pressing upon you, trying to suffocate your voice. You are weary from fighting every moment of the day. You are at the lowest point you have seen yet.
And what do I do when I hit this point? I try to avoid my pain, my emotions, but the harder I try the more forcefully they are thrown in my face. I try to be anything but silent.
Because when I cannot sleep, I sit and do my homework as slowly as possible so that when I am asked why I look so tired the next day I have an easy answer, even if it isn’t fully true.
I sit and try to stop my wandering mind and focus on one thing, but I cannot stop, my brain is whirling and I cannot remember anything. My mind is weary but it is impossible for me to silence it. Though I want to win this battle, I am afraid I will lose.
Then suddenly, I found myself in the aftermath. I was climbing back up from the pit I fell into. I can sleep, I do not dread the coming day, but I have new scars.
For over a week my anxiety roared, my depression pressed around me, and I fought my hardest against them. They eventually retreated, and now I have begun to survey the damage. I left the battle more self-deprecating than before, more attuned to my own loneliness, holding onto a few new truths, but also to a few more lies.
It is hard to believe that any good will come from my brokenness, but God is a good God who uses broken people. He makes broken people whole again.
Sometimes, finding your voice means echoing the ones from the past. Other times, it means being silent before God.
And every once in a while, it means both.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor;
my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.” -Psalm 62