Inside everyone there is something that they don’t want others to know. They try to cover it up and hide it from those around them. There is something about them that if those people around them knew, those people closest to them would leave. So masks and facades are dawned to keep them from seeing into who I, and you, are. I hated who I was, I could have cared less about everything that happened around me. It was an art, to pretend that I was happy and that I cared about those around me when I truly wasn’t. At times it was only that game that kept me going through life.
As I reflect back upon my life it?s easy to see that I was depressed. There was a rut that I was stuck in, looking for satisfaction and fulfillment from the things of this world. So many times I would look to buying toys and gadgets to bring me joy, to make what I was doing in life seem worthwhile. Women were a tremendous comfort, to be able to have the impression that they were, somewhat, dependent upon me. In each relationship I felt needed and cared for. Then there was work, starting a production company at the age of sixteen in order to gain approval from my father and the world. Thinking that through financial success I would attain fulfillment.
Everything I did would work for a while. The toys would keep me entertained for a couple days, my girlfriends would give me a sense of purpose, and work would keep me striving for more. The only probably was that the more I was striving for wasn’t filling the void in my life. Eventually I was driven to the edge, attempting to slit my wrists one night in my room. That forced me to think through why I felt like such shit. I changed my life in effort to cure myself from the problems around me.
I turned my life around, leaving what I had known behind and starting off anew. This is when I started the production company, when I got a whole new group of friends, I met/dated/left several new girls, and left my old hobbies. I used to find such pleasure in playing the violin, in reading, in golf and now I was spending the majority of my time skiing and getting involved in art. I fell in love with photography and sculpture. My life had turned around and I had left that past life behind me. Turned my back upon a past I was in all too much of a hurry to bury and forget.
There were things brewing in my life that I couldn’t see. The masks I had dawned and the facades I had erected were not a fix. On May 20th two years later (junior year) the threads of my life untangled. Only problem was that I was more planned out this time. Realizing that I couldn’t do anything to my body I would put myself into a situation that I couldn’t escape. I was going to drive into the Minnesota River and wait inside the car till I drowned. As I was driving over to the river I happened to pass by my church, remembered Carissa, how she had asked me to come to youth group once, and how I agreed. This plan of mine was only to hurt myself, I decided to go so that she could feel as though I didn’t brush her off, or that she didn’t have to do more to get me to come because I knew it was important to her.
Very few things are as clear in my memory as watching rob running through the rain from his car into the church as I sat crying in mine. As the slow walk I took to the door, hoping the sopping rain would hide the tears on my face. Allowing me to dawn my mask once again. I remember sitting in the basement youth room feeling so removed from everything happening around me. At the same time, feeling this comfort and peace that I couldn’t ever remember feeling before. Remembering that the bible talked about God’s love and how He loved me no matter how screwed and sinful up I was. I asked God to accept me and that I would accept Him. The feeling of comfort grew till the point where I was smiling and it was genuine.
I recall the look upon my moms face as she scolded me for being gone for seven hours for a thirty-minute trip to the store. More vividly, the confused look on her face as I couldn’t get the smile off mine. In the two years that have followed things have changed. The satisfaction I spent so much of my time seeking is now here, and it isn’t in a need for toys or girlfriends or work. My comfort comes from something greater then I can explain. The depression that nearly took my life twice is all but gone along with the masks I once wore.
The masks that I used to wear to cover the brokenness and insecurities I held are gone. With the help of the Lord, who supplied the tools and strength, along with my time and work they have been removed and don’t need to be worn again. My identity is so secure in the Lord that I can wear everything I am on my sleeve. Everyday I learn more about my walk in faith, seeing more into the One who saved me from the darkness which veiled my eyes for to long.